King Abdullah II of Jordan Speaking to a joint meeting of US House and Senate members, "No more bloodshed, no more lives pointlessly taken," Abdullah declared.
The King speech, lasting just under a half hour, was delivered in flawless English, with only an occasional aside in Arabic. He was interrupted a number of times by applause.
He said that history has shown that progress in Mideast peacemaking is impossible without American leadership. "We look to you to play a historic role," he said, adding that results are needed "not in one year or five years but this year."
In a room with a number of pro-Israeli politicians, the king devoted his speech to discussing an end to the conflict in the Middle East, but he focused primarily on the needs of the Palestinians and suggested that Israel was holding up the peace process.
"I meet Muslims thousands of miles away who have a deep, personal response to the suffering of the Palestinian people. They want to know how it is, that ordinary Palestinians are still without rights and without a country. They ask whether the West really means what it says about equality and respect and universal justice," he said.
The king described how Palestinians have suffered through "60 years of Palestinian dispossession, 40 years under occupation, a stop-and-go peace process, all this has left a bitter legacy of disappointment and despair, on all sides."
In fact, during the speech, when Abdullah said, "The source of resentment and frustration ... is the denial of justice and peace in Palestine,"
Abdullah set the tone for his 30-minute speech at the outset when he noted the historic make-up of the 110th Congress, which "welcomes its first woman speaker and its first Muslim-American member of Congress."
Citing the risks of further delay, Jordan‘s King Abdullah II told Congress, the United States must take the lead in creating conditions for a permanent peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The king‘s remarks were limited almost entirely to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Major pro-Israeli politicians like Lantos, Sens. Joe Lieberman and Frank Lautenberg, all of whom are Jewish, were among the 20 or so elected officials to remain stone-faced. Number of members refused to applaud and shook their heads in disapproval.
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