Adar 26, 5774, 26/02/14
Majority of Jordanian MPs vote to expel Israel's ambassador as 'retaliation' for Knesset discussing religious freedom on Mount.
A majority of Jordanian MPs voted on Wednesday to seek the expulsion of Israel's ambassador to the kingdom after the Jewish state's parliament debated religious freedom for Jews and Christians at the Temple Mount, according to AFP.
Prominent lower house deputy Khalil Attieh told the news agency that 86 out of 150 members of parliament voted to seek the expulsion of Israeli envoy Daniel Nevo.
The vote, which is not legally binding, came a day after 47 Islamist MPs, including Attieh, signed a motion demanding that a 1994 peace treaty with Israel be annulled.
"All deputies who attended a meeting today to discuss Israel's debate on sovereignty over Al-Aqsa voted to kick out the Israeli envoy and recall the Jordanian ambassador in Israel (Walid Obeidat)," Attieh said.
"This was in protest at the Knesset debate. It is up to the government to act on the vote. If it does not, we will consider a no-confidence motion."
State-run Petra news agency said the MPs "demanded the government take immediate action to stop Israel's schemes."
The situation continued to escalate Wednesday as the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on Wednesday condemned the Knesset debate as a "dangerous escalation."
OIC Secretary General Iyad Madani described the move as "a dangerous and unprecedented step that comes as part of Israel's racist policy ... aiming to
Judaise Jerusalem." Urging world action against Israel, Madani warned that "this dangerous escalation provokes the feelings of the whole Muslim nation."
Madani insisted that the Mount is a "red line", warning that "such acts not only threaten the peace process but security and stability in the whole region."
The Mount is Judaism's holiest site, but Jews have been prevented from praying there and often from visiting there due to religious and political pressure from the Muslim Waqf.
Under the peace treaty, Jordan controls Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. The Temple Mount falls under this category, despite being Judaism's holiest site and the site of the two Temples, and the Muslim world has been adamant about keeping it in their hands.
Arabs continuously accuse Israel of "Judaizing" the Temple Mount, sometimes resorting to illogical accusations, such as saying that Israel is using chemicals to erode the foundations of the mosque in order to cause it to collapse.
Some Palestinian Authority (PA) officials have claimed that Israel was trying to build a new Holy Temple on the Temple Mount, replacing the Al-Aqsa Mosque. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas himself has made claims to this effect.
The reality is that it is Jews, not Arabs, who are discriminated against when they want to visit the Temple Mount.
Israeli police, in an attempt to appease the Muslim Waqf which was left in charge of the compound after the 1967 Six Day War, ban Jews from praying or performing any other form of worship. Police sometimes close the Mount to Jews altogether in response to Muslim riots - for days or weeks at a time - despite evidence that such violence is usually planned in advance for the specific purpose of forcing Jews out.
The Waqf, meanwhile, works to remove any Jewish presence on the Mount and consistently destroys Jewish antiquities on the compound in a direct violation of a ruling by the Supreme Court.
Most recently, the Waqf issued a pamphlet that makes argues, among other things, that King Solomon was a Muslim and that there is no Jewish connection to either the Temple Mount or the Western Wall (Kotel).