Friday, November 07, 2014

What Custodianship?

[see update below]

Is this a correct statement (following up on this)?

Jordan’s status as custodian of the holy sites in the city is enshrined in its 1994 peace treaty with Israel and in an agreement with the Palestinian leadership.

It's contained in this story on the recall of Jordan's ambassador to Israel. 

What is the actual treaty's text?

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.

Does the word custodianship appear there?


And in that story above, we read:

MP Mahmoud Kharabsheh...a legal expert and an established lawyer, also explained that Jordan’s custodianship over Jerusalem’s holy sites has been re-emphasised in the agreement the King signed with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in March last year.

That, of course cannot override an internationlly recognized peace treaty.

Jordan may call it and want it called custodianship and there have been articles and books on it, but the term first appeared in a Christian sense in the 14th century in connection with the Franciscans and Mount Zion.  By the way, when the Ottoman Turks established themselves in Jerusalem in the early 16th century, the evicted the Franciscan friars' from the compound there and

the Cenacle was transformed into a mosque. Christians were not allowed to use the room for prayer until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
As this book makes clear, Jordan's "historic" characterization is quite recent:

So, can we return to proportion?


From this book:



...King Abdullah II received a telephone call from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who confirmed Israel’s commitment to defuse tension and restore calm in Jerusalem, especially at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surroundings.

Netanyahu also reiterated respect for the Hashemite custodianship of the holy sites in Jerusalem, and the historical role of Jordan as stipulated in the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty. He also expressed the Israeli government’s commitment not to change the status quo at the Haram Al Sharif compound and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The King stressed Jordan's complete rejection of any measures that would tamper with the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, endanger the mosque or change the status quo.


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