For the past several months, both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Jordan have been issuing regular condemnations of visits by Jews to the Temple Mount and spreading spurious reports of Israeli preparations to “storm” the Muslim holy sites or otherwise damage them. Some Palestinian groups have been paying women to harass Jewish visitors and police officers. This incitement, writes Khaled Abu Toameh, has led to some unintended consequences:
Palestinian and Jordanian officials who recently visited the Temple Mount received a firsthand lesson in what incitement can lead to. The officials themselves have fallen victim to hecklers who shouted profanities at them and forced them to flee the holy site. The latest victim was Sheikh Ahmed Helayel, the chief Islamic judge of Jordan, who arrived at al-Aqsa Mosque last Friday at the head of a leading Jordanian government delegation. . . . Sheikh Helayel was supposed to deliver the Friday sermon, but was forced to abandon the podium after scores of worshippers protested his presence and began hurling abuse at Jordan and him. . . .
The incident has deeply embarrassed the Palestinian Authority leadership, whose representatives were quick to condemn the assault on the Jordanian officials. . . . It is worth noting that PA officials regularly encourage Muslim worshippers to intercept Jewish visitors to the holy site. But last year, Mahmoud Habbash, who . . . serves as religious-affairs adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, was forced to flee the Temple Mount after angry Palestinians attacked him with shoes, stones, and eggs. . . .
Still, officials from the PA and Jordan do not seem to have learned the lesson—that their incitement against visits by Jews will ignite a fire that will also consume them.