Jordan’s King Vows to ‘Stop the Judaisation’ of Temple Mount

His Majesty King Abdullah II on Saturday spoke before an assembly of local newspaper editors and journalists, saying “he spared no occasion to put the Palestinian cause and defend Jerusalem before the world,” according to the Petra state news agency, adding, “There is no voice that speaks better than Jordan as we carry out our historic political and legal role to stop the Judaisation of holy sites despite the difficulties and challenges.”

Most historians agree that the Temple Mount’s “Jewish” nature predated that of its modern Arab identity by some thousands of years. The Temple Mount housed the two Jewish temples in Biblical times, with much archaeological and historical evidence proving ancient Jewish presence on and around the Mount. In the early Middle Ages, long after the Second Temple was destroyed, the birth of Islam led to the construction of a mosque on the holy site which Muslims believe to be the “al Aqsa Mosque”, or the “farthest mosque”, referred to in the Quran. However, Islamic scholars dispute this.

Nevertheless, the Muslim religious claim on the Temple Mount – largely neglected and overgrown with weeds until the Jews began expressing an interest in it in the twentieth century – is the basis for countless Arab campaigns to deny any and all Jewish connection to the site. Of late, these campaigns have extended to numerous other Jewish holy sites, including the Western Wall, where Israel has full sovereignty, and various burial sites of Biblical figures, including the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, recently declared a “Palestinian world heritage site” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

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