Monday, May 16, 2022

Biden seemingly accepts Jordan's (incorrect) position that it is responsible for the Temple Mount - meaning Jews shouldn't visit

On Friday, President Biden met with Jordan's King Abdullah in Washington - the second meeting between the two.

The White House readout did not mention anything about the US request for the extradition of terrorist Ahlam Tamimi being repeatedly refused by Jordan despite the signed agreement between the countries.

But it did mention the administration's position on Jordan and Jerusalem, which pleased the king to no end: “The President affirmed his strong support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and cited the need to preserve the historic status quo at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. The president also recognized the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s crucial role as the custodian of Muslim holy places in Jerusalem."

This contradicts what Israeli prime minister had said the previous week: “All decisions regarding the Temple Mount and Jerusalem will be made by the Israeli government, which holds sovereignty over the city, without any foreign considerations.” 

In practical terms, this means that the Biden administration is against freedom of worship, or even against Jews visiting their holist spot, because the Jordanian Waqf insists that Jews have no right to do this.

But there is also a self-contradictory phrase in this White House statement. 

The "historic status quo" of the Temple Mount never gave full custodial control to the Waqf. Real control was always the responsibility of the sovereign, which conceded control to the Hashemites on an ad-neede basis - and would take away when necessary.

On October 16, 1937, the British Government took over the responsibilities of the Waqf because the Waqf had been funding terror. It created a commission to administer the Waqf until it could find a leadership that was more acceptable/

In March, 1938, the British government appointed the Waqf's treasurer:

And another British appointee to the Waqf in April, 1938, had a decidedly non-Muslim name:

That is the "status quo." The ruling government has always had the legal right to do what it deems best on the Temple Mount and it allows the Waqf to perform various duties - but the Waqf has never been the actual one controlling the holy site. Indeed, the ruling government has, under the real status quo, controlled the Waqf itself!

Freedom of religion is clearly a much higher priority than a "status quo" where the Waqf can limit such freedoms. 

When the White House says that the status quo should control the Temple Mount, it doesn't seem to realize that the status quo gives the government of Jordan no rights outside what Israel voluntarily allows it to have.

(h/t AB)

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