The Defense Minister and head of the Blue and White Party, Benny Gantz, revealed on Friday that he had traveled to Jordan to engage in secret talks with King Abdullah II concerning Iran. Gantz revealed this in a phone call with party representatives, saying that his political opponent, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was unwelcome by the other regional leaders.
“I think Jordan is a great asset to Israel, and I think that our relationship with Jordan could be 1,000 times better. Unfortunately, Netanyahu is an unwanted figure in Jordan, and his presence harms” relations between the countries, Gantz said, claiing that he was the key to improving this situation. “I have a continuous and ongoing connection with the Jordanian king and other senior Jordanian officials, and I know we can have great achievements.”
“I believe that it’s possible to do one or two civilian projects each year with Jordan, and within 10 years up to 20 or 30 projects” to improve relations with the neighboring country, he said.
“The ties with Jordan are a huge asset and could be a thousand times better,” Gantz said, claiming that he has an ongoing relationship with the king and senior Jordanian officials.
“Unfortunately, Netanyahu is unwelcome in Jordan and is hampering the furtherment of relations,” he said.
Gantz criticized Netanyahu’s handling of the Iranian nuclear threat, claiming the long-time PM of Israel treated the crisis “as if it were his own personal property.”
The defense minister told his supporters that the solution was “an ongoing dialogue with the U.S. and Europe as well as with Arab countries that share our concerns and interests.”
Gantz was deeply concerned about the “Palestinians”
The defense minister also said Israel would benefit from providing coronavirus vaccines to the Palestinian Authority.
“It is in our interest, both politically and from the humanitarian aspect, that Palestinians receive the coronavirus vaccines, as more than 100,000 of them are entering Israel for work on a daily basis,” he said.
“This is why we must do all we can to assist them in obtaining the shots and to examine how we can help them in any other way,” Gantz said.
“Mossad and the IDF have been displaying creativity, independent of Netanyahu,” Gantz said.”We are building an offensive, defensive and intelligence response and will know how best to protect Israel,” he said.
King Abdullah II was the first Arab leader to speak to then-US President-elect Joe Biden following the election. Biden told the monarch that he hopes to cooperate on “supporting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Israeli media also reported that Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi also engaged in two recent meetings with Jordanian FM Ayman Safadi. Israel signed a peace agreement with Jordan in 1994.