Not long before the onset of the cancer that finally killed him, King Hussein of Jordan undertook a small mission. He paid a personal visit to the families of some Israelis who had been killed in an Arab terrorist bombing. There was no talk of money or reparations; instead, the king quietly sat with the mourners and by his calm demeanor, unhurried manner and undivided attention was able to convey a sense of solidarity with them across the Arab-Israeli divide. The reaction of the relatives was out of proportion to the simplicity of the gesture. By all accounts, they were deeply moved by Hussein's expressions of personal involvement in their loss. Their grief had been acknowledged. More memorably still, it had been acknowledged and shared by a king.
This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $2.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.