The King and the key issue that is Jerusalem

تم نشره في Sun 9 November / Nov 2014. 05:54 PM

By Ayman Safadi


Jerusalem is the key Middle East issue, nothing else precedes it, nor does any other subject have a similar impact on the region.

That is the message conveyed by His Majesty King Abdullah to the US President Barack Obama when he met him for the first time shortly after Obama became the US president about six years ago.

The region changed since then and the priority of the Palestinian issue regionally and internationally receded in prominent. But the King persisted in saying that it is the most important issue, if solved the rest of the crises in the region become easy to deal with, and if exacerbated the greater the likelihood that it will explode.

Here is the Palestinian cause back to the fore through occupied Jerusalem, the most sensitive and sacred aspect of it, driving the West Bank to the brink of a new Intifada, and forcing Israel into a diplomatic and political confrontation with Jordan.

Jordan did what it can to stop the new Israeli aggression on al-Aqsa. The King warned Israel that harming Jerusalem will bring to an end the little remaining links imposed by necessity, and led a diplomatic campaign that produced a commitment by Benjamin Netanyahu to change the existing situation in the occupied Jerusalem, and that he will reduce the escalation against its holy sites.

But Jordan alone cannot deter Israel. The problem is that the balance of powers allows Israel to challenge the Arabs and the world, after emerging from a society that is drowning racism, extremism and power calculations.

The world will not move to stop the Israeli violations. The United States proved that their efforts are governed by the space defined by Israel. Europe is unable to change the course of things. The Arab world, drowning in ignorance, will not have the weight or the role before it is freed from its clutches.

Israel knows all of that, and here lies its markup. Jordan and knows it, too, and as such it initiates actions that could limit the Israeli aggression, despite the fact that the size of its anger goes beyond these measures.

Jordan ascended politically, diplomatically and recalled its ambassador from Israel. But he did not cancel the peace treaty, which is currently the only form of political deterrent for the aggressor.

The treaty allows Jordan to play a role in contributing to curb Israeli violations. Cancelling it amid the current circumstances would serve Israel rather than serve Jordan and the Palestinians, and will weaken the Jordanian role in protecting the holy sites.

The issue of Jerusalem is not over. The case will increase the tension because Israel eased its aggression tactically, not out of conviction, and Jordan needs to schedule its tools according to the course of the battle. The abrogation of the treaty now will put Jordan in confrontation with the United States and Europe, and will lessen its impact internationally, and will free Israel from any obligations imposed by the treaty, especially in occupied Jerusalem.

This is not about convictions or slogans; it is a battle in which the balance of powers is by the side of the aggressor. Perhaps the best solution available at present is to stabilize the status quo in Jerusalem until the emergence of variables that allow for a solution based on a framework of a comprehensive solution to the conflict and end the occupation of East Jerusalem and entrench it as the capital of the Palestinian state.

Jordan's role is central to that, and its management of the crisis has proven to be the best in the light of what is possible.

The future remains in the hands of Israel. If it increases its attacks on and the Judaization of Jerusalem and its holy sites, things will go towards a new crisis according to which the Jordanian response will escalate to respond as required by its commitment to protect Jerusalem and its national interests.

Netanyahu cannot stupid enough not to understand Jordanian, Palestinian, Arab, and Islamic centrality of Jerusalem, and to continue violate and assault it. However, the extremism of Israeli society reached a level where it is blinding their vision, and will led it, even if on the long term, into the abyss that will deprive it of the security and stability it is living at the expense of the Palestinian people and their right to life.



This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition.