Queen Rania of Jordan calls today for an end to the Israeli blockade that has turned Gaza into a "barely functioning, open-air prison." The human rights campaigner and wife of King Abdullah II says in an article for The Independent that "humanity remains under siege" for every day that the blockade continues.
Jordan is one of the few Arab countries that recognises the Jewish state and has peace treaties with it. However, Queen Rania is highly critical of Israeli policy from the "monstrous" military campaign against Gaza 18 months ago to the attacks on the flotilla last week. She criticises the Israeli operation against the flotilla for its "blatant and absurd disregard" for international law and human rights that "appalled our global community."
"Although, I was stunned at the glaring outrageousness of the attack, I am not surprised by it," she writes. "By its very nature, hard-line ideology is self-serving and self-perpetuating, its primary goal is to survive – and that precludes everything."
She also criticises Israel for defending its actions. She writes: "Assigning themselves authority and immunity, Israel's leaders feel licensed to do whatever they like and not expect an international outcry."