Sunday, May 05, 2013

PM Netanyahu: What's Up at the Temple Mount?

First, we were informed of a new agreement between the PA and Jordan awarding King Abdullah II a special custodianship for the Temple Mount (based on something from 1924).

In the past, in 2009, we had this:-

The Jordanian government on Sunday summoned Israel's envoy to Amman for rebuke over the recent tensions at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  Ambassador Jacob Rosen was called in to Jordan's Foreign Ministry...the second time in a week that Jordan has called in an Israeli diplomat regarding the Temple Mount tensions. In its rebuke, Jordan called Israeli activities in East Jerusalem "illegal and illegitimate," adding that it represented a violation of Israel's commitments to peace.

Then, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally intervenes to assure MK Moshe Feiglin cannot ascend to the Temple Mount.

In the meantime, Israel has no official comment on that agreement.  Odd, since it seems to contradict the 1994 Peace Treaty.

Furthermore, Israel agrees to UNESCO interference in Jerusalem:

Israel has agreed to allow a mission from UNESCO to visit the Old City of Jerusalem next month...Israel announced Tuesday that it also has agreed to take part in a meeting in Paris of experts from the UN’s cultural body next month focused on the Mughrabi Bridge, a wooden walkway that leads to the Temple Mount.

In turn, the Palestinians are to drop, for now, a debate on five resolutions condemning Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

This is the same UNESCO that

... has accepted the Palestinian Authority as a state, claims Rachel’s Tomb and the Tomb of the Patriarchs [Me'arat Hamachpela, the Patriarch's Cave] are not exclusively Jewish sites and also belong to Christians and Muslims.

which caused Netanyahu to slam: culture organization UNESCO's decision to characterize the site of Rachel's Tomb as a Muslim mosque.  "The attempt to separate the nation of Israel from its cultural heritage is absurd," said the prime minister.

At this point, I seem to agree with her:-

What is going on here?  What is developing behind-the-scenes?  What secret diplomatic activity is happening?

Will there be a new "holy basin" plan?

Let's recall Netanyahu in January 2009:

Netanyahu: Obama Will Try to Internationalize Jerusalem Sites

Likud chairman MK Binyamin Netanyahu warns incoming US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will try to internationalize holy sites in Jerusalem.

Likud party chairman and Knesset Opposition leader MK Binyamin Netanyahu warned at the Jerusalem Conference Wednesday that the Obama administration and leftist Israeli politicians will try to internationalize holy sites in Jerusalem -- and he vowed to fight the move.

Netanyahu told the audience, “Some politicians are trying to blur the importance of the Temple Mount to the Jewish People by referring to it as the ‘Holy Basin.’ We, as Jews, know who built the Temple Mount.”

The term “Holy Basin” refers to the area of the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives, Mount Zion and a variety of Christian holy sites which the administration of former U.S. President Bill Clinton recommended be administered under a “special regime.”

This raises the issue of who would administer the Temple Mount, since at present the Wakf Islamic Authority controls the site, albeit under Israeli sovereignty. Moreover, the Arab neighborhoods surrounding the Temple Mount, home to tens of thousands of Israeli Arab residents, are also a part of greater Jerusalem, and thereby fall into the same discussion.

So, who now is being, perhaps, lax in the guardianship of united Jerusalem and the Temple Mount?



Orly pointed me to the Peel Commission of 1937:

2. The Holy Places

The Partition of Palestine is subject to the overriding necessity of keeping the sanctity of Jerusalem and Bethlehem inviolate and of ensuring free and safe access to them for all the world. That, in the fullest sense of the mandatory phrase, is "a sacred trust of civilization"--a trust on behalf not merely of the peoples of Palestine but of multitudes in other lands to whom those places, one or both, are Holy Places.

A new Mandate, therefore, should be framed with the execution of this trust as its primary purpose. An enclave should be demarcated extending from a point north of Jerusalem to a point south of Bethlehem...

The protection of the Holy Places is a permanent trust, unique in its character and purpose, and not contemplated by Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of is not intended that in course of time they should stand by themselves as a wholly self-governing community.

Guarantees as to the rights of the Holy Places and free access thereto (as provided in Article 13 of the existing Mandate), as to transit across the mandated area, and as to non-discrimination in fiscal, economic and other matters should be maintained in accordance with the principles of the Mandate System. But the policy of the Balfour Declaration would not apply; and no question would arise of balancing Arab against Jewish claims or vice versa. All the inhabitants of the territory would stand on an equal footing...The Mandatory should similarly be charged with the protection of religious endowments and of such buildings, monuments and places in the Arab and Jewish States as are sacred to the Jews and the Arabs respectively.

And I found this:

The [International] Court [of Justice] said [in 2004] that specific guarantees regarding freedom of movement and access to the Holy Sites contained in the Treaty of Berlin (1878) had been preserved under the terms of the Palestine Mandate and a chapter of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine.

And that applies to Jews as well as Arabs.


From the Prime Minister's words today at a ceremony naming a Jerusalem intersection after his father:

"I miss him very, very much. He taught me that our state is a deposit for the generations of Jews who dreamt and prayed and fought and sacrificed so that we might return to our land and renew in it our independence. He taught me about the enormous responsibility that we have to ensure the security of the State of Israel and build up its future. This heritage needs to unite us all every day and so it does."


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