Karameh Battle has a lesson of peace to teach - King

19 March 2008

His Majesty King Abdullah, the Supreme Commander of the Jordan Armed Forces, on Wednesday said the historical moral learned from Karameh Battle is that “the solution and settlement of this issue [the Middle East conflict] cannot be realized either through war or an enforced solution”.

He said the world and the parties to the conflict must learn this lesson.

The King made the remarks at a celebration on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Karameh Battle on March 21, 1968, when the Jordan Armed Forces repelled a major attack on the Jordan Valley town of Karameh, causing heavy losses among the Israeli units.

The ceremony took place at the Karameh Battle Monument in the town.

King Abdullah reiterated that a solution will only be realized by recognizing the Palestinian people's right to establish their independent state on Palestinian soil.

“This is the road of salvation from war and its destruction, from which the peoples of the region have suffered for more than 60 years,” he highlighted.

He said that every stage of the homeland's history has its challenges and dangers and it is important to be ready to meet these challenges, and confront any danger that may threaten our security or our stability.

“This is not a responsibility confined to the Armed Forces and the security institutions alone, but rather the responsibility of every citizen, man and woman, in this country, each in his assigned position and in accordance with his role and responsibilities,” the King stressed.

“There are always those, whether outside or inside Jordan, who do not seek good for this homeland. It is our duty to always maintain the highest level of awareness, to shoulder responsibility and to be ready to confront any danger or any attempt to tamper with this homeland's security or stability,” King Abdullah said.

Coinciding with a great anniversary dear to the hearts of Muslims, the birthday of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), the King said: “We remember from this pure place that is soaked with the blood of martyrs and the gallant deeds of the Arab Army, the 40th anniversary of the Battle of Karameh during which this army's honourable officers and soldiers realized the greatest of victories.”

He added that in spite of the enemy's superiority in equipment, armoury and capabilities, the soldiers achieved a victory that stunned the enemy and forced it to concede defeat for the first time in its history.

The Supreme Commander said that the Armed Forces (then called Arab Legion) fought in Karameh in defence of Arab land and Arab dignity, whether in Palestine, or any other place in the Arab world, stressing that he will not allow the battles fought by Jordanian troops and the sacrifices they made “to be compromised, or denied or belittled, by anybody, whoever he may be”.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff General Khaled Sarayreh said the battle, which was led by His Majesty the late King Hussein, represented a political and military turning point in Jordan and Arab military history.

“The battle proved that victory can be achieved through the determination and will and that Jordanian soldiers are able under all circumstances to defend this country,” Sarayreh said during the ceremony, which also featured patriotic songs performed by Jordanian singing stars and poetry recital.

During the ceremony, retired Major General Jamil Shamayleh, who took part in Karameh Battle, recalled his memory in the battle.

During the event, a TV documentary was run demonstrating the battle.

Several Royal family members, Prime Minister Nader Dahabi, Senate President Zeid Rifai, Lower House Speaker Abdul Hadi Majali, Judicial Council President Mohammad Raqqad, Royal Court Chief Bassem Awadallah, and senior officials and officers also attended the ceremony.