An Israeli official said that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged King Abdullah, of Jordan, and King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz, of Saudi Arabia, to talk the Palestinian leadership into recognizing Israel as a Jewish State.Kerry was relaying a message from Israel to the Arab leaders, as Tel Aviv insists that the Palestinians recognize the country, built on their homeland in 1948, as a Jewish State, the Arabs48 news website has reported.
The Israeli official did not comment on the response of Jordan and Saudi Arabia to this demand.
According to Israel’s daily, Haaretz, Kerry asked the two kings to help him in achieving an official Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish State, and to assist Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in this recognition or at least refraining from trying to “topple the Israeli demand”.
Talking to Haaretz, the Israeli official said Kerry is hoping to find a positive “attitude” towards the issue during his upcoming meeting with Arab Foreign Ministers in Paris.
The official added that Kerry adopted the Israeli demand, and is working on making sure this demand is part of a framework peace agreement, and added that without this recognition, “he will be unable to talk Tel Aviv into making concessions during talks on establishing a Palestinian state.’
U.S. Ambassador to Tel Aviv, Dan Shapiro, told the Israeli radio that Kerry is hoping to achieve a framework agreement within a few weeks.
Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, said that the main focus of Kerry right now is to extend the time frame of direct talks, and added that Tel Aviv wants a continuation of extended talks.
On his part, Israeli Economy Minister, head of the Jewish Home Party Naftali Bennet threatened to withdraw from the coalition government of Benjamin Netanyahu should Israel hold talks with the Palestinians regarding a withdrawal to the 1967 border.