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August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
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Title: Our Last Best Chance, The Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril


Title: Our Last Best Chance, The Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril


Author: King Abdullah II of Jordan


Publisher: Viking


 


 


   Whether this is a memoir or autobiography or whether this book was written as an article of regional diplomacy, King Abdullah does come across in this book as a quite sincere person making a valiant effort at regional diplomacy, who is trying to quell terrorism in the Mideast and raise the social and economic levels of his countrymen.

 

   As should be expected from any Arab leader, we read his viewpoints about the Arab-Israel conflict showing certain prejudice of the Palestinian people, but quite uncharacteristically, Abdullah shows his independence and some even-handedness in not holding Israel entirely responsible for the current situation.

 

   We read of past and current Jordanian-Israeli collaboration on security and economic development platforms, and he tells of his father’s long-time friendship and collaboration with former Israel Prime Minister Rabin, whose funeral led to the first visit by a reigning Jordan king. He also prides himself on collaboration with Israel armed forces personnel in such activities as special forces training and parachute jumps.

 

   Abdullah is very critical of Israel having blockaded the Gaza Strip, to which he lays the blame of the rise of Hamas to fill the internal security vacuum that had been thus created, and which he implies is not merely a detriment and security problem for Israel but for his own kingdom as well.

 

      He appears to be not unsympathetic to the situation of the European Jews who flowed in to Israel following World War II, because they had nowhere else to go, but claims that the former residents – the Palestinians – have suffered and continue to suffer.

 

   Agree or disagree with his views, Abdullah is a Middle East leader who likely will play a key role in the future of the region.

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