Hussein vents his anger at Israel
Thursday 13 March 1997
In the course of the letter, sent on 9 March, King Hussein even wonders if Mr Netanyahu would have ordered Israeli warplanes to shoot him down last week if he had tried to pilot the plane flying Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, from Amman to Gaza. The Israelis had refused to allow the flight to enter Israeli airspace. King Hussein asks: "Would you have ordered my fellow pilots in the Israeli Air Force ... to prevent me forcibly from landing or worse?"
Publication of the text of the letter from the Arab ruler previously considered the most sympathetic to Mr Netanyahu comes as Israel faces increasing international isolation. The latest blow came when the US agreed to attend a meeting next Saturday in Gaza of European and Arab diplomats, summoned by Mr Arafat to discuss the impact of the Oslo accords on the Israeli decision to build a Jewish settlement at Har Homa, and make only a limited withdrawal on the West Bank.
Showing a consideration for the Palestinian leader's feelings not often shown by US officials in the past, Nicholas Burns, the US State Department spokesman, said: "Chairman Arafat obviously feels the need to talk to friendly countries around the world, and that's appropriate." Edward Abington, the US Consul in East Jerusalem, will attend the Gaza meeting, which was condemned by Israel. Martin Indyk, the American ambassador, denied yesterday there was any crisis in relations between the US and Israel.
The anger of King Hussein is in sharp contrast to the warming of relations between Israel and Jordan which culminated in the peace treaty between them signed in 1994. Even when Mr Netanyahu was elected last year, King Hussein appears to have thought that Jordan could act as a bridge between him and the Arab world. But when Mr Netanyahu refused his request "as a personal favour" to fly Mr Arafat back to Gaza, King Hussein slammed the phone down.
The Israeli leader, who has been visiting Russia, says in response to King Hussein that he is "baffled by the personal attacks against me". He says: "Despite tremendous resistance from some of my own constituency, I have chosen the path of the Oslo process." But the Jordanian monarch makes clear that he no longer accepts this. He says: "I frankly cannot accept your repeated excuse of having to act the way you do under great duress and pressure." He accuses Mr Netanyahu of breaking a promise not to build more settlements.
In January, King Hussein was considered to have played a critical role in arranging an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians over the partial Israeli withdrawal from Hebron. He now asks why Israel was deliberately humiliating its Palestinian partners and why the present phase of withdrawal from the West Bank was so insignificant.
The peace treaty with Jordan was considered one of the main gains made by Israel as a result of the Oslo accords. He will visit President Bill Clinton in Washington this week and presumably feels the US is itself angry enough with Mr Netanyahu not to object the King's attack on him. He also calculates that his manifesto against the Israeli leader reflects the sentiments of the Arab world as a whole.
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
Geoffrey Macnab reviews American Hustle, also starring Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper
news Opponents claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV
It takes a platoon of chefs, litres of brandy and rum, and almost 100kg of dried fruit
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Lee Rigby murder: How killers Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale became ultra-violent radicals
Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
Paul Walker death caused by speed alone
Apollo Theatre collapse: Scores injured after ceiling collapses in London's West End
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 North Koreans are gasping for the truth: Let's give it to them
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 5 Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
- < Previous
- Next >
£36000 - £43000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Available Immedia...
£17000 - £25000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: The Birmingham office of thi...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: HoD Maths Salary: MP...
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: Client based in West London is looking ...