Netanyahu marks 25th anniversary of Jordan peace treaty despite recent crises

Despite Netanyahu’s optimism, in recent weeks Jordan has had the upper hand over Israel.

By World Israel News Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke about Israel’s relationship with Jordan during a special Knesset meeting on Monday to mark the 25th anniversary of Israel’s peace treaty with Jordan.

“There is peace with democracies and peace with dictatorships,” he said.

“It is easier to make peace with democracies because their natural tendency is not to fight, whereas dictatorships require establishing deterrence first. If you don’t have deterrence, the peace will not last. Jordan knows that Israel is stronger,” he said.

“On top of that deterrence we built cooperation in security aspects as well as trade, intelligence and water. We help the king [Abdullah] in many covert ways that I don’t think I should expand on,” he added.

Netanyahu’s comments comes in the background of tensions between the two countries in recent weeks.

On Sunday, Jordan’s King Abdullah announced  that he has taken full sovereignty over two areas adjacent to Jordan that Israeli farmers had worked for years.

The lands Jordan reclaimed, Naharayim and Tzofar, had been leased to Israel for 25 years following the signing of the 1994 Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty.

Israel’s request for a six-month extension was denied by the Jordanian government.

A diplomatic crisis was also sparked by Israel’s jailing of two Jordanian nationals.

Israel arrested Heba al-Labadi  on Aug. 20, and Abdul Rahman Miri on Sept. 2, as they tried entering Israel through the Allenby crossing with Jordan.

Labadi was suspected of meeting Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, while Israeli authorities believed that Miri was affiliated with Hamas.

During their time in detention, Labadi went on a hunger strike and Miri required constant medical treatment for his previously diagnosed cancer.

The outrage that followed lead Jordan’s king to recall Jordan’s ambassador in October.

Last week, Jordan’s Foreign Ministry announced and that an agreement had been reached with Israel  for their release “after lengthy discussions, intensive contacts and moves.”

On Wednesday, Israel released Labadi and Miri.They returned to Jordan.