Jordan's king warns of war by year's end
From YNet News:
Several hours after describing what Israel and the Palestinians are expected to gain from peace in his UN General Assembly address, Jordan's King Abdullah warned Thursday night that if the settlement construction freeze issue would not be solved, a violent conflict could break out by the end of 2010.
"If we don't get past the 30th, which shows sincerity that the Israelis and Palestinians are going to move forward," expect a war by the end of the year, the Jordanian king told Jon Stewart on the Daily Show.
He expressed his fear that dealing with the settlements instead of solving the core issues would harm the peace talks.
People are waiting for us to fail, he said, in order to tell us there is no chance for a dialogue with Israel and violence is the only way.
'Most people will vote for peace'
Abdullah said he was pleasantly surprised by the seriousness demonstrated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Everyone knows what needs to be done, he said, adding that it was the best deal both sides could achieve.
The king said he believed that if the public was given the option of voting for peace or for war, most people on both sides would vote for peace.
He implicitly criticized Iran's involvement in the Middle East, saying that the Palestinian issue "has been hijacked by some non-Arab elements and that the moderates have very little to say.
According to Abdullah, solving the conflict will end the Iranian involvement.
Speaking before the UN General Assembly earlier Thursday, Abdullah turned to Israel and the Palestinians in a desperate demand for reconciliation, warning of the ramifications of continuing the conflict.
He didn't talk about the occupation, the liberation of Jerusalem or "Israel's murderous crimes" – as the Turkish and Iranian presidents did before him, but mentioned the Arab peace initiative, which will allow the normalization of relations between Israel and 57 Arab and Muslim states – one-third of the United Nations.
"We're all going to lose if the talks fail," he clarified, adding that everyone would gain if peace was achieved. "Our collective influence is the key."
In line with US President Barack Obama's speech, the Jordanian king stressed that there was no other regional crisis with a greater influence on global security and stability. There is no other crisis which has been on the UN's agenda longer or has frustrated peace makers more, he said.
“All of us need to support swift action, hard choices and real results. The alternative is more suffering, deeper frustrations, with spreading, more-vicious warfare. Such a catastrophic scenario will continue to drag in the whole world, threatening security and stability far beyond the borders of the Middle East," he warned.