P LIC Y BAC KGR FOUND
KING HUSSEIN AND THE
QUESTION OF PEACE
IN THE MIDDLE EAST
THE EMBASSY OF ISRAEL
April 14, 1969
X I IN' 'C" 1 T n rT (I T T
1.In presenting his version n of the Israel-Arab dispute,
K ing Husssein of dordan has demonstrated impressive pro-
paganda skill. His address to the National.Press Club,
Washington, April i, and hi.s NC television i.ntorvieu,
April 13, wJure carefully wtordd statements calculated to
woo the American public. They contained elements of
hurt innocence, underdog imagery and persuasive "moderation"
tailored to evoke "the sympathy of a western audience.
:The formula is to be' duplicated, no doubt, in 'his subsequent
Whatever the propaganda effectiveness of the King's
utterances, it is by the yardstick,of his behaviour and
intent that their worth should, be measured. Having devoted
many of his remarks to the neod for "peace in the Middle
East," the first question that poses itself is:
What does the Kine mean by beace? Does he accent
S. the need for neace betw,; n his country and Israel?
A careful analysis of his statement reveals that
he does not'contemplate peace with Israel. At no time
did he employ the term pacec" in relation to Israel. He
Ssoke of "non-ballig r nc ," of a "peaceful settlement,"
of a "just solution," of a "durable solution," but never
once did he refer .''. peace between Jordan and Israel.
This is not a matter of mere semantics. It is a pur-
poseful choice of phrase faithful to a basic policy.
The aim of that policy is a political arrangement that will
win him back the lands he lost as a result of his 1967
aggression against Israel, while preserving intact the roots
of the twen.ty-year conflict. Lip-service alone is paid
to the notion of peace.. .
2. F lse Alecnati.on on Security C Council Resolution
Once this is craesped, all the elements of his posture-
includin. his so-called six-point plan- fall into place:
he allegation that Isracl has not accepted the Security
Council resolution of "ovamber 22, 1967; the rejection
o; dir t notia s; s rt f th e f our-pou r initY ia:-
for rn .;nc'.r. r..'n.c' t: thr drmnf for unconditional.
withdrawal; insistence on the return of'th'e.refOgoos; the
renewed advocacy of the Khartoum doctrine ("no rocogrnitiurn,
.Th :Jo da' n :u.cr pu 1lic'. l y justified his r f' sal
t o negotiate with Isr-cl on tIrn. --,rounds .that~ --'.Thoee- is..no
basis for any negotiaion since Israel has not yet accepted
th (UN) resolution.. King -tr ulsscein knows that this is a
false allegation and that, in.making it, he is misleading
the American public. 'He is surely conversant with the
statement delivered by srael Foreign Minister Eban before
the UN General Assembly, October '1968, in which he said:
'"Israel has accepotd the- Security Council's
resolution- f or the st abj.ishmrent of a -just ahd
lasting peace and declared its readiness to negotiate
aQreemernts on all the principles mentioned therein."
He must also know' that this acceptance was once again
repeated in a communication last week to Ambassador Jarring
and communicated by him to the Jordanian and Egyptian
3.Jordan's Reply to Jarrin .. ..
What Hussein did not tell his audience is that in a
parallel .communication to Ambassador Jarring, the
Jordanian and Egyptian Governments made it plain that they
hardly contemplate peace with Israel, but seek rather nothing
less than the. physical dismemberment of Israel.
This is what both Hussein and Nasser replied to the
question pbsed to them by Dr. Jarring on thei' ,conception
of "the secure and recognized boundaries" as called for
in the Security Council resolution: .
"When the question of Palestine was brought before
the United Nations in 1947,;the. General Assembly
"adopted its resolution 181(11).,6f November 29"h,
1947, for .th partitinn of Palestine and.defined.
'.This reply was' given barely orne week before the King's
arrival in-the U.S. It calls for withdrawal, unconditionally,
not to the fragile armi stice frontier of June 4,',1967,but
Sto' a fictitious, tortuous' line that never came ihto being.
It never came into being because it was flagrantly rejected
by the Arabs themselves in 1948 when, in' violation of every
UN resolution, they invaded th'e newly established State
of Israel, bent upon its total destruction.
The above position of King Hussein echoes the statement
made by President Nasser on May 25, 1957, at a time when
the Egyptan armies massed against .srael's southern
!* r 'the U E Fn o mrccv Fr .'c c h vino been expelled and
the Gulf of Aqaba bldckd:ed:
"If we have succecdcd in restoring the situation
to what it was before 195" then there is no doubt
that God will help us and enable us to restore the
situation to what it was before 1948."
