The U.S. Ignores Jordan’s Role in Encouraging Palestinian Violence

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.

Read more at New York Sun

More about: Israeli Christians, Jerusalem, Jordan, Temple Mount

Hamas Wants a Renewed Ceasefire, but Doesn’t Understand Israel’s Changed Attitude

Yohanan Tzoreff, writing yesterday, believes that Hamas still wishes to return to the truce that it ended Friday morning with renewed rocket attacks on Israel, but hopes it can do so on better terms—raising the price, so to speak, of each hostage released. Examining recent statements from the terrorist group’s leaders, he tries to make sense of what it is thinking:

These [Hamas] senior officials do not reflect any awareness of the changed attitude in Israel toward Hamas following the October 7 massacre carried out by the organization in the western Negev communities. They continue to estimate that as before, Israel will be willing to pay high prices for its people and that time is working in their favor. In their opinion, Israel’s interest in the release of its people, the pressure of the hostages’ families, and the public’s broad support for these families will ultimately be decisive in favor of a deal that will meet the new conditions set by Hamas.

In other words, the culture of summud (steadfastness), still guides Hamas. Its [rhetoric] does not show at all that it has internalized or recognized the change in the attitude of the Israeli public toward it—which makes it clear that Israel still has a lot of work to do.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security