In a meeting with representatives of leading Jewish organizations, Abdullah also said Iran, Syria and Hezbollah are the greatest threats to stability in the Middle East.
Abdullah said he recently told Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that in case of a terrorist attack Sharon should check carefully who is behind it to avoid an Israeli retaliation against the wrong target. Abdullah was implying that, should a terror attack occur, Sharon would find that Hezbollah was responsible.” [more]
Other Arab papers carried this story very willingly and proudly avoiding all fact checking of course because…well…it’s Jordan…it’s King Abdullah…who cares?
I doubted this story right from the start because it just didn’t add up. It was just so illogical to assume the King of Jordan would actually say something like this that is so outrageously out of his political paradigm, so “out there”, that the consequences would be the obvious geo-political isolation and/or snub by fellow Arabs (such as what followed the first Gulf War). It made no sense. I originally read the story, like many Arabs did, in Arabic first before finding out it was originally reported by the Israeli Haaretz.
I tried long and hard these past days to convince a few friends and Arab acquaintances on this side of the world that this kind of report should be suspect, yet their refusal to grant even the benefit of the doubt surprised me and conjured up memories with the accusations of years before that HM King Hussein, God rest his soul, had done something similar by paying a visit to the Israeli Prime Minister, before the 6 day war to inform him of an attack. Another one of those reports you only hear people telling their children in Jordan and the middle east, one of those reports which I have yet to see any official documentation on despite the insistence of some that they exist.
Now these latest mud-slinging reports have been corrected by both official Jordanian government response and international news sources with the help of what little journalistic integrity that remains in this world:
“What was reported out of the meeting that was held between King Abdullah II and a delegation of leaders of American Jewish Organizations is not accurate,” said James Tisch.
Tisch, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, was part of a delegation that met with the king in Washington.
The monarch “briefed the delegation on the peace process and the need to support Abu Mazen and the peace process,” he said in reference to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
According to Tisch, Abdullah “said should any violence occur, (Israeli) Premier Ariel Sharon should not be quick to blame the Palestinian leadership.”
Asma Khodr, a Jordanian government spokeswoman, confirmed the version given by Tisch and said Abdullah’s “words were twisted” by the Israeli media.
Not just the people, but the Arab media. Not one media source in the entire Arab world questioned the reports. At least none that I read. It took an outside agency to break it even before the Jordanian Government released an official denial. The silence is so defening sometimes in the Arab world. You would think that all logic would lead you to the assumption that in the event of such an obviously false report, the Arab people and particularly it’s media, would be scrambling to tare it to pieces and prove its falsehood based merely on the ground that it has a zionist source. Sadly, as the recent Arab Summit has proven once again, ‘round here we talk like lions, but we sacrafice like lambs’.
This is a sad condition we live in.
To quote a great man:
- “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
- – Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)