Agreement Between Jordan, Palestinian Authority Officially Recognizes Jordan’s Custodianship Over Jerusalem’s Holy Places

June 25, 2013

(HT: Memri / Other)

Introduction: On March 31, 2013, an agreement that came as a surprise was signed between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Jordan, which solidified Jordan’s custodianship of the Islamic holy places in Jerusalem. The daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported that the agreement had been signed in total secrecy in the presence of Jordan’s King ‘Abdallah II, PA President Mahmoud Abbas, and the PA and Jordanian ministers of religious endowments.

The agreement states that “His Majesty King ‘Abdallah II, as the custodian of the Jerusalem holy sites, will exert all possible efforts to preserve [these] sites, especially Al-Haram Al-Sharif [The Al-Aqsa Mosque]… and to represent their interests.” The agreement states further that King ‘Abdallah is responsible for ensuring respect for the holy places, guaranteeing the Muslims’ freedom of movement to and from the sites, ensuring their maintenance and representing their interests in the international arena.

In practice, the Hashemite dynasty in Jordan has had stewardship over the holy places in Jerusalem since 1924. Even after the Six-Day War and Israel’s conquest of East Jerusalem, Jordan continued to play a religious role in Jerusalem’s holy places via the East Jerusalem Waqf, which it manages.

In 1988 Jordan did disengage itself from the West Bank by “severing its legal and administrative ties” with it, but this disengagement never applied to the holy places in Jerusalem. In 1994 this custodianship was reinforced via a Jordanian declaration that emphasized the kingdom’s historic role in Jerusalem’s holy places, as well as by the peace agreement between Israel and Jordan where Israel recognizes Jordan’s special status in Jerusalem.

In June 2013, Hamas Prime Minister Isma’il Haniya disclosed that Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi plans to hold an international conference in Cairo on the issue of Jerusalem. He added that the issue of Jerusalem was prominent in talks that took place this month in Cairo between Mursi and Hamas representatives, and also in talks between the heads of Hamas and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan.

The liberal website elaph.com assessed that Mursi has decided to convene the conference in response to the PA-Jordan agreement and with the aim of circumventing it, and that this move could negatively affect Egypt-Jordan relations.

The agreement, then, does not alter the decades-long status quo, under which the Jordanian Waqf manages the affairs of Jerusalem’s Islamic holy places in coordination with Israel. Nevertheless, the agreement reinforces Jordan’s status in the holy places in a manner that may restrict Israel’s freedom of action in Jerusalem.

As the agreement does not constitute a tangible change to the status quo, what then were the motivations for its signing? This report will review these motivations as presented by Palestinian and Jordanian senior officials, commentators and journalists, and they include the desire to step up Jordanian-Palestinian coordination in order to “save” Jerusalem from “The city’s Judaization and settlement construction within it”; bypass various parties such as Qatar, Hamas and the Islamic Movement in Israel, who are attempting to usurp Jordan and the PA’s role vis-à-vis the holy sites; prepare the ground for a PA-Jordan confederation, and the US intention to reinforce Jordan’s role in future negotiations between Israel and the PA.Read the full report here.


The Netanyahu – Abdullah lovefest

March 19, 2013

…for a second there I thought Abdullah II was finished. Good thing he started the bullshit in the last few paragraphs. Being an agent of Israel does not go well on his resume. Time will tell, but if the Hashemites are as close to Israel as Goldberg is claiming then we can expect the King to see his end like Mubarak.

(Carl) So much for all those Leftists who believe that King Abdullah hates Binyamin Netanyahu and would gladly see Israel replaced by a ‘Palestinian state.’ The King is much smarter than all that, reports Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).

Israel, in some ways, is Jordan’s most important ally. As the guarantor of quiet on Israel’s eastern front, and as the defender of the peace treaty that King Hussein forged with Yitzhak Rabin in 1994, Abdullah’s Jordan is essential to the Israelis. Jordan and Israel are also working together to prevent the chaos of Syria from spilling into their countries. The king would not talk about joint Jordanian-Israeli operations, but several sources in Amman and Tel Aviv told me that Israeli drones are monitoring the Jordan-Syria border on Jordan’s behalf, and that military and intelligence officials from the two countries are in constant contact, planning for post–Bashar al‑Assad chaos.

