If I were Israel’s ambassador to Jordan and was called in for a dressing down over Israel“s actions on the Temple Mount and over Israelis visiting the site on the Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av, I would remind the official doing the dressing down that we Jews worshipped the one God at the Temple located on the site more than 3,000 years ago. Islam is only 1,409 years old.
I would remind the official, too, that in classical Arabic, Jerusalem is referred to as Bayt al-Maqdis, meaning “temple,” and that this is further proof of the falsehood that prevails today among the people of the region, according to which a Jewish temple never existed on the site.
I would present to Amman’s envoy official Jordanian maps drawn prior to 1967, which have the words “Mount Moriah” written on the site of the Temple Mount, to its southeast the words “Solomon’s Stables,” to its south, the “Valley of Josaphat.” To the east of the mount, the Tomb of Zechariah and the Tomb of Absalom are listed, and to its west, Mount Zion.
I would show the official these maps, and then I would remind him of the Arabic proverb: “A liar needs a good memory.”
I would remind the official that while his country’s 1994 peace agreement with Israel afforded the Hashemite Kingdom special status on the Temple Mount, Amman was not made sovereign of the site because the sole sovereign of the site is Israel.
I would further remind the official that the Palestinians, whose rights he is so concerned about, murdered Jordanian King Abdullah’s great-grandfather on the Temple Mount.
And finally, I would ask: “You claim eastern Jerusalem should be the ‘capital of Palestine.’ Why didn’t you establish such a state, with its capital in eastern Jerusalem, in the 19 years in which you illegally occupied Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, from 1948 to 1967?”
But alas, I am not Israel’s ambassador to Jordan and believe it is highly unlikely any Israeli envoy to Amman would pose such questions. No wonder we are discounted and dressed down like a child for realizing our religious and historical rights.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.