Real reason peace efforts failed
“Trump welcomes King Abdullah II of Jordan to White House; Middle East peace tops agenda” (Web, April 5) states that the 2002 Arab peace initiative “collapsed over the proposed border, which took back territory Israel captured in the 1967 war.” Actually, it failed primarily for two reasons.
First, the initiative was announced immediately after the March 27, 2002 “Passover Massacre,” a Palestinian terrorist bombing that killed 30 Israelis and wounded 140 more, including Holocaust survivors and entire families, who were attending a Passover seder in Israel. The Passover Massacre was the deadliest in a series of murderous bombings targeting Israeli civilians, including children in schools and people in buses, discos, malls and pizzerias. The Palestinians launched it after PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat rejected Israel’s peace proposal at Camp David in July 2000. Following the Passover Massacre, the Arab peace initiative couldn’t be taken seriously.
Second, the initiative called for Israel to surrender Judaism’s holiest sites, including the Western Wall and Temple Mount, to Palestinian sovereignty. For Israel, this was a nonstarter.
As for Jordan’s King Abdullah II, let’s not forget that his country forcibly expelled all Jews from the Old City of Jerusalem when it conquered the city in 1948, that it thereafter barred Jews from visiting the Western Wall or Temple Mount until Israel captured both in 1967, or that it was Jordan that attacked Israel in 1967, not the other way around.
Last year, Jordan introduced a UNESCO resolution that tacitly denied the Temple Mount’s Jewish history and importance to Christianity by referring to it exclusively as the “Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif” and labeling it “a Muslim Holy Site of worship.” Jordan also recently released Ahmed Daqamseh, a former Jordanian army corporal who in 1997 murdered seven Israeli seventh- and eighth-grade school girls who had been visiting Jordan’s “Island of Peace.” Upon his release, Daqamseh received a hero’s welcome home.