Even as Abdullah envisions ceding more of his power, he draws one red line: “I don’t want a government to come in and say, ‘We repudiate the peace treaty with Israel.’ ” He is cautious when speaking about the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom he is reportedly in regular communication. He would say only that his relationship with Netanyahu is “very strong. Our discussions have really improved.”

Abdullah says he is pessimistic about Israel’s future.

Though he acknowledges the role Netanyahu plays in maintaining Jordanian stability, he is not optimistic about Israel’s future. King Abdullah is known as an advocate of two states for two peoples—Israel secure in its pre-1967 borders, Palestine to be established in Gaza and the West Bank—but when I asked him in January how much time he thought was left to implement this idea, his answer surprised me. “It could be too late already for the two-state solution,” he said. “I don’t know. Part of me is worried that is already past us.”

If it were too late, what would that mean?

He responded with a single word: “Isratine.” That’s a neologism popularized by the late Muammar Qaddafi to describe his vision of a joint Arab-Jewish state. If Israel doesn’t agree to a Palestinian state quickly, Abdullah said, “apartheid or democracy” will be its choice. “The practical question is, can Israel exert permanent control over Palestinians who are disenfranchised ad infinitum, or does it eventually become a South Africa, which couldn’t survive as a pariah state?”

There are some Israelis, I said, who value Israel more as a Jewish state than as a democratic state. “The only way you’re going to have a Jewish part is if you have a two-state solution. That’s the Jewish part,” he said.

Abdullah is smart enough to understand that Israel’s continued existence is the only thing that ensures that his country will not be overrun by its ‘Palestinians.’ Given that is the case, one has to wonder why Abdullah does not do more to bring about the conditions for a ‘settlement.’ For example, he could make the ‘Palestinian refugees’ in Jordan citizens of his country rather than holding them for a ‘right of return’ that he knows will never happen.
I have the impression from reading Goldberg’s piece that perhaps Abdullah would like to do just that but is prevented from doing so by the Bedouin tribes on whom he is dependent to maintain his power. In any event, a ‘two-state solution’ and the ‘right of return’ which would demographically extinguish Israel don’t go together. Abdullah is smart enough to understand that. 
I wonder whether he’s discussed this with Netanyahu, or perhaps their discussions have been limited to other areas of mutual interest like Syria and Iran.


Jordanian King #Abdullah: PM #Erdogan views democracy as ‘bus ride,’ | #Atatürk #Jordan #Turkey #Islam #Morsi

March 19, 2013


Jordanian King Abdullah: PM Erdogan views democracy as ‘bus ride,’. (HD)(Other) Jordanian King Abdullah II has criticized Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, saying the prime minister views democracy as a “bus ride.”
Erdoğan is merely promoting a softer version of Islamism, the king told the Atlantic magazine in an interview. “Erdoğan once said that democracy, for him, is a bus ride,” King Abdullah said. “‘Once I get to my stop, I’m getting off,’ [Erdoğan said].” King Abdullah paid a two-day official visit to Turkey earlier this month, where he shed tears as he visited Anıtkabir, the mausoleum dedicated to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of modern Turkey.
The King sees Erdoğan as a more restrained and savvier version of Mohamed Morsi, according to the interview. “Instead of the Turkish model, taking six or seven years, [instead of] being an Erdoğan, Morsi wanted to do it overnight,” the King said.
“There is no depth there,” Abdullah reportedly told the Atlantic of he and Morsi’s discussion on Hamas. “I was trying to explain to him how to deal with Hamas, how to get the peace process moving, and he was like, ‘The Israelis will not move.’ I said, ‘Listen, whether the Israelis move or don’t move, it’s how we get Fatah and Hamas ‘together.’” When Morsi remained fixated on the Israelis, the King said, he tried to reiterate the importance of sorting out “the mess” on the Palestinian side.
“There’s no depth to the guy,” he repeated of Morsi. Hmmmm……The Islam ‘Light’ will just as well get to the same result, Morsi and Erdogan are not that different.Read the full story here.

King Abdullah doing Obama’s dirty work, but both of them are king over an elite aristocracy.


