Thursday, September 15, 2011

Israel Clears Out Embassy in Jordan Fearing Repeat of Egypt

The Israeli government is taking no chances of a repeat of the weekend ransacking of its embassy in Cairo, pulling back its ambassador and most staff from its diplomatic mission in Jordan ahead a planned million-man march in support of the United Nations recogreposed proposed Palestinian statehood.

Israeli Ambassador to Jordan Daniel Nevo and his staff left its complex in Amman in a convoy overnight. The diplomats hope to return Sunday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said. Nevo and his staff routinely return to Israel for the sabbath.

The anti-Israeli sentiment in Egypt and Jordan is particularly troubling because they are the only Arab counties that have peace treaties with Israel.

President Obama had to intervene diplomatically on behalf of Israel to save the lives of trapped security personal in the Israeli embassy in Cairo.

Now the U.S. embassy in Jordan is also under increased protection by Jordanian police after Wikileaks diplomatic cables suggested a secret plan to turn Jordan into a homeland for Palestinians. There was a small protest outside the U.S. embassy in Amman yesterday in which demonstrators burned the American flag and demanded that the American diplomats be expelled from Jordan.

The region is swiftly becoming a powder keg amid the Palestinian Authority's plan to seek statehood at the UN.

The U.S. has vowed to veto any move for statehood on the UN Security Council and is lobbying other countries to do also oppose the move. Israel, however, increasingly becoming isolated and faces widespread support globally for Palestinian statehood.

Nonetheless, the U.S. is still hoping the statehood issue is abandoned, fearing a veto could trigger even more anti-American demonstrations in the Muslim world.

"We continue to see any kind of effort by the Palestinians in New York as counterproductive and not in the interest of achieving a two-state solution, which is our goal," said State Department spokesman Mark Toner.

"Our argument conveyed to countries around the world is that this is a counterproductive measure by the Palestinians, and because of that, it doesn’t get anybody any closer to a comprehensive peace settlement, and that’s why we’ve got to remain focused on getting them back to the negotiating table," Toner added.

The world's leading Islamic democracy, Turkey, which has diplomatic and trade relations with Tel Aviv, is also ripped at the Israeli government for failing to apologize for its soldiers killing nine Turkish civilians on a ship that was part of a humanitarian aid flotilla bound for Gaza last year.

A UN-appointed panel found the Israeli commandos faced "organized and violent resistance from a group of passengers," but was still heavy handed in its response that led to the massacre on aboard the ship. "It seems to us to have been too heavy a response too quickly. It was an excessive reaction to the situation," the panel's report stated.

An internal Israeli probe cleared its military of any wrongdoing.

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