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Jordan Moves to Scrap Peace Treaty over Arrest of Jerusalem Mufti

World War III may have been close and may have been prevented on the Temple Mount, where the Jerusalem Mufti was arrested and then released for throwing chairs at Jews on Jerusalem Unification Day.
Muslims pray in front of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount

Muslims pray in front of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount
Photo Credit: Ahmad Jaber / Flash90

The arrest of the Jerusalem Mufti on Tuesday for throwing chairs at Jews on the Temple Mount prompted the Jordanian parliament on Wednesday to demand that King Abdullah expel the Israeli envoy. The legislators also called to start a draft for a law to scrap the peace treaty with Israel.

Police arrested an Arab from entering the Temple Mount, and an enraged Grand Mufti and other Arabs began throwing plastic chairs at five Jews who entered the Temple Mount under police escort. Arab media said they prostrated themselves, an act of prayer that the Waqf prohibits, except for Muslims.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Washington Post the group did not carry out any act of prayer. As usual, Palestinian Authority media exaggerated the entire scene. Arab media always report that Jews “stormed” the Temple Mount. The Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency reported that 50, and not five, Jews prostrated themselves.

Israeli police stepped in to end the clash before it could get out of hand and arrested the Mufti, a rare action.

It did not take much time for Jordan to hear of the altercation, and the country’s parliament unanimously agreed that the kingdom should expel the Israeli ambassador and recall its own ambassador from Tel Aviv. The parliament added its own imagination to the facts and claimed that Israel is trying to build a bridge between the Al Aqsa mosque and Jerusalem “settlements.” The parliament also called for drafting legislation to scrap the peace treaty with Israel.

Several hours later, Israel released the Mufti, which probably was not related to the Jordanian parliament’s move. The government knows full well that the Arab world will not sit passive with the Jerusalem Mufti being taken from his home for interrogation.

The U.S. State Department was asked by reporters to comment on the fuss, and assistant spokesman Patrick Ventrell told them, “We urge all sides to respect the status quo of this holy site and to exercise restraint and refrain from provocative actions.

As usual, the State Dept. does not what it is talking about.

Status quo? From when? From 1967?

The Israeli government passed the Protection of Holy Places Law on June 27, 1967.

It states:

“The Holy Places shall be protected from desecration and any other violation and from anything likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the different religions to the places sacred to them or their feelings with regard to those places.”

The wise State Dept. does not also know much about the Mufti, Muhammad Ahmad Hussein.

In 2006, he stated that suicide bombings of Israelis were “legitimate, of course, as long as it plays a role in the resistance.”

On the other hand, one could say he simply was maintaining the status quo, which the Oslo Accords and the peace treaty with Jordan changed.

Jordan controlled the Temple Mount until the Six-Day War in 1967. Before then, Amman did not let Jews visit holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It also prohibited Christians from most churches and holy sites in the Old City, Judea and Samaria, except for few and far between visiting foreign dignitaries.

After Jerusalem was restored to Israel in 1967, the Israeli government didn’t want to have much to do with the Temple Mount for many reasons, not the least of which was the concern of a religious war with Muslims as well as the complicated and complex issue in Jewish law of whether it is even permitted for a Jew to ascend to the site of the destroyed First and Second Temples.

The government left authority for the Temple Mount site in the hands of the Muslim Waqf site, with the stipulation that Israeli police could patrol the site and enter the mosque area, if necessary.

The “status quo” ended in 1969, when an Australian evangelical Christian tried to burn down the mosque to hasten the Second Coming, if not World War III.

Muslims began to renovate buildings on the Temple Mount and tried to minimize the presence of Israel soldiers. A plot by a Jewish underground movement to blow up he Al Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock to awaken Jews to a spiritual revival, or alternatively, bring on World War III.

After the First Intifada broke out, Muslims protested at the holy site over a rumor that Jews were about lay the cornerstone of the Third Temple. Israeli police killed 22 Arabs in an effort to quell it Ever since, the Palestinian Authority has increasingly taken control of the Temple Mount, and the Muslim Waqf has tried to destroy any historical evidence that the Holy Temples ever existed.

Before Jordan signed the peace treaty, it insisted on a clause gave Amman a preferred status in future Israel-Arab talks over the Temple Mount.

The Palestinian Authority last week put a crowning touch on its effort to seal the fate of the Temple Mount and keep Jews out forever.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas  cashed in the chips several weeks ago.

He and Jordan’s King Abdullah signed an agreement with the “common goal to defend” Jerusalem and prevent Israeli from trying to make United Jerusalem Jewish.

The PA considers the agreement a stepping stone to taking over the Temple Mount and establishing Jerusalem as the capital of its desired independent country.

