Jordan Angered by Israel's Portrayal of Embassy Crisis and 'Absurd Hero's Welcome' Given by Netanyahu

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embraces the security guard who shot dead his assailant in Jordan's capital of Amman, July 25, 2017.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embraces the security guard who shot dead his assailant in Jordan's capital of Amman, July 25, 2017.Credit: Chaim Tzach

Senior Jordanian officials expressed anger on Tuesday at the way Israel portrayed last Sunday’s stabbing attack at the Israeli Embassy in Amman, and over videos distributed by the Prime Minister's Office after Benjamin Netanyahu's met with Ambassador to Jordan Einat Schlain and the security guard who was injured in the attack. 

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Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi claimed that Israel depicted the incident in a distorted and absurd way.

Safadi said that Jordan had upheld its commitments to international law, respected the Israeli security guard's diplomatic immunity and agreed with Israel to have him questioned by Jordanian police and then allowed him to return to Israel. He stressed that Jordan treated the event as a criminal incident and expects Israel to do the same.

"Some of the reactions coming from Israel were absurd," the foreign minister said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday. "They tried to portray things as if the ambassador and the suspect [the security guard] were under siege, and that they were liberated and celebrated as heroes coming home. That is really absurd. This is a criminal case. Jordan acted legally and morally and Israel has a duty to act similarly and cease its provocative behavior and distorting facts."

The Jordanian minister’s anger may have stemmed from the statements the Prime Minister's Office made after the embassy’s staff left Jordan on Monday night, the tape of the phone call between Netanyahu and the ambassador and the guard, which was shared on Netanyahu's Twitter account – and especially from the publication of a video of a meeting between Netanyahu and the security guard on Tuesday.  

In the video shared after the meeting, Netanyahu said: "I am happy to see you, happy things ended the way they did. You acted well, you were cool-headed and we had a commitment to get you out, that was not even a question. Only a question of time and I'm glad it's a short time. You represent the State of Israel and the State of Israel doesn't forget it for one moment."

Ambassador Schlain responded to Netanyahu: "It's good to be home. Everything is great." The security guard said, "I feel relieved. I am thankful and happy to be here. Einat and I felt people were behind us and doing everything that is necessary, and we felt it, and I'm glad we're here.”

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