Jordan's King Abdullah meeting with Biden highlights US ally's dilemma in Israel-Hamas war

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JERUSALEM — The presence successful Washington of Jordan’s King Abdullah II, accompanied by his highly salient wife, Queen Rania, connected Monday put a spotlight connected nan Hashemite Kingdom’s awkward position successful nan Middle East arsenic nan country’s activity tries to locomotion nan statement betwixt maintaining adjacent ties pinch nan U.S. and taking a difficult stance toward Israel and its warfare successful Gaza to placate its ample Palestinian population.

Following their meeting, Biden thanked Jordan for its thief successful supplying humanitarian assistance to Gaza and recognized nan Arab federation arsenic an important U.S. ally: "We're grateful to our partners and friends for illustration nan king who activity pinch america each azygous time to beforehand information stableness crossed nan region and beyond. It's difficult times for illustration these erstwhile nan bonds betwixt nations are much important than ever."

In his remarks, Abdullah called for an extremity to nan war: "We cannot guidelines by and fto this continue. We request a lasting cease-fire now. This warfare must end. We must urgently and instantly activity to guarantee nan sustainable transportation of capable assistance to Gaza done each imaginable introduction points and mechanisms. And I convey you, Mr. President, for your support connected this."

Abdullah’s sojourn to nan White House connected Monday was nan first by an Arab leader to nan U.S. since Hamas’ sadistic Oct. 7 panic onslaught against Israel, which sparked a full-scale warfare successful nan Gaza Strip and accrued tensions passim nan Middle East, including successful Jordan.

While Jordan, dissimilar Qatar and Egypt, has not taken a nonstop domiciled successful mediating betwixt Israel and Hamas, nan king is apt to unit Biden to activity an extremity to nan four-month conflict and unafraid a domiciled for itself successful postwar efforts to rebuild Gaza.

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Dr. Saud Al-Sharafat, a erstwhile brigadier wide successful nan Jordanian General Intelligence Directorate, told Fox News Digital that some nan Israelis and Americans person agelong been alert of nan king’s dilemma and, contempt nan tensions, "relations betwixt nan 3 parties proceed moreover successful nan astir difficult circumstances, for illustration nan 1 we are facing today."

Al-Sharafat, nan laminitis and head of nan Shorufat Center for Globalization and Terrorism Studies based successful Jordan’s capital, Aman, said he believes nan extremity of Abdullah’s sojourn was to summation American assurances that Jordan will stay nan custodian of Islamic beatified sites successful Jerusalem – a position it has held since Israel took complete Jerusalem pursuing nan 1967 Six Day War – and to summation guarantees that Palestinian refugees from Gaza would not beryllium sent to Jordan aliases nan West Bank.

He besides said that Jordan is vying for a domiciled successful Gaza’s postwar reconstruction and hoping to unafraid U.S. subject assistance to bulk up its aerial defense system, peculiarly pursuing nan deadly Jan. 28 drone onslaught by Iran-backed militants connected a U.S. subject guidelines successful northeastern Jordan. Three American soldiers were killed successful that attack.

"Politics is nan creation of managing semipermanent world governmental relations and managing emergency crises," said Al-Sharafat, adding that Jordan’s soul authorities person dictated nan country’s reliable stance toward Israel’s actions successful Gaza and besides prevented nan king and different apical leaders from condemning nan sadistic onslaught carried retired by Hamas terrorists successful confederate Israel connected Oct. 7.

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"First, nan king presents himself successful nan Arab and Islamic world and nan world arsenic a defender and guardian of Islamic sanctities successful Jerusalem, which was portion of nan Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan until 1967," said Al-Sharafat. "Second, nan societal and demographic factors of modern Jordan, pinch half of Jordan’s citizens being of Palestinian origin, put unit connected nan authorities to return a difficult statement and sometimes utmost positions against Israel and America arsenic a protagonist of Israel."

Less than 3 weeks aft Hamas’ murderous rampage, Queen Rania, herself a Jordanian of Palestinian heritage, harshly said retired against Israel’s subject response, refusing to admit immoderate of nan atrocities carried retired by nan Iranian-backed panic group successful interviews pinch Western journalists and connected societal media. Her comments were followed by accusations from Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi, who called Israeli actions successful Gaza a "war crime."

"To vent and power nan feelings of nan celebrated masses and nan Islamist opposition, Queen Rania and Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi were allowed to make beardown statements," Al-Sharafat said.

Jonathan Schanzer, nan elder vice president for investigation astatine nan Foundation for nan Defense of Democracies, a D.C.-based deliberation tank, called Jordan’s position during nan existent conflict "bizarre."

"It has been vitriolic arsenic it relates to Israel," he said, acknowledging that this stems from nan country’s ample Palestinian population.

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However, said Schanzer, "Jordan is besides battling Iran-backed militias connected its separator pinch Syria, and though nan Jordanians whitethorn not for illustration it, they look nan aforesaid force arsenic nan Israelis. In addition, Israel remains pivotal to Jordan's stableness because of nan water, state and intelligence nan Israelis provide."

"All this appears to beryllium mislaid connected nan king," he continued. "Queen Rania has unquestionably emerged arsenic a champion of nan Palestinians since Oct. 7, and her sound has been alternatively disturbing, not because it is pro-Palestinian but because her commentary appears to beryllium detached from nan realities of Jordan's vulnerabilities and its dense reliance connected Israel."

Schanzer said that contempt nan evident discrepancies betwixt Jordanian and U.S. approaches to nan conflict successful nan Middle East, "the Jordanians are still pinning their hopes connected a beardown America."

He said that nan truth nan U.S. "has not nudged nan Jordanians toward a much mean position vis-à-vis Israel reflects an utter deficiency of American leadership."

"We request to support our strongest friends successful nan region much unified," Schanzer said. "They whitethorn not beryllium champion friends, but they request to bent together aliases bent separately. … This should beryllium our message."

Calls and emails to nan Jordanian spokesperson astatine its embassy successful Washington, D.C., for remark were not returned.