The Jordanian Foreign Ministry on Sunday morning issued a statement saying Jordan “Condemns the ascent of the Knesset member and other extremists with the aim of setting Al Aqsa on fire with the backing of the Israel Police.”
The statement added that “we are warning of the deterioration of the situation in light of the provocative parade in occupied Jerusalem.”
Of course, what they mean by setting Al Aqsa on fire is that about 1,800 Jews visited the Temple Mount while a few dozen Arab fanatics blockaded themselves inside the mosque and pelted them with firecrackers. The flags parade will take place in liberated Jerusalem in the afternoon and promises to be as provocative as every other aspect of Jewish presence in the Land of Israel, since the successful landing of General Joshua Bin-Nun some 3,200 years ago.
Meanwhile, also on Sunday, the Jordanian government published a flagship national report urging it to continue to press for the Kingdom’s rights to shared waters “with neighboring countries” to address the country’s long-standing water shortage.
Back in 2021, Jordan’s Economic and Social Council’s State of the Country Report advised pushing forward with Red Sea desalination projects, describing this option as strategic for resolving Jordan’s water crisis.
The vague references to “neighboring countries” and “desalination projects” avoid the mention of the only regional power that can save the Hashemite kingdom from drying up. Hint: it’s the same folks who dare visit the Temple Mount and walk through Jerusalem carrying their national, blue and white flags.
In 1967, Jordanian King Hussein joined the war against Israel, following which he lost a considerable chunk of his country. In 1994, King Hussein signed a peace accord with Israel which granted his country a share in the water of the Kinneret, which until then was kept from flowing into the Jordan river by the Degania Dam.
If you’ve been following the Kinneret water level news––and who doesn’t, really––you hear at least once each year that the flow of water has been so high, that the government is considering raising the Degania dam. But each year they don’t. Because disabling the Degania dam is contingent by the peace agreement with Jordan.
In other words, all Israel has to do to turn Jordan into the desert it probably deserves to be, is raise the dam. Those Jordanian MPs who regularly yell curses at Israel better remember this. Indeed, when a right-wing government returns to power sometime soon, God willing, yours truly would be torn between making Itamar Ben Gvir Internal Security Minister or Water Minister. Wait, can he be both?
The Otzma Yehudit chairman on Sunday responded to the Hashemites’ attack on him and the rest of the Jews on the mountaintop: “In a normal country, a foreign government that attacks an MK and violates our sovereignty should be told to close down its embassy and its ambassador should be sent home.”
MK Ben Gvir added: “The Jordanians in their great impudence do not stop inciting, heating up the situation, and instigating, especially on the Temple Mount. Those Jordanians actually have demands, and they are being considered as having any status at all. It is time to explain to the Jordanian government decisively: You are not the owners of the State of Israel.”
Back in October 2021, Israeli Energy Minister Karin Elharar and Jordanian Water Minister Muhammad al-Najer met in Jordan to sign a joint water commission agreement that doubles Israel’s annual water supply to Jordan for the coming year, with an option for another two years. The agreement allows for an increase in the water supply from Israel to Jordan by about 50 million cubic meters per year. That’s 100 million cubic meters.
The two ministers also signed a “historic” memorandum of understanding agreeing that Israel would examine the possibility of exporting 200 million cubic meters of desalinated water to Jordan each year, and in return, Jordan will establish a large photovoltaic facility in its territory to produce electricity, including storage capacity, which it would export to Israel.
No one believes this will happen, considering the enormous amount of space required to operate a desalination facility. But if such a project has a chance – it could only be done by that “neighboring country” where all the provocations are happening.
Raise those dams, I say. Then sell the Jordanian bottled water. Like ben Gvir said, it’s what a normal country would have done.