King Abdullah of Jordan received a bogus honorary doctorate yesterday from Al Quds University in Jerusalem. The ridiculous certificate was presented to him in Amman by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for “Abdullah’s courageous stand towards Jerusalem, defending the city and its sacred sites, protecting its Arab identity, and fostering the steadfastness of the Jerusalemites.” It is a certificate that reaffirms the Palestinian intent to rewrite history both in terms of its ludicrous claim that Jerusalem’s identity is Arab and its equally ridiculous claim that the Jordanians have defended sacred sites within the city.
And how did King Abdullah respond? Always lauded in the Western media as a leader who is for peace in the region, Abdullah revealed his true colors –-as reported this morning in The Jordan Times (a media arm of the Jordanian government) —accusing Israel of violating Muslim and Christian holy sites, attempting to rid the city of Palestinians, and engaging in an occupation which has as its goal the denial of Palestinian identity.
According to the Times, the king declared that “Jordan will spare no political, diplomatic or legal effort to protect the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem from Israeli violations in coordination with the Palestinian Authority.” Moreover, the so-called ‘Hashemite monarch’ Abdullah intoned that “the Kingdom will continue . . .to help [the Arab residents of Jerusalem] stand up to Israeli plans to evacuate the Holy City of Palestinians. Jordan will continue to protect and sustain the sacred sites and the Arab identity of Jerusalem.”
Abdullah also praised the University for equipping Palestinians “with knowledge and know-how in the face of occupation and Israeli attempts to spread ignorance and undermine the Palestinian identity.” He then concluded his laughable remarks by underscoring that the honorary degree is “a testimony to the historic role of the Hashemites in protecting Jerusalem.”
Lest we forget history, let us recall dear reader what happened during Jordan’s illegal occupation of Jerusalem from 1948 through 1967–the only time that the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has ever controlled Jerusalem. And we won’t even talk about how the Jordanians refused to consistently supply daily electricity, sewage, or water supply to the Arab residents living in the section of Jerusalem under its control.
Let’s just remember how Jordan ‘protected’ religious freedom in Jerusalem and ‘protected’ the Old City’s sacred religious sites:
1. Jordan greatly reduced and restricted Christian worship in Jerusalem–only allowing Christians to enter the Old City of Jerusalem at Christmas and Easter–and even then only in vastly diminished numbers.
2. Jordan passed strict laws against Christian schools in Jerusalem in 1955 and 1964–greatly reducing the number of schools that could be built and even requiring that the Koran be taught in the Christian schools that already existed.
3. Jordan passed numerous other ‘anti-Christian’ laws in the area under its control with the obvious intent of making Christian life in Jerusalem almost impossible to sustain. It is no wonder that the number of Christians in Jerusalem decreased from approximately 25,000 in 1949 to less than 13,000 in June of 1967 when Israel retook the Old City.
4. Jordan prohibited Jews from going to the Western Wall or to the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.
5. Jordan destroyed fifty eight (58) Jewish synagogues in the Old City turning some into horse stables, sheep corrals, and chicken coops.
6. Jordan turned the area next to the Western Wall into a garbage dump and allowed a slum to built among the garbage.
7. Jordan desecrated Jewish cemeteries. Hundreds of Jewish graves were destroyed when Jordan decided to build a road to the Intercontinental Hotel across from the Mount of Olives cemetery. Jordanian engineers used the gravestones to build latrines for Jordanian soldiers based in Jerusalem.
King Abdullah is an example of a typical Arab leader, with one speech for the West, and one speech for the rest. If there is quiet along the Jordanian border, it is because it is in Abdullah’s self-interest–not because of any abstract yearning for peace on his part. And, now that Islamists have begun to make significant inroads in Jordanian politics, you will see Abdullah begin to toe the Islamist line.