Israeli officials said today that the breakdown in the talks between Jordan and the Palestine Liberation Organization had been inevitable and called on the United States to make a "sober assessment" of its Middle East policies in the aftermath.
A senior official said the government was not surprised by Jordan's announcement that it would not enter talks based on President Reagan's Middle East peace plan separately or in lieu of anyone else.
"Knowing the PLO as we do and having no illusions about this organization, we knew that nothing good could come out of an attempt to involve the PLO in negotiations in one way or another," the official said.
The government issued no official statement in response to Jordan's announcement.
In response to questions, the official asserted that the criticism of PLO leader Yasser Arafat and the PLO contained in the Jordanian statement was the "best proof" that Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank "are in no way an obstacle to peace." The breakdown in the talks came about, he said, not because of the settlements but because of a new set of demands that Arafat submitted to Jordanian King Hussein at the last minute.
The official said the government hoped the failure of the talks would bring a "more realistic" U.S. policy, including recognition that "you can't speed things up artificially."