February 10, 2024 | Flash Brief

Biden to Host King of Jordan at White House

February 10, 2024 | Flash Brief

Biden to Host King of Jordan at White House

Latest Developments

Jordan’s King Abdullah II will meet with President Joe Biden at the White House on February 12, the Biden administration announced on February 8. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement they will discuss efforts to end the conflict in Gaza in addition to “U.S. efforts to support the Palestinian people, including through enhanced humanitarian assistance into Gaza and a vision for a durable peace to include a two-state solution with Israel’s security guaranteed.” King Abdullah will be the first Arab head of state to meet with Biden since the war began on October 7. Abdullah will also meet with Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and members of Congress.

Expert Analysis

“The king has been remarkably and openly critical of Israel, since the Jewish state responded to the October 7 Hamas slaughter. The queen, a Palestinian, has been nothing short of vitriolic toward Israel. This sort of messaging plays well among the Jordanian population, which is perhaps 85 percent Palestinian. Amman refuses to admit that the percentage is quite that high. But whatever the actual number, this explains, at least in part, why Amman has accused Israel of all kinds of terrible things over the last four months. Israel’s coldest peace is now downright frigid. And the king could very well take it to sub-zero temperatures next week. The White House must ensure that it does not signal approval for such rhetoric. Rather, it must work to bring one of our most important Middle East alliances back to a more productive place.” Jonathan Schanzer, FDD Senior Vice President for Research 

“Jordan is facing the same problems as Israel and America’s allies in the region, in terms of the threat of Iranian militias and the Syrian regime’s narcotics trade. Unfortunately, instead of making common cause with Israel and standing up to these threats, King Abdullah has chosen the populist path in public. That hurts both Jordan and Israel.” Hussain Abdul-Hussain, FDD Research Fellow

King and Queen’s Criticism of Israel

Since October 7, Abdullah and Rania have heaped one-sided blame on Israel instead of Hamas while refusing to accept Gazan refugees into Jordan. Abdullah called Israel’s airstrikes against Hamas in Gaza a “war crime,” and he later said that the “root of the crisis was Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories and its denial of Palestinians’ legitimate rights.”

Further, Rania blamed the conflict on Israeli oppression of Palestinians, she falsely claimed there is no verifiable evidence that Hamas killed children on October 7, and she said that Israel’s claims that it seeks to protect Gazan civilians were “an insult to one’s intelligence.”

Growing Pattern of Anti-Israel Rhetoric

Amman has pulled away from Israel in recent years, driven by domestic political considerations, unrealistic expectations and both legitimate and illegitimate grievances. Its official rhetoric about Israel has grown increasingly negative, if not vitriolic. Despite ongoing cooperation on a range of challenges, Israel-Jordan diplomatic ties are often tense.

During the May 2021 Israel-Hamas conflict, Jordan effectively sided with Hamas by echoing the terrorist group’s talking points that wrongly blamed Israeli security forces on the Temple Mount for sparking the conflict. King Abdullah also falsely accused Israelis of threatening Christian holy sites in Jerusalem before the United Nations in 2022.

Egypt and Jordan Condemn Israeli Response to Hamas Massacre,” FDD Flash Brief

Egypt, Jordan, and Other Arab Governments Reject Gazan Refugees,” FDD Flash Brief

Neither Here Nor There: Jordan and the Abraham Accords,” by Jonathan Schanzer

Jordan’s King Incites Anti-Israel Sentiment,” FDD Flash Brief


Arab Politics Israel Israel at War Jordan