September 20, 2022 started off much better than usual for the Middle East. A region, normally aflame with hatred seeking the end of the Jewish State, began with calmer voices.
The Palestinian Arabs published their quarterly poll of sentiment on the street. It showed a more moderate, albeit still troubling, tone regarding making peace with Israel.
Palestinian Arabs favored the political terrorist group Hamas over the more moderate Fatah in theoretical presidential elections, by 15 points, down from 22 points three months earlier. Support for a two-state solution rose to 37% from 28% in the prior quarter (60% still oppose a two-state solution). Currently, 48% support armed attacks against Israel, down from 55% in favor of returning to intifada-terrorism, just three months prior.
The pollsters believe that the rise in moderating positions stems from “greater appreciation of the [Israeli confidence building] measure in which a larger number of work permits are issued by Israel for laborers from the Gaza Strip.” It added that there was also “negative public assessment of the last armed confrontation between Islamic Jihad and Israel [in which most Arabs believe Palestinians lost and noted Hamas stayed out of the fight], the findings indicate a significant decline in support for armed attacks or a return to an armed intifada and a significant rise in support for Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.“
So far, so good.
At the United Nations in New York City, the General Assembly got underway in an annual ritual in which leaders of the world explain why their country was noble and everyone else was terrible.
Qatar, a state sponsor of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, did not slam Israel, but only called for a two-state solution. Turkey, which also has supported Hamas, took a softer tone about Israel. It obnoxiously called for a two-state solution that only could have the contours of the 1967 “borders” (they were never borders) with eastern Jerusalem as its capital, but still, a far better statement than in years past.
Unfortunately, the positive direction fell apart with the address from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. While his English was wonderful and his voice soothing, King Abdullah II disappoints every year.
As he’s done frequently, Abdullah incorrectly said several things such as UNRWA helping Palestinian “refugees” rather than compelling them to remain wards of the world. But the king went so much deeper than a bad opinion, as he waged an attack on the Jewish State regarding Jerusalem. At 9:09 of his speech, he ramped up the temperature:
“Today, the future of Jerusalem is of urgent concern. The city is holy to millions of Muslims, Christians and Jews around the world. Undermining Jerusalem’s legal and historical status quo triggers global tensions and deepens religious divides. The holy city must not be a place for hatred and division.
“As custodians of Jerusalem’s Muslim and Christian holy sites, we are committed to protecting the historical and legal status quo and to their safety and future. And as a Muslim leader, let me say clearly, that we are committed to defending the rights, the precious heritage, and the historic identity of the Christian people of our region. Nowhere is that more important than in Jerusalem.
“Today, Christianity in the holy city is under fire. The rights of churches in Jerusalem are threatened. This cannot continue. Christianity is vital to the past and present of our region and the holy land. It must remain an integral part of our future.”
This is outrageous and pathological.
At the most basic, churches in Jerusalem and all around Israel are not threatened. Israel actually helped build the Mormon church in Jerusalem. Christian pilgrims are found everywhere, as Christian tourists to Israel outnumber Jewish ones. There is not a single Muslim-majority country in the world where Christian tourists outnumber Muslim visitors.
Further, the Jordanian-Israeli Peace Treaty of 1994 specifically addressed Jerusalem in Article 9.2. It said:
“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.“
Jordan has no “custodianship” and no role to “protect” any shrine, let alone non-Muslim sites which are never mentioned. To assert a special role as savior of Christians from fabricated non-existent threats is delusion of the highest order.
The king not only suffers from a messiah complex, he is abrogating the peace treaty signed with Israel. The following sentence, Article 9.3, clearly states that the countries will work together to promote religious cooexistence:
“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.“
The Jordanian monarch is promoting the opposite, seeking a religious confrontation of Muslims and Christians against the Jews.
The Jordanian king is inciting a religious war against the Jewish state, seeking to alarm the Christian world that ‘Jerusalem is in danger’ the same way radical jihadists scream ‘al Aqsa is in danger’ to Muslims, in the hopes of killing Jews and the Jewish State. It is an alarming development and one which must be addressed swiftly, such as demanding a public recanting and apology from the king, or risk the 1994 peace treaty which he defecated upon.