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Jordan violates a Treaty. Here’s what Israel should do

By Tuvia Brodie
6/10/2014, 10:06 AM

On Tuesday, June 3, 2014—the day before a major Jewish holiday (Shavuot)--Israel police allowed some 400 Jews to ascend to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. To make certain these Jews were safe, Israel police blocked Arabs from the Mount during the Jewish visits.

This was a proper safety measure. Jews who ascend the Temple Mount are routinely threatened by Arab authorities or attacked by Arab youth. Upon Judaism’s holiest site, Jews are not safe.

Hamas—Mahmoud Abbas’ new partner—is one reason Jews are not safe on the Temple Mount: Hamas has been paying for attacks against Jews (“Hamas pays hundreds of youths to harass Jews at Temple Mount”, Times of Israel, May 29, 2014). Hamas pays up to 5,000NIS/month for young Arabs to riot and throw stones.

In Jerusalem, young Jews typically earn 2,000-3,500NIS for part-time work. 5,000NIS/month for part-time work is unheard of.

Hamas pays well—and gets a result from its investment. Jordan (which ‘administers’ the Temple Mount) uses ‘youth attacks’ against Jews to call for Jews to be removed altogether from the Mount. They use these attacks to ‘prove’ that a Jewish presence on the Mount is ‘dangerous’. They call for laws to ban Jews so there can be peace on the Temple Mount.

Jordan works with Hamas. Both want to ban Jews completely—or, short of an outright ban, they want to deny Jews free access to (and freedom of worship at) the Mount.

When these 400 Jews ascended the Mount on June 3, Jordan condemned Israel for allowing a Jewish police contingent to accompany them. It called the police protection ‘Israeli aggression against holy sanctities’ (see “Jordan Condemns Israel for Allowing Jews on Temple Mount”, Arutz Sheva, June 4, 2014).

Jordan called Israel’s behaviour a flagrant violation of international law. It called upon ‘the international community and international organizations to take action and [to] pressure “the Israeli occupation authorities” to stop these offensive violations.

Israel should respond to these attacks by condemning Jordan. Israel should do this in order to remind the world that, by attempting to deny Jews freedom of worship on the Temple Mount, Jordan violates a formally signed international Peace Treaty.

The truth is, Jordan’s campaign against free access to Jews on the Temple is itself a flagrant violation of the 1994 “Treaty of Peace Between The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan And The State of Israel”. In this Treaty, both Israel and Jordan explicitly commit to provide free access and freedom of religion to all at Israel’s ‘Holy sites’. 

Do a google-search for ‘The 1994 Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty’. Look for the site titled, kinghussein.gov. That’s the official Jordanian site that posts the entire Treaty.

Read this Jordanian version of the Treaty. Read Article Nine. It’s short:

Article 9 – ‘Places of Historical and Religious Significance and Interfaith Relations’ :

1. Each Party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance [in Israel].

2. 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.

3. 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.

With these words, Jordan commits to allow Jews free access and freedom of worship at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. But Jordan doesn’t do that. It demands the opposite—that Jews be forbidden upon the Mount. Jordan even demands that Jews upon the Temple Mount must be arrested if they bow, move their lips or sing.

With Article Nine, Jordan committed itself to promote interfaith relations and tolerance. But Jordan rejects tolerance. It aggitates instead for a Jew-free Temple Mount (“Report: Jordan vetoes Israeli request to allow Jewish prayer on Temple Mount”, Jerusalem Post, November 12, 2013) and “Jordanian MPs Demand End to Peace With Israel Over Temple Mount”, The Jewish Press, March 18, 2104).

Jordan’s verbal and diplomatic assault against Israel over Jewish visits to the Mount before a major Jewish holiday does not show a willingness to promote ‘freedom of religious worship’. It demonstrates intolerance and discrimination.

Jordan’s call for international action against Israel proves that Jordan has no interest in abiding by its Peace Treaty with Israel. Its behaviour should be repulsive to all who seek peace.

Israel should make its own call upon the international community--to condemn Jordan’s betrayal of its Peace Treaty responsibilities. Israel should be clear: if Jordan cannot be trusted to live by its Peace Treaty with Israel, Israel could never trust Abbas and Hamas—whose goals against Israel are far more violent than Jordan’s.

Israel has had numerous opportunities to speak out against Jordan’s Treaty violations. It refuses to do so.

Why?