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A former Jordanian ambassador to the United States this week warned Israel that it will find no friends from the Arab Spring unless it reaches a settlement with the Palestinians.

“These governments won’t be soft on Israel,” Marwan Muasher told students at Purdue University, referring to the leaders who emerged after the overthrow of Arab dictators last year.

“Israel’s concerns of having hostile neighbors will become a self-fulfilling prophecy if it continues with the occupation” of the Palestinian territories.

Israel frequently has complained about the lack of negotiating partners because anti-Jewish Hamas militants now control the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank has refused to hold talks because of Jewish housing construction in areas it claims as Arab land.

Mr. Muasher, ambassador in Washington from 1997 to 2002, noted U.S. support for those “yearning for freedom” in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen, the Purdue Exponent student newspaper reported.

“But if you are a Palestinian, it’s complicated. That is not an argument that sits well with Arabs,” he said.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email The column is published on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.