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November 30, 2015 / 18 Kislev, 5776
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Jordan Sends Back Israeli New Year’s Letter in Protest

Reuven Rivlin at the Knesset

Photo Credit: Itzik Edri

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry has rejected the New Year’s wishes of Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, sending the letter back because it called Jerusalem the capital of the State of Israel.

Israeli Ambassador to Jordan Danny Naveh was called in to receive the protests of head of the Jordanian Senate Taher al-Masri, who said the letter’s “objectionable opinions” reflect a “mentality of someone who conquers land and other people’s rights,” according to Jordanian daily newspaper al-Ghad. In the letter, similar copies of which were sent around the world to various international leaders and parliamentarians, Rivlin wished al-Masri a happy solar new year, and signed it from “the holy city of Jerusalem, the capital of Israel”.

In the letter, Rivlin also noted current threats to the Jewish state from Iran, Hamas, and Hizbullah, and criticized the Palestinian Authority, who he says “refuses to resume face-to-face peace negotiations with Israel.” Yet he expressed hope for the future of Israel, saying “despite all challenges, we will remain optimistic because our fathers who founded the state in 1948 were optimistic” despite the harsh physical conditions they encountered.

Al-Masri said the letter exemplified “Israel’s arrogance, boasting and racism, as well as pervert[s] historic facts to prove Israel’s claims.”

Rivlin commented Sunday at England’s House of Lords that Zionism is not anti-Arab or anti-Islam. He said he would be willing to meet with al-Masri to discuss the letter, if the Jordanian legislator wished.

About the Author: Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

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