By Jewish Press—
His Majesty King Abdullah II on Saturday spoke before an assembly of local newspaper editors and journalists, saying “he spared no occasion to put the Palestinian cause and defend Jerusalem before the world,” according to the Petra state news agency, adding, “There is no voice that speaks better than Jordan as we carry out our historic political and legal role to stop the Judaisation of holy sites despite the difficulties and challenges.”
Most historians agree that the Temple Mount’s “Jewish” nature predated that of its modern Arab identity by some thousands of years. The Temple Mount housed the two Jewish temples in Biblical times, with much archaeological and historical evidence proving ancient Jewish presence on and around the Mount. In the early Middle Ages, long after the Second Temple was destroyed, the birth of Islam led to the construction of a mosque on the holy site which Muslims believe to be the “al Aqsa Mosque”, or the “farthest mosque”, referred to in the Quran. However, Islamic scholars dispute this.
Nevertheless, the Muslim religious claim on the Temple Mount – largely neglected and overgrown with weeds until the Jews began expressing an interest in it in the twentieth century – is the basis for countless Arab campaigns to deny any and all Jewish connection to the site. Of late, these campaigns have extended to numerous other Jewish holy sites, including the Western Wall, where Israel has full sovereignty, and various burial sites of Biblical figures, including the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, recently declared a “Palestinian world heritage site” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
In addition to blatant historical inaccuracies, Jordan may find itself in the wrong on matters of state as well. Jordan relies on Israel for much of its economic stability. With an annual $39 billion GDP, compared with Israel’s $320 billion for roughly the same population size, Jordan could go under without Israeli support.
Under the 1994 peace treaty, Israel provides Jordan, a desert country, 13 billion gallons per year of fresh water from the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). More than 200,000 Israelis vacation in Jordan, which is starved for foreign currency. Jordan is expected to receive natural gas at a bargain-basement cost from Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan offshore fields. In a country with a soaring unemployment—at least 30 percent, much higher among youths—Israeli businesses have established industry in Jordan, taking advantage of the lower pay across the river.
In addition, the Hashemite Kingdom sits on the tips of Israeli bayonets. Without a firm security cooperation with Israel, which includes real-time Israeli warnings about assassination attempts against the King, Jordan would long since have become a Palestinian state.
The Jordan Times’ version of the King Abdullah’s announcement Saturday scrubbed out the anti-Semitic tidbit.
There has been a wave of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic announcements from Jordanian officials in recent weeks. A Jordanian legislator invited former deputy head of Mossad Ram Ben Barak to fisticuffs at the Allenby crossing, “if he is a real man,” after the latter mentioned the possibility of cutting the water supply to Jordan if Israel’s poverty-stricken neighbor misbehaves.
56 lawmakers signed a petition calling on the King to bring back his ambassador from Israel and suspend relations.
And the Amman-based daily Al Watan ran a long article about the ancient Jewish custom of mixing gentile blood in the Passover matzah.
With close to 3.5 million Jordanians having “Palestinian” roots, meaning they arrived from across the river between 1948 and 1967, within an overall population of about 6.5 million, plus a volatile Syrian refugee population of about 2 million – Jordan is a boiling cauldron threatening to explode.