Jordan to Israel: Do As We Say, Not As We Do

“G.I Schmo” Abdullah
Following last week’s Temple Mount attack and Israel’s temporary closure of the site, Jordan was one of the countries to summarily condemn Israel. And today, the Jordanians reportedly insisted the metal detectors be removed, with our promise to do that apparently securing the release of the Israeli guard who was almost murdered yesterday (which I do not understand, since he should have had diplomatic immunity and been released immediately).

Which seems like a hell of a lot of chutzpah given Jordan’s own (aborted) attempt to have security cameras at the site, not to mention the fact they allowed the site to fall in to a state of neglect when they were completely in charge.

But don’t worry – their chutzpah knows no bounds. While demanding all Muslims have unfettered access to the Temple Mount, they deny Jews to right to pray in their kingdom.

Jordanian police on threatened a group of Israeli tourists that they would risk being jailed if they prayed anywhere in the country, an Israeli official said Monday.

The tourists were in Jordan to visit the Tomb of Aaron, the biblical high priest and brother of Moses, who tradition holds is buried on Mount Hor, near Petra, at a site known locally as Jabal Haroun.

“It emerged that they were not allowed [to show] any religious symbols,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon told The Times of Israel. He said the incident occurred either Sunday or Monday.

One of the tourists, Rabbi Menashe Zelicha of Bnei Brak, said the police officers told his group that “in all of Jordan it is forbidden for Jews to pray.”

“We are not allowed to pray in the morning, no tefillin, no prayer shawls, nothing – we cannot pray, even in the hotel, even inside our room,” Zelicha told the Kol Chai radio station. “Policemen came into the hotel and were shouting and went wild, saying that in a minute they would take us out of Jordan if we made even a tiny squeak. They told us, ‘Whoever prays will be taken to jail.’”

Zelicha said that when his group went through the border crossing, authorities “began checking the suitcase and checking everything. They refused to let us bring in books. They removed the prayer shawls, the tefillin; they removed one person’s tzitzit.

“One guy had on him a driving written test booklet, they took it. They took people’s skullcaps. People were left with only their shirt and trousers.”

But I’m sad to say we are at least partly to blame for this – like in the case of the Temple Mount, we seem to have caved in.

Israeli diplomats stationed in Jordan asked the tourists to “lower their profile and to listen to instructions from the police,” Nahshon said

Our weakness is really not a good look.

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A lawyer by education, David Lange - founder and managing editor of Israellycool - found his calling in advocating for Israel and the Jewish people. He is available for public speaking engagements.