Letter to His Majesty King Abdullah of Jordan on his Statement on Terrorism and Extremism

October 22, 2014

Your Majesty:

We are writing regarding reports quoting your recent statements about extremism and terrorism in an address to the president and members of the Jordanian Lower House’s Democratic Gathering Bloc

Your declaration that Jordan is committed to opposing terrorism and extremism and your denunciation of  the “catastrophe” befalling Christians in Syria and Iraq is an important statement of the Hashemite Kingdom’s role as a voice of moderation in the region.

Respectfully, however, we were dismayed by your apparent equating of the violent terrorist threat posed by Islamic extremists, such as ISIS, and “Zionist extremism.”     As quoted by the Jordan Times, you stated that in addition to Islamic extremism “there is Zionist extremism… stakeholders should acknowledge there is extremism in all camps.” 

To be sure, all societies deal with extremist elements, and Israel and the Jewish community are not immune from those forces.  These extremist elements must be and are regularly condemned by Israeli leadership and responsible Jewish religious voices.  This has been the case for decades.  It is incorrect and deeply insulting to compare Islamic extremist movements such as ISIS, al Qaeda, and others who seek to impose their radical religious ideology across the Middle East and worldwide through terrorism, violence and brutality. 

We respectfully urge you to clarify this apparent equation, and we continue to support your contribution in the international coalition to combat terrorist Islamic extremist forces. 



Abraham H. Foxman