Obama Promises Terrorists That He Will Stop Israeli House Construction

December 8, 2012

There’s still no promise from Obama to Egyptians that his good buddy Morsi will call off his rape and torture squads. No promise to Israelis that the Palestinian Authority will end its terrorism. But Obama has promised its kingpin that he will stop the Jewish State from building any more of those lethally lethal Jewish houses.
Jordanian King Abdullah II conveyed U.S. assurances to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that Washington will not allow a new Israeli settlement plan to pass, a Palestinian official said Thursday.
The United States will put pressure on Israel to cancel a recent building plan, in exchange for not starting the Palestinian efforts to join UN agencies, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

King Abdullah II, the first head of state to visit the Palestinian territories after the UN vote, told Abbas that U.S. President Barak Obama’s administration will not impose sanctions on the Palestinian National Authority.

So Obama will blackmail Israel with a Palestinian state in the name of a Palestinian state. That’s a plan so stupid that it’s bound to work.
The Palestinian Authority’s terror squads fired 516 rockets into Israel. It is participating in Hamas’ 25th Anniversary celebrations. It made a major unilateral move at the United Nations. And not only won’t Obama stop giving money to terrorists, but he intends to help these terrorists pressure Israel not to build homes for Jews. No similar pressure is of course being imposed on the Palestinian Authority.
So tell me how Obama is pro-Israel again. And skip the Iron Dome funding. The Iron Dome is the main reason why Israel didn’t go into Gaza and dismantle Hamas. It’s pain management technology that helps make increased levels of terrorism viable without an increased Israeli response.


Jordan and the ‘Arab spring’

