Hashemite Custodianship over Jerusalem: Sovereignty Enforced Only on Those Who Demand It

October 25, 2015

By Ahmad Abu Hamad
Translated by Afnan Al Wahsh

Jordan is relentless when it comes to popularizing its tight relations to the Palestinian cause, in a discourse that implies beating the war drums in case the situation continued to escalate in the West Bank. Yet, Jordan made no serious steps on the ground towards anything that discourse suggests.

Amman keeps reiterating dissatisfaction for the Israeli forces arrogance, and that it will not allow the Israelis to go too far, reserving ‘’the right to respond’’, as if Jordan isn’t bound by a peace treaty.

One may wonder, are the government’s statements actual international diplomacy messages to be taken seriously, or merely propaganda piece directed towards Jordanians themselves?

Jordan’s formal efforts and interests are mainly focused on Al Aqsa Mosque, as Jordan’s role was restricted to that exclusively according to the treaty: “Israel respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem.”

The government in Amman has promoted its accomplishments with regards to facilitations made for Palestinian worshipers, but the so called heroism soon faded away when dozens of settlers stormed Al Aqsa under the protection of Israeli police defiling the sanctity of the mosque which was left undefended except by Muslim worshipers.

Prime Minister, Abdullah Ensour wasn’t fond of the parliamentary committee for Palestinian affairs, criticizing the insignificant Jordanian stance. Ensour’s admonition evolved into a heated argument with the head of the committee.

But nothing changed, not Jordan’s official status nor the situation in Jerusalem. Confrontations between Palestinians defending the mosque and settlers have escalated when the latter attempted to storm Al Aqsa, which rapidly ignited an uprising in the west bank and Jordan settled for condemning.

The stern security grip over solidarity with the uprising proves that Jordan isn’t willing to make any moves nor allow any internal public actions.

Repressing left wing’s rally near the Israeli Embassy in Amman was quick and hard-handed, but it didn’t seem enough to the government. Defendants will now be tried under charges of unlawful assembly.

Prior to that, General Intelligence Directorate had detained activist Abdurahman Najem for 14 days, for his participation in the weekly sit-in near the Israeli embassy in Amman, demanding annulment of the peace treaty and closing the Embassy.

Has it become outlawed to express resentment and publicly announce enmity to the state of occupation? Security forces arrested Islamist activist Adnan Abu arqoub for participating as well in a rally in solidarity with Al Aqsa. He was later sent to the security state court to be charged with undermining the regime.

The government is silencing voices that refuse the violations against Al Aqsa and oppresses all sides of the opposition spectrum from right to left equally. It wishes for no public Jordanian movements addressing the Palestinian cause and prefers to obtain exclusive control of the discourse around it, imposing its method of tackling the situation through diplomacy channels which gained nothing.

Eliminating the public support from the equation reduces the Hashemite Sovereignty in Jerusalem to consumable media talk.

Jordan’s “sovereignty’’ is enforced on those demanding it, instead of fulfilling a potent meaningful custodianship over Jerusalem. While Jordan has lost any leverage in Jerusalem in light of Israeli intransigence, when it comes to Palestine, very little is left for Jordanians to praise their government for.