A letter to King Abdullah II of Jordan
Dear King Abdullah,
The Arab media reports that you will not speak with Mr. Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel.
According to reports, the Hashemite monarchy, which you represent, is furious with the government of Israel over recent statements accusing Amman of playing a destabilizing role on Temple Mount. Are you furious about the truth?
Who else can the government of Israel blame for the despicable behavior of Moslem “worshippers” on Temple Mount? After all, it is the Jordanian Waqf institute that holds the keys to this hallowed place and mismanages it so well.
For a long time I was dreaming that you and I could sit and talk about what is happening on Temple Mount, which the Moslem world has hijacked and is using as their strongest political pawn and an ace card against Israel. Since we cannot meet, as I wish, I am writing this letter to you with the hope it reaches your desk and you take a moment to go over it.
So here we go.
For your edification, Temple Mount, known in the Bible language, Hebrew, by the name Har Ha’Bayit, meaning the House of God’s Mount, or as Har Ha’Moriya, is the place where the Israelites built their first and second Holy Temples and to where, for centuries, the Israelites ascended to worship their God.
Jewish historical tradition often identifies Temple Mount with two biblical mountains: Mount Moriah, where the story of Abraham binding his son Isaac took place, and Mount Zion where the original Jebusite fortress stood before King David conquered it.
While in their unfortunate exile for 2,000 years, Jews, in their prayers, always faced Jerusalem. More so, many of their prayers ended and still end with the wishful sentence: “Next Year in Jerusalem.”
In 637AD, Arabs besieged and captured the city of Jerusalem from the Byzantine Empire. According to tradition’s stories, the Christian patriarch Sophronius led Rashidun Caliph Umar to the Mount. Ka’b al-Ahbar, a converted Jew, help Umar find the sacred Rock and advised him to build a mosque to the north of the rock, so that worshippers would face both the rock and Mecca. But instead Umar chose to build it to the south of the rock. First testimonial of the mosque was reported by eyewitness pilgrim Arculf who visited it about 670AD and saw a rectangular wooden house of prayer built over some ruins, large enough to hold 3,000 people.
In 691AD, for a myriad of political, dynastic and religious reasons, the Caliph Abd al-Malik built around the rock an octagonal Islamic building topped by a dome. The shrine became known as the Dome of the Rock while the dome itself was covered in gold in 1920.
In 715AD the Umayyads, led by the Caliph al-Walid I, transformed the adjacent shops area into a mosque, which they named al-Masjid al-Aqsa, the al-Aqsa Mosque or in translation “the furthest mosque,” corresponding to the Islamic belief of Muhammad’s miraculous nocturnal journey as recounted in the Quran and hadith. The term al-Haram al-Sharif, meaning the Noble Sanctuary, as it was called later by the Mamluks and Ottomans, refers to the whole area that surrounds that Rock.
The Moslems claim that the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque makes Jerusalem their third-holiest city, after Mecca and Medina.
For Jews, Temple Mount is the holiest site on earth, the heart of Judaism. Judaism regards Temple Mount the place where God’s divine presence is manifested more than any other place on earth.
Since May 14, 1948 (5 Iyar 5708) when Israel was declared a sovereign state, your country, Jordan, was a violent and aggressive enemy of the Jewish State. In 1949 in order to end the War of Independence, Israel lost its hold of the old city of Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, which your father named “West Bank.” For 19 years the Hashemite monarchy illegally occupied this area, which it disrespected, mismanaged and misadministered. The Hashemite monarchy made sure not one Jew could live there. You destroyed all the ancient synagogues and desecrated the Jewish cemeteries and you never apologized for your appalling behavior. The Hashemite monarchy made sure to do all it could to eliminate from and humiliate Jerusalem’s Jewish heritage and history.
Then came the 1967 war and things did not go well for you, Hashemites. You were told not to enter the war and you did.
Consequently, the Israeli-Jews retrieved what belonged to them anyhow, what was theirs: Judea, Samaria, and the old part of Jerusalem, where you banned Jews from visiting for nineteen years. All you did was to prolong our return to all of Zion. But that is over now. Now the land is back to its original owners who received it from God, and who never sold the deed to it.
After the Six Day War ended, Israel’s Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan, the fool who had no legal right to do what he did, made pathetic and unfathomable arrangements with your father, King Hussein bin Talal, and gave the caretaker of Temple Mount job to the Waqf, the Islamic trust now controlling and managing the current Islamic edifices around and including the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
And what did the Waqf do with this holy responsibility on their hands?
They turned Temple Mount into a political battle field, masquerading as Islamic worshipping rights ground. They managed to convince Israel that if it makes one step to change the status on the Mount the entire Moslem world will start a worldwide religious war.
Not so fast, though the Moslem world has already declared war against Western Civilization!
As you should know, Israel is a democracy. That means, freedom of religion is practiced there and that includes all of Jerusalem.
Islamic belief is diametrically opposite to freedom of religion. It is an oppressive religion. It uses force to impose itself on others and it lies in order to do so. It is not a gentle, loving caring religion, rather autocratic. But Moslems are fearful of the truth. Therefore, they will never admit their wrongs and thus they continue on their wicked path.
So let us go over what belongs, or does not belong, to the Jews and Moslems on Temple Mount.
You claim that Temple Mount belong to the Moslems only. How come? Two Jewish temples stood on that mount decades before Islam forced itself on the Middle East. Jerusalem was King David’s City approximately 3,000 years ago, in the BC Era. The advent of Islam was in 632 AD, in the 7th century, 1,400 years ago; you do the math; who came first? Who has first right to the Mount?
Conclusion: Jews, not Moslems, have historical and religious rights to the Mount.
Then there was the 1917 Lord Balfour Declaration, the post WW I 1920 San Remo Conference, both gave the entire land, east and west of the Jordan River to the Jews as their homeland.
Somehow you got lucky. Britain chopped 79% of that Promised Land to the Jews, promised by God and World Powers, and gave it to the Hashemite dynasty. It was named Trans-Jordan for a while. You were brought from the Arabian Peninsula but in reality you really did not have a foot or right to this land, remember?
On the 26th of October 1994 your father signed a peace agreement with Israel. Peace means harmony, but you do not know how to live in harmony. Therefore, you are constantly threatening Israel with breaking the agreement and you also try adding conditions to this treaty. Instead of developing a genuine peace you make sure to let Israel know it is a fragile peace and the warning is always waved in front of them. Remember 1967. It was not a miracle, it can be repeated.
So, King Abdullah, you refuse to speak with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu over tensions at the Temple Mount, tensions you deliberately and constantly create!
Now that we have established that Moslems have no first right to Temple Mount, you need to understand that Temple Mount’s gates must be wide open to Jews just as they are wide open to Moslems. Jews must be allowed to freely, I mean freely, practice their religion there without any disturbance. Otherwise, here are your final three options:
Simply give the keys to the Jewish Holy site back to Israel and she will manage the site to the utmost satisfaction of Jews and Moslems alike, or,
You allow Jews to freely practice their faith on Temple Mount without any intimidation, harassment, terror and limitation of prayer, or,
Israel will make new keys and without your consent become the caretaker, as is should have been since 1967. I guarantee you in this writing, order and peace will prevail on the site. Moslems and Jews will come there to practice their faith, not to face each other with animosity. The hooligans, the terrorists and the Pallywood actors will not be seen there again. Israel’s management and supervision of Temple Mount will be one other learning curve for you to genuine peaceful coexistence.