Jordan will continue to honour its commitments towards holy places in Jerusalem we have been informed by Jordanian House Speaker Atef Tarawneh today, speaking in Kuwait at the 20th conference of the Inter-Arab Parliamentary Union.
“Holy Places“, he said?
Let’s allow him to be specific:-
Jordan will continue to honour its historical commitments towards protecting the Islamic and Christian holy places in Jerusalem.
What happened to the Jewish sites?
Tarawneh said that the agreement, which was signed by His Majesty King Abdullah II and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, reaffirmed the status of His Majesty King Abdullah as the custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem and was aimed at exerting all legal efforts to protect the holy places in Jerusalem in general and the al-Aqsa Mosque in particular.
Are there no Jewish holy places in the city?
Of course there are and they are adjacent to and contiguous with Islamic sites: the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. And there are more. But Jordan doesn’t care, ignores them, avoids the entire issue.
PLACES OF HISTORICAL AND RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE
Each party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance.
In this regard, in accordance with the Washington Declaration, Israel respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem. When negotiations on the permanent status will take place, Israel will give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines.
The Parties will act together to promote interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace.
My reading comprehension informs me that Jews and Jewish places are certainly not to be excluded.
Tarawneh spoke about “the Israeli attempts to Judaize and change the identity of Jerusalem” and “highlighted the Israeli violations against the holy shrines in Jerusalem, noting that these violations send a clear message that any peace agreement would remain threatened by Israel” and added, “Jordan always takes stances towards these violations, through available legal channels”.
But there’s more:
The key to Arab-Israeli comprehensive peace lies in implementing the two-state solution, under which an independent and fully sovereign Palestinian state is established within the June 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem its capital…we in Jordan believe that implementing the two-state solution and the establishment of an independent and fully sovereign Palestinian state within June 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital constitute a higher interest for Jordan…
…Regarding East Jerusalem, His Majesty King Abdullah II is taking care of the maintenance and protection of the Christian and Islamic holy sites there, as part of the historical Hashemite custodianship of East Jerusalem. We will continue to play this role and addressing all Israeli violations, which continue to defy several resolutions issued by the UN Security Council that stipulate that all Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem are null and void and should be halted immediately, and that the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem must end.
Those were the words spoken in New York
of Minister of Foreign and Expatriates Affairs, Nasser Judeh, on Monday, who chaired a United Nations Security Council’s open debate on various Middle East issues.
He, too, is an apartheidist, even a racist. Jordan doesn’t recognize Jewish holy sites in the city, it would appear and even if they did exist, the King, in his custodianal role, wouldn’t care for them.
No suprise, really, after his father’s record of destroying almost 40,000 Jewish graves
on the Mount of Olives prior to 1967 and all but one of the 35 synagogues
in the Old City were destroyed, either razed or used as stables and chicken coops.
After a night’s sleep, I reviewed what I wrote above, and realized it may not be clear to some readers what my ‘problem’ is as some may assume that of course Jordan will not be “in charge” of any Jewish site so why get upset.
Briefly, I believe Netanyahu does not really want a “Palestinian” state and so seeks to have Jordan in on any agreement. The political rights of local Arab residents west of the Jordan River will find their expression via Jordan with an improved Begin-autonomy plan. That in itself is an improvement over the Pal. Authority monster but the price will be official Jordanian administration of the Temple Mount (i.e., foreign sovereignty) and then for sure no Jewish identity will be permitted there (it will become extra-territorial), expression that will be less than today probably. That’s a price I feel we do not have to fork over.
As I noted above, if now Jordanian spokespersons ignore any Jewish character of a holy site that is conterminous, as is the Temple Mount and its Western supporting wall, with a Muslim site, then we cannot expect Jewish expressions there, whether religious, spiritual or cultural.
And, perhaps, given Jordan’s record, – remember that despite Article VIII of the 1949 armistice agreements
, which guaranteed “free access to the Holy Places and cultural institutions and use of the cemetery on the Mount of Olives”, Jordan did not permit Jews access to their holy sites or to the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives. Jews were denied access to the Western Wall and the other religious sites in neighborhoods of Jordanian-occupied Jerusalem.
If Jordan becomes the offical ‘patron’, we may experience an even worse situation: instead of the current Islamic rocks and firebombs thrown at Jews, bullets could be fired next.