Sunday, November 08, 2015

Can Jordan Be Trusted?

I have blogged recently about the volte face of Jordan regarding the issues of surveillance cameras on the Temple Mount as agreed in the presence of US Secretary of State John Kerry.

“To be clear with you, there will be no surveillance cameras inside the mosque, but the issue requires — according to experts — a period extending to six weeks. It is better to have the surveillance system operating in full to cover the entire area,” he elaborated

Well, can Jordan be trusted to fulfill agreements?

Let's recall some history, found here:

When the war ended [in 1949], and negotiations began, the Israeli representatives emphasized regaining access to Jewish Jerusalem. Article VIII of the Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement, signed on 3 April 1949, called for the establishment of a Special Committee, "composed of two representatives of each Party for the purpose of formulating agreed plans " including "free access to the Holy Places and cultural institutions and use of the cemetery on the Mount of Olives". As a result, Israeli press reports noted that "There is a good chance that roads to the Holy Places will be opened so that Jews may be able to go to the Wailing Wall this Passover. The problem of access to the Holy Places has been left to the local military authorities to arrange, and there seems to be enough goodwill on both sides to make this possible."

This did not take place, and these clauses of the Armistice Agreement were never honored. Promises continued to be made, and Glubb Pasha (the British commander of the Arab Legion (check for exact title) pledged that "Jerusalem's Arab and Jewish populations would be two separate cities 'with free trade and exchange between each other.' The Arabs would be perfectly willing to allow the Jews to have access to their shrines, notably the Wailing Wall, now inside the Arab-held Old City." Although there were numerous discussions of this issue, and Israeli complaints, the Jordanians refused to honor the agreement, and the UN did not pass any resolutions against this treatment of Jewish religious institutions.

In 1954, the head of the British delegation to the World Congress asked General Vagn Bennike, U.N. Chief of Staff, to convey a request to permit a small group composed primarily of American and British citizens "to cross into the Old City to offer prayers at the Western (Wailing) Wall". Similar requests were addressed to American officials. In response to one such request, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Byroade cited the "unfortunate tension" between Israel and Jordan, a "practical arrangement can not be worked out"...The Vatican also ignored requests to intervene in order to allow Jews to visit their religious sites.

In presentations before UN bodies, Abba Eban pointed out that although the Christian and Moslem Holy Places were freely accessible to Moslem and Christian worshippers, "the Wailing Wall, the most hallowed sanctuary of Judaism and the most ancient shrine in the entire city, is barred to all access by worshippers despite solemn agreements and undertakings."...

Every year, on Tisha b'Av, the High Holidays, and during the three pilgrimage holidays, the Israeli press, as well as political and religious leaders, recalled the fact that Article 8 of the Armistice Agreement was systematically violated, and urged the Israeli government "to show more activity in this matter". Periodically, public groups renewed the appeal to the UN, the U.S., and the "great powers" to intervene and force Jordan to honor the commitments of Article 8, and end its refusal to allow religious Jews access to the Wailing Wall, "the most holy relic recognized by the Jewish religion."

And there is this, at the bottom of the page, how the Jordanians tried to manipulate the 1949 Armistice Agreements, which they violated as regards the Western Wall, into being a basis for the Temple Mount

Forget cameras and hold Jordan to its obligations as per the 1994 Jordan-Israel Peace treaty:

...freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance...working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace.


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