Monday, April 01, 2013

Quotable Words on Holy Sites Endangered

...[PA President Mahmoud] Abbas followed up this Sunday during a trip to Amman, where he and King Abdullah signed an agreement to protect holy sites in Jerusalem.* Again, Al-Aqsa was depicted as a prime target of Israeli attacks. But for good measure, the two leaders also professed to become protectors of all Muslim and Christian shrines in Jerusalem. 

Not only was all this a bogus concoction since Al-Aqsa and all other religious shrines in Jerusalem remain open and under full Israeli protection. But conspicuously missing from all these supposedly threatened targets were Jewish holy sites in Israel's capital, where Temple Mount and the Western Wall are Judaism's most sacred places.

Somehow it escaped the attention of Abbas and King Abdullah that, if they really were sincere about protecting all sacred sites in Jerusalem, the only actually vulnerable shrines in Jerusalem and adjoining West Bank are Jewish ones.

The Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty does relate to this issue:


  1. Each party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance.
  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.


Do Jews have free access to the Temple Mount?

Have permanent status negotiations begun?

Does 'high priority' mean absolute priority?

Interfaith relations are to be accomplished "together".  And that includes "freedom of religious worship".


Jordan's King Abdullah II and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas signed on Sunday an agreement confirming their "common goal to defending" Jerusalem and its sacred sites against attempts to Judaise the Holy City.  A statement by the palace said the deal confirms Jordan's historic role as custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, particularly the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, and outlines coordination between the two sides.
"In this historic agreement, Abbas reiterated that the king is the custodian of holy sites in Jerusalem and that he has the right to exert all legal efforts to preserve them, especially Al-Aqsa mosque," the statement said.
"It is also emphasising the historical principles agreed by Jordan and Palestine to exert joint efforts to protect the city and holy sites from Israeli judaisation attempts."

"It also reaffirms the historic principles upon which Jordan and Palestine are in agreement as regards Jerusalem and their common goal of defending Jerusalem together, especially at such critical time, when the city is facing dramatic challenges and daily illegal changes to its authenticity and original identity."

And this:

Abbas said an agreement he signed today with His Majesty for defending and preserving Al Aqsa is a reassertion of a role that had been standing for decades.

"It is a reassertion of the longstanding bond since the reign of His Majesty the late King Hussein Ibn Talal,"he added.


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