April 25, 2012
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Missing Peace (h/tDoc)report about the situation in Jordan since the beginning of the uprisings in the Arab world Jerusalem, April 25, 2012 Jordan’s ‘Arab Spring’ protests started as a peaceful small-scale demo against corruption in the town of Theeban in January 2011. Since then the protests have spread out to the outlying governorates, along with the rise of so-called popular movements. However, the unrest never reached the magnitude of the uprisings in countries such as Yemen, Egypt and Libya. As in other Arab countries, protests in Jordan were being led by the Islamist movement, which dominates the political opposition, as well as by the popular protest movement which includes numerous pro-reform organizations. Protests The Jordanians mainly protested against corruption and favoritism. Demonstrators called for investigations into regime corruption at almost all the protests. Later the protests were directed against the worsening economic situation in the country. The deterioration of the economic situation is alarming as it could lead to a full-blown revolution as happened earlier in Tunis and Egypt. Jordanian demonstrators demanded reform and change general in a peaceful way. Lately however, some protests have turned violent. Last week dozens of people were injured during clashes between Salafists and pro-government demonstrators in the city of Zarqa. Compared to the protests in other countries across the region, those in Jordan have been relatively few. This situation can be explained by a lack of organizational skills among the few political parties and an effective security system. In addition, from the outset of the protests consensus existed that political and economic reform – not regime change – were the solution. Palestinians The fact that the Palestinians, who make up almost two thirds of the population, have not joined the protests may explain why there hasn’t been a full-blown revolution in Jordan. However, the Palestinian Arabs in Jordan have good reasons to be angry at King Abdullah and his government. Although the majority of Jordan’s population is Palestinian, they have been discriminated against for decades. This is something which King Abdullah in fact admitted when back in 1999 he called upon his Jordanian (non-Palestinian) subjects to “end class divisions that have marginalized Palestinian citizens of the Hashemite Kingdom”. He also said at the time that “discrimination must end”. This discrimination includes the refusal of the Jordanian Government to let Palestinians actively take part in the governing of the country. For example, the Palestinian majority in Jordan holds only 6 seats in a 120 member Parliament, while in Israel the 20 % Arab minority holds 14 out of 120 seats in the Israeli Parliament. In addition the UN Higher Commission for Refugees confirms that Jordan’s government still treats the majority of its Palestinian citizens as refugees. Human Rights Watch reported in 2010 that King Abdullah’s government has randomly been cancelling passports of numerous Palestinians throughout Jordan, thereby destroying livelihoods and breaking up families. Recently Jordan even revoked citizenship of PLO and PA officials. At the same time a new electoral law sought to limit Palestinian representation in the Jordanian parliament even further. Instead of taking responsibility for his government’s discriminatory actions, King Abdullah has accused Israel of being an ‘apartheid’ state. He made this accusation in an interview with the Washington Post about the failed peace negotiations between Israel and the PA which were conducted in Amman. The king said that “Israel will have to choose between democracy and apartheid”. Reforms From the outset of the revolts in other Arab countries it has been clear that King Abdullah was concerned that a similar revolt could threaten his regime. Therefore he was quick to announce reforms. He has also been trying to divert the attention towards Israel by blaming the Jewish state for the shortcomings and failures of the Jordanian government, just like other Arab leaders have been doing for years. Abdullah also tries to hide his opposition to the Syrian regime because he fears Assad’s repercussions and because the Jordanian economy largely depends on Syria. The majority of Jordanian-produced goods are imported by Syria and Syria also serves as Jordan’s gateway to Lebanon, Turkey and Eastern Europe. If the trade relations between both countries were to come to an end, the already weak Jordan economy would receive a massive blow, which in turn could spark more protests and demands to topple the King and the Jordanian government. One of the reform measures which Abdullah installed included firing the government and replacing it with a new one. Similar actions were undertaken by Saudi Arabia, which uses its oil wealth to keep its citizens quiet. However, the reform measures were not enough to satisfy the protesters and they demanded more extensive changes. Their demands included serious efforts to fight the regime’s corruption, a demand for an elected prime minister (instead of a prime minister appointed by the king), abolishment of the senate (also appointed by the king) or its transformation into a body elected by the people, and a demand to pass a new elections law. In short, the protest and reform movement demand a decrease in the king’s powers and more influence and freedom of action for the parliament. Aggressive The protests continued, becoming more aggressive over time. Some protestors even publicly demanded that King Abdullah step down (there is a law in Jordan which forbids direct criticism of the Royal Family). The tone of the demonstrations changed when the protesters saw that their situation was not really changing for the good. Demonstrators started to display signs with slogans such as “there can be no reform under the current security grip” and “the people want freedom, justice and an end to corruption”. More recently various opposition members and groups have been accusing the King of being an “occupier”. They also accused Queen Rania of ruling the country instead of her husband. In response to the radicalization of the protests, the regime has taken several measures to satisfy the Islamic movement and Bedouin tribes in Jordan. This included attempts to buy them off with money and positions of power. The regime started to show flexibility on several issues which were previously considered sacred. For example, the king now said that he would be willing to curtail his own powers and that there might be talks about a constitutional monarchy. Islamists The regime also tried to pacify the Islamists by starting a dialogue. This move came after it became clear that the Islamic parties were the driving force behind the protests which are taking place in cities all over Jordan almost every Friday. In addition, the regime gave in to demands of the Islamic movement to free prisoners, including the release of 150 Salafi-Jihadist prisoners who were imprisoned for attacking security officers with swords during a rally in the city of Al-Zarqa which took place in April 2011. Furthermore, the regime also announced that it would renew its contacts with Hamas. The relations between Jordan and Hamas were suspended in 1999 because of Hamas’s terrorist activities. Hamas leader Khaled Mashal was expelled from Jordan subsequently, after which he moved to Damascus. In 2006 Jordan blacklisted the organization after an alleged weapons cache was discovered in the country. Now the regime is trying to patch up things with Hamas, in order to satisfy the Islamists in Jordan. Khaled Mashal visited Jordan at the end of January 2012, allegedly to find a new home for Hamas’s headquarters which until then had been located in Damascus. The US government however, immediately made clear that it would not tolerate the establishment of Hamas’s headquarters on Jordanian soil and warned that there would be serious repercussions if the regime did not prevent this from happening. Shortly afterwards the Jordanian regime hurried to make it clear that Mashal’s visit had no “political implications and does not signal a change in Jordan’s political agenda”. Israel In Israel pundits are worried that the Jordanian regime will not be able to hold off the Islamists in the long run. New concessions to keep the Islamists at bay will probably be necessary but could further destabilize the region. These concessions will no doubt include a review of the relations with Israel. Already at this moment it is apparent that Israeli-Jordanian relations are deteriorating. The (failed) Global March to liberate al Quds/Jerusalem (an anti-Israel manifestation that took place at the end of March) was, for instance, prepared at a conference in Amman last January. In the same month Jordanian MP’s called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador. Recently a spokesman for the Jordanian government called Israeli actions against the continuing rocket fire from Gaza ‘barbaric aggression’. In the beginning of April Jordanian state TV broadcasted an inciting sermon by imam Khaleb Rabab’a. He told worshippers that “Jordan’s army will destroy Israel and will regain Jerusalem from the killers of prophets”. The survival of the Israeli Jordanian peace treaty is to a large extent dependent upon developments in the relationship between Egypt and Israel. If the new regime in Egypt moves to change or annul the peace treaty with Israel, pressure in Jordan to do the same will follow suit.

