Skip to content

Jordan Accuses Israel Of Violating Peace Treaty After Minister’s Paris Speech

Jordan accused Israel of violating the 1994 peace agreement after Israeli FM Smotrich denied the existence of a Palestinian people

PARIS — Speaking on Sunday in Paris at an event honoring the late Likud activist Jacques Kupfer, the leader of the Religious Zionist Party said “Jacque’s truth must be told with all our might and without confusion”. He said “There is no such thing as Palestinians because there is no such thing as a Palestinian people.”

Smotrich continued “We need to tell the truth without bowing to the lies and distortions of history, and without succumbing to the hypocrisy of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and the pro-Palestinian organizations”.

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry, on Monday, summoned Israel’s ambassador in Amman over the comments, and also to protest a map of ‘Greater Israel’, displayed during Smotrich’s speech, that showed Jordan and Judea and Samaria within the borders of the Jewish state. 

“We condemn the racist, inciting and extremist statements by the extremist Israeli minister against the Palestinian people and its right to exist” a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in a statement. The Israeli Foreign Ministry on Monday reaffirmed its commitment to the peace treaty. 

“Israel is committed to the 1994 peace agreement with Jordan. There has been no change in the position of the state of Israel, which recognizes the territorial integrity of the Hashemite Kingdom”.

Israel’s National Security Adviser, Tzachi Hanegbi, also did diplomatic damage control, tweeting that he had spoken with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, and assured him “Of the commitment the government of Israel has to uphold the peace treaty between our two countries which has strengthened the stability and the security of our region for nearly 30 years.” 

The Palestinian leadership in Ramallah also condemned Smotrich’s statement. 

The Palestinian Authority’s official WAFA news agency quoted P.A. Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh as saying on Monday, before a government meeting, that Smotrich’s “inflammatory” remarks shows the “extremist, racist, Zionist ideology that governs the current Israeli government.” 

The Palestinian presidency in a statement called Smotrich’s comments: 

“A falsification of history and racism.” 

Condemnation also came from the United States and European Union, with U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price telling Jordanian public broadcaster Al-Mamlaka that Smotrich’s comments and display of the ‘Greater Israel’ map were “offensive.” 

“The Palestinians have a rich history and culture, and the United States highly appreciates our partnership with the Palestinian people.” Price was quoted as saying by Al-Mamlaka

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell on Monday urged Israel to reject Smotrich’s remarks. 

“The comments of Minister Smotrich go, once again, in the opposite direction and certainly cannot be tolerated. I call on the Israeli government to disavow those comments and to start working together with all parties to defuse tensions,” Borrell said at a news conference. 

Israel recently indicated that Borrell was not welcome in the Jewish state due to comments earlier this month equating Palestinian terrorist attacks with operations undertaken by the Israel Defense Forces. 

During his speech on Sunday, Smotrich explained that he could also be considered Palestinian, given he is a descendant of those who lived in Mandatory Palestine during British rule. 

“My grandfather, who was the 13th generation in Jerusalem, is the real Palestinian. My grandmother, who was born in Metula more than 100 years ago to a family of pioneers, is Palestinian.” 

The Palestinians claim that they descend from the Canaanites—the Semitic civilization that inhabited the southern Levant region before it was called Israel. 

“The Palestinian Arab people have existed on this land since the history of their Canaanite ancestors”, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said recently in a speech. 

“The Palestinian people are the real owners of the land and not the Jewish people”, Shtayyeh said, echoing what P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas has said.

However, the Palestinian identity was applied to Jews who lived in pre-state Israel before 1948, and Palestinian Arab nationalism did not start until the establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1964.

Recommended from our partners