Jordan's King Abdullah has a proposition for the new Israeli prime minister, Benyamin Netanyahu: The payoff for a two-state solution to the Palestinian problem is that Israel will get a 23-state solution, or even a 57-state solution--in the form of recognition by nations that don't now have diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.
What's interesting about Abdullah's approach is that it provides a possible way out of the collision that seems to be ahead between the Obama administration and Netanyahu over the Palestinian issue. Obama is committed to the two-state approach; Netanyahu publicly has resisted it. Abdullah's formulation--of a broader regional framework that gives Israel more tangible benefits from peacemaking--may provide a bridge.
The Jordanian monarch made his case for a regional approach to peacemaking in an interview at his Washington hotel Thursday. He outlined some of the ideas he had shared earlier this week in private meetings with President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.