Jordanian parliament against recognizing Israel as Jewish state, but Abbas may do so, Livni hints

Statement of legislature follows debate over peace process; Livni reportedly says "there will be surprises" regarding recognition by Palestinians.

February 9, 2014 20:32
1 minute read.
Jordan's Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour speaks in the Parliament, April 23, 2013.

Jordan parliament 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed)


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Justice Minister Tzipi Livni hinted Sunday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas may be willing to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, even as Jordan’s Lower House of Parliament issued a statement Saturday rejecting Israel’s demand.

At a meeting of the ministerial committee on legislation dealing with a proposed bill that would mandate teaching that Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people, Senior Citizens Minister Uri Orbach (Bayit Yehudi) said that for Israelis it was clear that the country was the nation state of the Jews, “something the Palestinians will never accept.”

Livni, Israel’s chief negotiator with the Palestinians, reportedly said to Orbach: “Wait, there will still be surprises.”

“And if they are willing to recognize us as the Jewish nation state, will you be willing to divide the land?” she asked.

Abbas was quoted in a New York Times interview last week as saying that recognition of Israel as a Jewish state was “out of the question.”

The statement by Jordan’s Lower House of Parliament, meanwhile, followed a debate last week over the peace process and clarified the need for an independent and fully sovereign Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as its capital, Jordan’s Petra News reported.

The House called for the return and compensation of Palestinian refugees.

In addition, any final agreement should take Jordan’s interests into account concerning refugees, Jerusalem, security, water and settlements, it said.

Israel has made the Palestinian recognition of a Jewish state a condition for any final deal.

The House also stressed that a Palestinian state should have full sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Islamic and Christian holy places – rejecting Israel’s actions in the city.

“Any change of the city’s demography is a blatant violation of international law and a gross breach of international resolutions,” read the statement, according to Petra.

“The House voices its appreciation and backing of the earnest efforts that Jordan, under His Majesty’s leadership, exerts in defense of the Arab identity of Jerusalem, and its firm stand against all the Israeli measures and decisions aimed at obliterating Jerusalem’s Arab-Islamic character, as well as the Zionist designs of hegemony and expansion carried out daily against Palestine, and Jerusalem in particular,” said the statement.

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