On Saturday, some 4,000 Christians gathered at Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher to celebrate an Eastern Orthodox pre-Easter ceremony. The next day, the Jordanian government nevertheless condemned Israel for imposing safety regulations that limited the size of crowd. That condemnation comes on the heels of rocket fire from Gaza on Friday and a wave of deadly terrorist attacks—to which Amman has responded only by rebuking the Jewish state for trying “to change the status quo on the Temple Mount.” Israel, of course, has not done anything of the sort. But given Jordan’s protestations about freedom of worship in Jerusalem, it’s worth noting that during its two-decade occupation of the Old City, the kingdom strictly forbade Jews from entering the holy places altogether.
Benny Avni comments:
In the annual rite of clashes at Jerusalem’s holy sites, the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan has emerged as top arsonist even while donning a firefighter disguise. Secretary of State Blinken and Amman’s foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, speaking by phone Monday, “discussed the importance of Israelis and Palestinians working to end the cycle of violence by refraining from actions and rhetoric that further escalate tensions,” according to a State Department statement released today.
Unmentioned in that pointedly evenhanded statement was the tension-escalating rhetoric heard in the Jordanian parliament. In a speech there Sunday, Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh “saluted” Palestinians who “proudly stand like minarets, hurling their stones in a volley of clay at the Zionist sympathizers defiling al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of the Israeli occupation government.”
Israel is one of Jordan’s major suppliers of energy, as well as its top source of water. . . . Now King Abdullah II encourages a Hamas-led Palestinian attack on Israel that is disguised as a struggle to protect Muslim holy sites. Such attacks, always based on rumors of Jewish conspiracy against the mosques, have a long history.
Mr. Blinken now turns to the king at Amman for help in lowering the flames, again ignoring Jordan’s role in stoking them.