The Jordanians are ready “for a conflict” with Israel? What can Abdullah be thinking? The story is here: “Jordan warns Israel against crossing Jerusalem ‘red lines,’” Israel Hayom, December 29, 2022:
Jordanian King Abdullah II on Wednesday said he was ready for a conflict should Israel’s incoming government violate “red lines” by changing the status quo governing relations at Jerusalem’s holy sites.
If challenged by Amman, the IDF would roll over Jordanian forces in a few days, as It did the last time Jordan and Israel went to war, in June 1967.
“If people want to get into a conflict with us, we’re quite prepared,” Abdullah said in an interview with CNN. “I always like to believe that let’s look at the glass half full, but we have certain red lines… And if people want to push those red lines, then we will deal with that,” he added.
It is difficult to imagine King Abdullah starting to let loose artillery barrages on Israel, or ordering his tanks eastward across the Jordan, as a response to Israel allowing Jewish prayer on the Mount. What he has in mind must surely be a nonviolent response, beginning with Jordan severing diplomatic ties with Israel. In answer to such a move, Israel can simply halt its delivery of water — which now stands at 50 million cubic meters annually — to Jordan. It could also end its recent deal to buy solar energy from Jordan, and instead rely on more natural gas from the Tamar, Leviathan, and — newly online — Karish oil fields in the eastern Mediterranean
Jordan has since 1967 been the custodian of holy sites in the Israeli capital’s Old City, including the Al Aqsa Mosque that sits atop the Temple Mount, Judaism’s most sacred place.
Since the Six-Day War, Jordan has been allowed by Israel to direct the Islamic Waqf as the sole custodian of the Islamic holy places in Jerusalem’s Old City including, most importantly, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. The only threat to exclusive Jordanian control of the Waqf is posed not by Israel, but by Saudi Arabia, which has indicated it would like to share control of the Waqf trust with Jordan. King Abdullah won’t hear of it, but it is possible that others in Jordan, should they become the beneficiaries of Riyadh’s largesse, will promote the Saudi candidacy.
While Muslims are allowed to freely visit and worship at the mosque, Jews are severely restricted from accessing the site where two biblical temples stood and are banned from praying there, although the latter stringency has been relaxed in recent years.
Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount, which is the holiest site in Judaism, must at present endure two severe restrictions on their worship. First, they are only allowed to visit the Temple Mount for four hours a day – three hours in the morning, and one hour in the afternoon. And they can only visit on five days of the week. Second, and even more disturbing, Jews are prohibited from saying prayers, either openly or silently, on the Temple Mount. Nor may they bring with them prayer shawls, tefillin, or prayer books to the Mount. These restrictions on Jewish visitors were put in place by Israel’s Defense Minister, Moshe Dayan, soon after Israel took possession of East Jerusalem in the Six-Day War. He wanted to mollify the defeated Arabs, still in a state of shock at their defeat. This decision by Dayan was a colossal error: had Jews been allowed, just as soon as the Temple Mount had been captured by Israel, both to visit at any time – just as Muslims could — and to pray on the Mount, openly, just the way Muslims have been doing, the demoralized and defeated Arabs would have had no choice but to accept this new state of affairs. Jewish prayers on he Mount would by now be a long-established fact.
Abdullah also warned that the Palestinians could launch another terror war.
“We have to be concerned about a next intifada,” he said, adding: “If that happens, that’s a complete breakdown of law and order and one that neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians will benefit from. I think there is a lot of concern from all of us in the region, including those in Israel that are on our side on this issue, to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
The Palestinians can hardly attempt more acts of terrorism than they already have been doing since the explosion of terrorist attacks that began last March. What limits both the number, and the success, of those attacks, is not any decision by the terrorists to hold back, but the superb work of the IDF and the Shin Bet, with its network of agents and informants throughout the West Bank. King Abdullah’s threat that if Israel changes the status quo on the Temple Mount in any way, there will be more violence, misses the point: the Palestinians are already engaged in as much terrorist violence against Israel as they can get away with. They are not holding back.
Meanwhile, if the Netanyahu government does the right thing, and allows Jewish worshippers to pray openly on the Temple Mount, it can make it hard for others to oppose it. Let the Prime Minister declare to the world the following: “In 1967, the government of Israel made a decision, wrong at the time and intolerable now, to forbid Jews from praying, both openly and silently, on the Temple Mount. It is absurd that the State of Israel should prevent Jews from such worship. From now on the policy should be clear to all: just as Muslims have full freedom to worship on the Temple Mount – which Muslims know as the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, and is the third holiest site in Islam — so Jews, too, should have full freedom to say their prayers at what, for them, is the holiest site in Judaism. Can anyone of decency maintain that Jews should continue to be prohibited from saying those prayers?”