4.Two-Phase Tactic to End Isrel' s Nationhood
What is it that Hussein and Nasser have in mind?
They seek what they call, in their jargon, "the solution of
the Palestine problem.," a process to be accomplished in
The first chase is the eviction of Israel from the territories
occupied by it in the Six Day Uar, or, what Nasser calls,
"The elimination of the consequences of the aggression."
This, however, is not to be the prelude to peace with Israel.
"The final step towards peace," declared Hussein, will come
only when Israel takes back the refugees. This is the
essential component of the second stane calculated to speed
along Israel's elimination. As the King put it:
"This is the crux of the whole Middle East situation.
It is more than a refugee problem- it is the
problem of the Palestine people."
And as President Nasser has said:
"If the refugees return to Israel, Israel will
cease to exist." (September 1, 1960)
Hussein went on:
"If Israel is to be preserved, it may well be that
it would best be preserved through adopting policies
other than those she now pursues. It might be
possible for srael to survive for years as a
Zionist armed fortress in the midst of a hostile
Arab world... The 3ews and the Arabs have lived
peacefully together for centuries in our part of
the world, - would have continued had it not
been for the Zionist militant end expansionist
Zionism, enshrining a 20 -century ideal of Jeuish
self-determination and nationhCod, is distorted and abused,
without the slightest readiness to contemplate the
profznditv of its roots or the depths of its association with
the land of Israel.
What Hussein and Nasser (and the terrorists they arm and
support) are here declaring is that Israel should cease
being a Zionist State, namely that the people of Israel
.il2 L'.... v.. v u L U L.U....J. a I'.CLu -' L i 1.-'.I 2..L.y nut unlike
the Kurds, the Druses, the Assyrians. (The fate of these
minorities need not be recalled here.)
.N ass..er expounded the same thesis in the Cairo version'
of his Noveseek interview, February 10, 1969:
S "The only course is the establishment of a Palestine
that is not based on Zionism."
The terrorist organizations make the same point:
"All peace solutions produced in the forum of
the UN, the .resolution of the Security Council,
and Jarring's mission, are but bargaining for the
rights of .the Palestine peopl.e. We reject and
oppose them with all our might since they constitute
an attempt at peaceful coexistence with the Zionist
Existencee,. The problem is the liberation of the
'hole of the country and not merely the eradication
of the consequences of the aggression." (El Fatah
Scommuniue, Radio Cairo, October 19, 1968).
The all-out support tendered both by Hussein and
Nasser to the terrorists is the logical borallary of their
rejection of Israel's nationhood. As Hussein said in
S. "There is no difference in my aim in seeking a
Peaceful settlement. and their aim in a settlement
Or as put by President Nasser in Cairo, March 27:
*"The Palestinian soil is not subject for discussion.
It is the sole property of the people of Palestine...
'* We have declared our principles- no negotiations,
Sno peace, no relinquishing one inch of Arab land,
and no bargaining over Palestinian rights."
This, of course, is' the well-known Khartoum doctrine,
pronounced by the Arab heads of State at their summit
conference, September 1967. King Hussein is one of its
architects. It is the Arab credo that has blocked any
movement towards peace; that has made of the Security
Council resolution a mere object of Arab lip-service to
-peace and a vehicle of Arab propaganda against Israel;
and that has hampered the Jarring mission from its very out-
S set.. Kharroum is the very antithesis of the Jarring mission
S w which was -established "in order to promote agreement" between
th; p? arti s.
'Kh rtc'u. is th doctrine' t ha m : ivotd K ing .ussein
S l h s sh aud.cn:;4 2' at L -h totJall y rejects
d ic t trik ith Isr'l. It c o.in .n pcd him to make
the following extraordinary .tment:
Important to b' 't to th ptie s."
'"Thnir (Israel's) con tntion that negotiation
Sdircctly between the p rties involved is essential
to agreement is a rather curious and arbitrary position."
Uho else other than the parties to the conflict
can truly settle the differences that exist between them?
The above statements assume a logic of their own within
the arid formula of "no recognition, no negotiation, no
peace." This is the logic that leads directly to the
support of the f~cur-pcwrc- initiative and to the hope that
out of that forum will yet emerge a political arrangement
on Arab terms to be imposed upon Israel without peace.
6. Hussein and Jerusalem- The Twone-ty-Var Record
Hussein is hopeful that one component of an imposed-
settlement would be th redivision of Jerusalem. Nowhere
in his address was he more eloquent than in his appeal for
a return to a truncated city. Without the dismantling of
the Holy City, he indicated, there can never be anything
approaching peace. There is a quality of cynical irony
in tho words of King Hussein and they cannot go unanswered.
