Reports in Arab media suggest that the Saudi Arabian government has been directly involved in trying to calm tensions on the Temple Mount. In fact a delegation of Saudi officials were invited to see for themselves the status quo is still being enforced on the Temple Mount, which is Israel’s holiest site.
So who is stirring up the tensions?
The current round of conflict on the Temple Mount was started when armed terrorists came from the mount and shot and killed two Israeli policemen near the Lion Gate. This is the first terror attack emanating from the Temple Mount since Israel liberated it 50 years ago. In reaction, Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered a full scale investigtion into the incident and placed metal detectors at each entrance to the complex. Until then only Jews and tourists had to be checked, Muslims could roam freely and even picnic and play soccer there.
This small act of sovereignty by Israel, one that is perfectly justified, has now triggered riots in and around the Temple Mount entrances. Although the Wakf and PA President Abbas have encouraged the rioters, it is in fact Jordan who has instigated the violent clashes at the entrances.
Why is Jordan Inciting Violence on the Temple Mount?
To understand the current conflict over the Temple Mount, it is important to look back at British colonial aspirations in the Middle East after the first World War. The Hashemite family who rules what is today Jordan comes from a the Hashemite family who ruled in Mecca for nearly one thousand years until they were overthrown by the Saudi family in 1925.
The current Hashemite dynasty was founded by Hussein ibn Ali, who was appointed as Sharif and Emir of Mecca by Sultan Abdul Hamid IIin 1908. In 1916 he was proclaimed King of the Arab Lands after initiating the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire.
With the help of the British, his sons Abdullah and Faisal assumed the thrones of Jordan and Iraq in 1921. In 1925 the Saudi family overthrew Hussein ibn Ali as Sharif and assumed leadership. In 1958 his Hussein ibn Ali’s son Faisal was deposed in a bloody coup as the King of Iraq.
With only one Kingdom left and no power in their historic home of Mecca, the Hashemites, who sided with Britain and relied on them to establish their rule require a foothold on the Temple Mount in order to lay claim to leadership in the Arab world.
They Will Not Go Quietly
The Hashemites will do whatever is necessary to force the Israeli government to take away the metal detectors from the entrances of the Temple Mount. The rioting is part of the pressure, but the incitement also deflects growing dissatisfaction with the King and his family.
The self imposed “exile from the mount” over the metal detectors is not working to sway world opinion, which is growing tired over continuous tantrums by the Hashemite backed Arab street.
The Saudis, who are looking to pivot towards Israel have never trusted Jordan. Afterall, the Jordanian King allows the Muslim Brotherhood to have a base of operations in Amman as well as playing both sides by accepting funding from Qatar as well as . More than that, in the intra-Arab competiton for rulership, the Saudi would rather not have the Hashemites control access to the Temple Mount. So in a bizarre twist of fate, it is the Saudis, who not only remained quiet during the latest flare up, but it will be their delegation who will determine that it is in fact Jordan who is inciting.
Metal Detectors Return the Temple Mount to the Heart of Zionism
With all the tumult in the Jewish world over the Western Wall, which is the last retaining wall of the Temple Mount comlex, it is in fact the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock which encompasses the holiest site in Judaism. The metal detectators now placed at the entrance to the Temple Mount, may appear to be a small and sensible act, but it is this act that appears to have begun a series of events that may in fact return the Temple Mount to Jewish hands and place it once again where it should in the hearts and minds of the Nation of Israel and at the forefront of the Zionist enterprise.