Real rea­son peace ef­forts failed

The Washington Times Daily - - EDITORIAL - STEPHEN A. SIL­VER San Fran­cisco

“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.

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