Twenty years ago Jordan launched war against Israel in
violai-on of the United Nations Charter and of resolutions
adopted by its organs. In 1948, Jordan invaded Israel,
attacked Jerusalem, placed it under siege, and opened
indiscriminate fire on its inhabitants and on its his-
torical and religious sits. ordan was in erusalem by
shser force of physical conquest which lasted twenty years.
It wos the Hussein reoime, which, in the course of those
twenty years, relentlessly went about destroying its
thirty-four ancient synagogues and places of learning and
the venerated cemetery on the r'.ount of Olives. It was
King Hussein who prevented free access to the Jewish Holy
Places and the cultural and humanitarian institutions on
loun-t Scopus, in flagrant violation of his solemnly declared
international undertakings under the Armistice Agreement.
t was King Hussein Lho, in June 1967, launched once
acain a violent bombardment -a aiot Jerusalem. He attacked
April 14, 1969
without provocation and in face of Israeli appeals, communi-
.cated. to him through the UN, to desist from hostilities.and
spare the Holy City.
IHussein indicated nothing of this to the American public, c
howu, on May 30'', 1967, he signed his war pact with Nasser
placing the Dordanian army under Egyptian command.
Said Nasser on the signing of the pact:
S"The armies of Egypt, Dordan, Syria, and Lebanon
are stationed on the borders of Israel in order
to face the challengo... This deed will astound the
world. Today they will know that the Arabs are
ready for the fray. The hour of decision has arrived."
"I am looking forward to further frank cooperation
with Egypt and with the other Arab States, both to
the East and Jest, so that we may march forward
*along the road leading to the removal of our
shame and to the liberation of Palestine.
On 3une 5, 1967, he was able to test in action the
*statement he had delivered in Amman on April 12, 1964:
"Jordan, with its Left and Right.Bank, is the
ideal staging ground for the liberation of the
The Oordanian barrage against Jerusalem in Dune 1967,
like that of 1948, spared no residential quarter, no holy
place, no hospital. The aim, as before, was the destruction
of e-wish .erusalem. This was the' Hussein slogan broadcast
hour after hour over Radio Amman throughout the day of
"O Arabs, wherever you are, hit everywhere and
hit till the last. The end of Israel is in your
The King did not relate to the American public the
order he gave to his 60" armored brigade, equipped with its
M-48 Patton tanks, to move on Oerusalem which he knew to
be lightly defended because of the Armistice restrictions.
Jerusnlem would have almost certainly been reduced to ruins
but for the last minute intervention of Israeli aircraft
diverted from other sectors and which barely stopped the
King's armored column as it approached the city from Jericho.
.t is against th.se stark facts that the King's pious
words cout 2erusalem -have to be measured. Israel has
liv,2'' r' roLuh t'hse fmcts and it is an experience its poon'.e
April 14, 1969
7.The Six-Point Plan
Presenting his "six-point". plan, King Hussei at the National
Press Club declared:
"In this I am speaking for President Nasser as well as
for niyself. As recently as three weeks ago I had his
personal .authority to speak to you on his behalf"
Hardly had he made this statement when Nassei issued a
broadside, emphasizing that five of the points contained nothing
that. is new.' "Ai-Ahram,n the soei-official Cairo daily wrote
on April 12:
S "The five points attributed to' King Hussein by the
press agencies, are drawn from the Security Council
It:then went on oto castigate Hussein for claiming to speak
on Nasser's behalf with regard to the sixth point of the
King's "plan"-: freedom of Israeli shipping in the Suez Canal
*and the Gulf of Aqaba as called for by the Security Council
"As for the sixth point, concerning freedom of.shipping
in -the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aqaba, Egypt's
stand is manifestly clear. It has been enunciated by
President Nasser who said that the problem is related
to the rights of the Palestinians and is not
connected with the June war and the elimination
of its consequences."
One is reminded how, during his 1968 US visit King Hussein
claimed then to speak on the Egyptian President's behalf, only
to be challenged and rebuffed by him.
Be this as it may, Israel is interested in what King
Hussein has to say, on his own 'behalf. It is interested, however,
in demonstrations of substance, not in exercises of propaganda
conducted from public platforms. The King of Jordan knows that
if his Government wants peace it could readily achieve it by
the normal international principles of negotiation and agreement.
States which respect each other's sovereignty and acknowledge
each other's statehood have only one way of ending belligerency.
It is by negotiation and agreed peace. Peace cannot be dictated.
King Hussein cannot ask for peace and support terror. He cannot
speak of peace with sincerity while refusing to recognize Israel's
The peace process will commence on the day King Hussein accepts
the historic reality of Israel's nationhood and statehood, and
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