Palestinian Authority Religious Affairs Minister Mahmoud al-Habash said the agreement confirmed Jordan’s role as protector of the city’s holy sites and “Palestinian sovereignty over all of Palestine, including its capital East Jerusalem,” according to Ma’an.

Abbas agreed that the Jordanian king is custodian of holy site in Jerusalem because he knows Jordan can exercise more diplomatic muscle than he can when it comes to “the historical principles agreed by Jordan and Palestine to exert joint efforts to protect the city and holy sites from Israeli judaization attempts.”

The entire hullabaloo over the arrest and release of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Jordanian parliament’s echoing the Egyptian threat to tear up the peace treaty with Israel brought shivers to President Shimon Peres.

Nothing is more important to President Peres than the word “peace,” and he staged in his Jerusalem Unification Day speech Wednesday, “Jerusalem is dear to us. The peace with Jordan is dear to us…. The peace that was achieved between us is peace for all Jewish, Muslim and Christian worshipers, as one.

“The whole world knows that when we heard the voice of peace coming from Egypt and Jordan, we did not reject them. We did not hesitate and we held out our hand for peace.”

He added that Israel defends the rights of all faiths to pray at their sites. Peres was proud that in Jerusalem, one can hear the sounds of church bells, the prayer calls of the Arab muezzin and the prayers of Jews at the Western Wall.

One can also hear the sound of chairs thrown by the Jerusalem Mufti at Jews on the Temple Mount.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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17 Responses to “Jordan Moves to Scrap Peace Treaty over Arrest of Jerusalem Mufti”

  1. If the King is dumb enough to listen then there will be a real two state solution. Israel and whatever we don't want of Jordan and their fascist citizens.

  2. Tim Upham says:

    Is this a whole new generation, which has forgotten the past wars with Israel? Or do not want to remember how King Hussein used to frequently hear Israeli warplanes roar over his palace. So King Hussein is dead, and let us forget it all. If so a whole new generation of Jordanians will be facing a very grim future.

  3. Take over the Temple Mount. All religions have the right to be there; why not Jews. It is the Muslims who always try to dictate their stupid behavior. Jerusalem is the jewish City, not the Muslims… Whay these barbarians always have to open their disgusting mouth? Israel won the 1967 war, not Jordan. Besides, King Abdullah should be reminded that it is Israel who would probably save his butt if the Arab Spring moves on to Jordan….. What a fool.

  4. reading the comments, i, m appalled I ever made donations to israel,

  5. Why did Israel give up rights to the temple mount in the first place? They got Jerusalem back in the 1967 war and they give everything back, I don't understand.

  6. It's time to scrap Jordan.

  7. Cody Flecker says:

    It is time to kick out the Muslims from the Temple Mount. That includes the Waqf and all of the other rag heads. Their presence there is a stain on Judaism and on Israel. Jews are not allowed in Mecca, so now we can make the Temple Mount off limits to all Muslims. If they do not like it, then open up Mecca to all Jews and Christians,

  8. Boni Hugo says:

    Why?

  9. Steve Loeb says:

    Yeah why? Because Jews have the audacity to ant to pray at their holiest site? Because Jews defend themselves? Because Jews are angered by the racist fascist rants of Muslims that the so called liberal West chooses to ignore?

  10. I give respect to our israel Nassee but some time Peres sould keep his mouth shut he remind me of Biden and his 2 CENT MIND.

  11. one cent and 2 cents may be he is one cent.

  12. Thank you Tzvi for your great article.

  13. Anonymous says:

    let us see.
    Jerusalem is in the state of Israel Arabs do not have any rights to dictate to the state of Israel what to do and if they do not like it TOO BAD.
    you brake the law you pay even if you are the president.
    if Israel will not pump water to Jordan and Jordan want to cancel the peace with Israel they are welcome to it they can not do it and survive as they are a poor country and can not start rearmig.

  14. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    Have to laugh! Anyone looking at LP's facebook page would be hard pressed to denote a difference between your page and mein kampf. "Donations to Israel?" Supplying bomb vests to jihadist homicide bombers is your version of a donation

  15. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    Someone should remind abdullah that there were several attempts to murder his father and mother. Failed because of the Mossad. We should take the hint and let them succeed.

  16. Charles Shaw says:

    With all the religious significance of the temple Mount to both Jews and Muslims I would close the temple mount to both religions until they learned to get along. That means the temple mount would never be open to the public again.

  17. Charles Shaw says:

    With all the religious significance of the temple Mount to both Jews and Muslims I would close the temple mount to both religions until they learned to get along. That means the temple mount would never be open to the public again.

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