The cracks are already showing. when the flood comes from Egypt, Jordan will follow. Now is no time for Bibi to flirt with a Contiguous state when Israel is surrounded by killers. Surrounded by killers and cut in two is stupid.


King Abdullah: ‘Israel Has an Expiration date’

November 22, 2011

(Docs Talk/By A7 Staff) King Abdullah of Jordan claims Israel has an ‘expiration date’ – unless it pursues a two-state solution.

Israel Radio reported Monday morning that King Abdullah of Jordan said “Israel has an expiration date.”
Abdullah’s comments were reportedly made to the BBC last week. During the interview Abdullah said Israel’s survival was dependent on a two-state solution. Israel does not realize it needs such a solution, he added Abdullah added his government would increase pressure on Israel to reach a final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority.
He did not, however, provide any concrete facts to buttress his oft repeated assertion of Israel’s imminent doom.
Israel remains a regional leader in the realms of economics, military, science, and technology.
Meanwhile, former defense minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer said Israel cannot afford to cut the defense budget because Israel is likely to find itself in renewed conflict with Egypt in the long-run.
Comment: Some would say that Jordan is certainly not our friend and I would concur. However he is signaling to us a particular message regarding the future of talks. Perhaps it would be useful to engage the King in public discourse-he needs us to succeed to save his entire monarchy.

that would explain why he didn’t visit Jerusalem. I have a hunch that these hard line tactics are a sign of desperation. It was reported that the PAL will not be involved in land swaps. It is also inevitable that Obama will probably lose the election unless an economic miracle happens. Given that… I have a hunch that the Arabs are scared and are reacting with harsh words because they will be forced to make concessions now. The attempt to appear strong is a bluff. The Arabs do not have the money to attack as nations… nor do they have the strength. They know this. The one thing they have is the UN… and they are playing to the UN’s emotions to pressure Israel into something through the international community. Israel’s best play is a stiff neck. There is going to be a lot of barking as these guys lose an advantage.


Jordan cozying up to Hamas

November 8, 2011
(Israel Matzav) Jordan’s King Abdullah must be feeling awfully insecure.
In 1999, Abdullah expelled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal from his country, in what was widely seen as a show of force that was meant to show the world that Abdullah, whose father had willed the thrown to him a few months earlier, would continue to suppress the Islamists and to make peace with Israel. In 2011, Abdullah is scared enough of the Islamists that he is sucking up to Meshaal and inviting him to return to Jordan.
Last week, Jordan’s new prime minister Awn Khasawneh boldly announced that Jordan’s 1999 decision to deport leaders of the Palestinian jihadist group Hamas was a political mistake and a violation of the constitution. With U.S. regional influence in decline and Jordanian stability on the line, the London-based Arabic daily al-Quds al-Arabi now reports that Abdullah’s new government is set to welcome Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal for an official visit in the near future.
The Khasawneh government has been reaching out to other Hamas leaders, too, including Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza. Some reports even indicate that Hamas would like to transfer its headquarters back to Amman, particularly since the unrest in Syria has made it harder for the group to operate there.
Khasawneh’s rapprochement with the Palestinian terrorist group is an attempt to woo the Islamic Action Front (IAF), Jordan’s arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, into a government coalition. The IAF is a powerful force in Jordan. Khasawneh understands that appeasing the Islamist group may help preserve the Hashemite Kingdom.

Another fake peace