James Zogby Gems (King Abdullah II)

“By any reasonable measure, King Abdullah II of Jordan’s speech before a joint session of Congress was both smart and courageous…he focused his speech on a thoughtful and passionate appeal…His arguments were compelling…Throughout his remarks he spoke evocatively of Palestinian rights using words rarely heard in the halls of Congress…King Abdullah infused his remarks with a moral and political challenge…But during long stretches you could hear a pin drop in the crowded chamber. From my vantage point in a box overlooking the assembled lawmakers, I saw many members in deep reflection, frequently nodding in agreement with the King’s observations…But there can be no doubt that the King’s speech made an important contribution. It has empowered and invigorated Arab Americans and American Jews who want peace and has provided both with important leverage with which to press their case…King Abdullah used an extraordinary opportunity to deliver an important message. He is to be commended for doing so. The search for an Israeli-Palestinian peace is the core issue, and time is running out. He gave the search for peace his best shot. This is his challenge, to which all of us must now respond.”