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FM tells Israel to 'clearly' disavow finance minister’s racist, incendiary statements

By JT - Mar 21,2023 - Last updated at Mar 22,2023

Ayman Safadi

AMMAN — The Israeli government must "clearly" declare that the remarks and acts of its finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, do not represent the stances of the government as a whole, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Ayman Safadi said on Tuesday.

In a press conference, Safadi added that Israeli officials contacted the Jordanian government following the statements, and expressed that such remarks do not represent their government "in one way or another”. However, Safadi stressed that Jordan will not accept any “blur” or opaqueness in meaning, according to a ministry statement.

The Israeli minister’s provocative, racist and inflammatory statements and his presentation of an alleged map of Israeli territory that included Jordan and the occupied Palestinian territories within its borders reflects a racist, extremist and exclusionary ideology, Safadi said.

Jordan has condemned and rejected those statements, and contacted the international community to highlight the gravity of that incendiary, racist and exclusionary ideology and its repercussions on the peace process, among other consequences, the minister added.

Safadi further stressed that Smotrich's racist statements "will not impair Jordan nor the rights of the Palestinian people," calling on the Israeli government to “make it clear” that the finance minister's speech does not represent the views of the government as a whole.

Safadi also noted that Jordan has issued clear statements condemning these reckless actions, expressing its clear position rejecting and denouncing the actions of the Israeli minister, adding that the inciting, racist statements of one individual "will not undermine our confidence in ourselves and our position and will not undermine the historic rights of the Palestinian people” in their homeland and sovereign independent state along the June 4, 1967 lines, with Jerusalem as its capital.

The minister added that “the whole world knows Smotrich's racism, extremism, and inciting and exclusionary ideology,” noting that this is the individual who previously called for “wiping out the Palestinian village of Huwara”.

Jordan will continue to take necessary steps that express its rejection of the Israeli finance minister's extremist statements, Safadi said, adding that Jordan will take the necessary steps if provocations escalate.

The minister said that Jordan had received communications from various Israeli officials who stressed that Israel is committed to the peace agreement with Jordan and that Israel fully respects the Kingdom's borders and integrity, and appreciates Jordan's role in the region.

He said that Jordan is clear in that the escalatory, racist words from this individual are unacceptable, and that the Israeli government should clearly say that the minister's remarks do not represent it, where the statements of other Israeli officials confirmed the position of the Israeli government.

The minister stressed that the Israeli occupation is the "core of evil", noting that the region will only be stable if the occupation ends. Safadi stressed that the death of the two-state solution would perpetuate apartheid and prompt further tension and the explosion of conflict.

Safadi called for the Palestinian people to be protected from extremist ideology within the Israeli government, especially as Ramadan approaches.

The Palestinian people's right to existence cannot be ignored in the presence of such extremist statements, Safadi said.


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