In a world rife with conflict, few voices stand out as strongly in the call for peace as that of Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan. In a poignant conversation with CNN's Becky Anderson, Queen Rania addressed the current Israel-Hamas war with a call that cuts through the din of geopolitical rhetoric: a ceasefire is necessary, and support for Palestinian lives is a humanitarian issue, not a political statement against Judaism or an endorsement of terrorism.
"Let me be very, very clear. Being pro-Palestinian is not being antisemitic, being pro-Palestinian does not mean you’re pro-Hamas or pro-terrorism," Rania stated, underscoring the urgent need to differentiate between the politics of a state and the rights of a people.
Her voice joins a chorus of international leaders who are deeply concerned about the escalating violence. Following the deadly October 7 terror attacks by Hamas, Israel's response has been a severe "complete siege" on Gaza, including relentless airstrikes.
This has led to a dire humanitarian situation that has not been universally acknowledged.
A Humanitarian Perspective
The statistics presented are sobering. The Palestinian Minister of Health in Ramallah reported over 9,700 Palestinian deaths due to the Israeli airstrikes, while Israel Defense Forces' (IDF) count indicates Hamas killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians.
Despite these numbers, the international community remains divided on the path forward. At a recent summit, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken faced Arab leaders calling for an immediate ceasefire, yet the US reiterated concerns that this could afford Hamas the opportunity to prepare further attacks.
Israel's Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, went so far as to assert that a pause in the fighting is unnecessary, claiming "there's no humanitarian crisis." These stances face stark criticism from Queen Rania, who vehemently condemns such justifications for the continuing loss of civilian life.
“I feel that in that argument, they are inherently dismissing the death, in fact, even endorsing and justifying the death of thousands of civilians, and that is just morally reprehensible,” she said. Her words echo a deep frustration with the current narrative — one that too often conflates the defense of Palestinian civilians with support for Hamas, an organization designated as a terrorist group by several countries, including the United States and members of the European Union.
Striving for Peace and Clarity
As the debate rages on, Queen Rania's remarks bring to the forefront a critical distinction that seeks to refocus the conversation on humanity above all. "I want to absolutely and wholeheartedly condemn antisemitism and Islamophobia...but I also want to remind everyone that Israel does not represent all the Jewish people around the world.
Israel is a state and is alone is responsible for its own crimes," she stated. Her appeal for a ceasefire is more than a call for a temporary halt in hostilities; it is a plea for the recognition of the basic rights and dignities of individuals caught in the crossfire.
It is a reminder that amidst the complexity of international politics and the intricacies of historical conflicts, the cost of war is most acutely borne by those least equipped to bear it — the civilians whose lives are disrupted, or ended, by the unforgiving tide of violence.