Netanyahu needs to look east

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took his time this week to admit that his planned trip to the UAE was postponed because of the Royal Palace of Jordan and not, as he first said, appendicitis mhnà.

One day after Crown Prince Jordan Hussein Abdullah canceled his plans to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem over a disagreement with Israel over his security details, his father ordered the skies over closed the kingdom until Netanyahu flew to Abu Dhabi.

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Jordan Abdullah's meeting at Jordan with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Jordan Abdullah’s meeting of Jordan with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2014

(Photo: Getty Images)

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safdi fueled the fire by expressing Netanyahu’s unspoken views held among his country’s leaders in Amman.

Saudi Arabia followed suit and blocked Netanyahu’s flight from his airport, shortly after King Abdullah received warmth and respect in the Saudi capital.

A key source from Jordan told Ynet, contrary to statements made by Netanyahu’s relatives, that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman does not intend to claim control of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, which has been under Jordan’s control for decades.

The UAE eventually announced Netanyahu’s plan to visit the Gulf country ahead of the March 23 elections and announced its refusal to take part in the Likud Party election campaign.

Relations between Israel and Jordan are strained. King Abdullah has not made any secret about his displeasure at Netanyahu.

In an interview with The Times of London in 2009, Abdullah described Netanyahu’s treatment during his first tenure as prime minister as “the least enjoyable of my ten years” on the throne.

Since returning to power in February 2009, the Prime Minister has again asked to meet with the king and has generally been rejected. His calls to Amman are also often unanswered. On the other hand Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi have received a warm welcome.

The king is expected to take his U.S. President Joe Biden with his view on the relationship with Israel when the two leaders meet and which is to explain that the ties are based primarily on mutual relations. security operation.

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US President Joe Biden with Jordan's King Abdullah during a visit to Amman in 2016 while he was VP US President Joe Biden with Jordan's King Abdullah during a visit to Amman in 2016 while he was VP

Then US Vice President Joe Biden meets Jordan’s King Abdullah when he visits Amman in 2016

(Photo: AP)

Tensions between Netanyahu and Abdullah, a group of 30 or so current and retired Israeli generals, include business leaders and various politicians working behind the scenes to keeping relations with Jordan from declining completely.

They have lobbied the government ministry to explain the importance of Jordan’s role in bringing a peaceful border, stopping terrorists from entering and smuggling drugs and weapons. introduction into the territory of Israel.

Over the years, Israel has come to trust Jordan’s cooperative role.

But two different schools of thought are now common in Jerusalem. One supports the rule of the Hashemite family and considers it beneficial to Israel, and the other hopes that Jordan will become a Palestinian state in the future, naming its 80% Palestinian majority.

What would the second option look like for Israel’s future security? What would Israel do if the presidency of Jordan was made up of Fatah and Hamas?

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מלך ירדן עבדאללה עם בנו, חוסיין, בצופרמלך ירדן עבדאללה עם בנו, חוסיין, בצופר

King Jordan Abdullah and his Crown son Prince Hussein will pray at Tsofar, after Israel returned to Jordan in 2019

U.S. emissaries are busy gathering information in Jerusalem and Amman ahead of White House meetings with Netanyahu and Abdullah. They are aware of the tensions between the capitals and hear the messages from the king of Jordan: Amman is a partner for peace and agrees with Biden on the need for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

If Netanyahu, if re-elected next week, does not make a major shift in his approach to his neighbor to the east, he may be seen as nothing better than a lump- an obstacle to regional stability and peace.