Gershon Baskin has been writing to Abdullah bin Hussein bin Talal bin Abdullah bin Hussein bin Ali, the King of the Royal Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, urging him to convene a Status Quo Summit in Amman.
All week long I have been writing to Jordan’s King Abdallah with messages of encouragement to convene a Status Quo Summit in Amman. I know I am not the only one trying to make this happen, but I am probably the only one who is suggesting to him to leave the US out of the mix.
My letters are getting to him, I have had this confirmed, but unlike times in the past, I have not (yet) received an official response.
This is what I wrote to him this evening:
Dear King Abdullah:
I am more convinced than ever that the key to calming the situation in Palestine is in your hands. You are the only person in the region who is capable of bringing Netanyahu and Abbas together, under your initiative and patronage and reach an agreement of preserving the status quo on Al Aqsa until a peace agreement is reached concerning the future of all of Jerusalem.
On August 16, 1967 the Israeli government made a decision regarding the so called status quo in which they agreed that the Muslim Wafq would control what happens on the mount and that the Israeli government would essentially prevent Jewish prayer on top. This is the basis for returning to the status quo – it was an Israeli government decision. It has been acceptable for all of these years and it has to be reconfirmed in a way that will be believable – which requires the international monitor and verification mechanism – which should not be too difficult to figure out. I would suggest a panel of three senior retired clergy who are known moderates – a Muslim, a Christian and a Jew – none of them Israeli or Palestinian.
A meeting with you in Amman with Netanyahu and Abbas can be arranged without a lot of pomp and fanfare and everyone comes out a winner.
I urge you, Your Majesty, to take up this initiative – without the Americans – just the local stakeholders
Gershon is an advisor to Israeli, Palestinian and International Prime Ministers on the Middle East Peace Process and the founder and director of IPCRI, the Israeli-Palestinian Public Policy Institute. He was the initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel between Israel and Hamas for the release of 1,027 prisoners – mainly Palestinians and Arab-Israelis of which 280 were sentenced to life in prison for planning and perpetrating various attacks against Jewish targets that resulted in the killing of 569 Israelis in exchange for one Israeli soldier, Gilad Schalit. Gershon is actively involved in research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, environmental security, political strategy, peace education, economics, culture and in the development of affordable solar projects with the goal of providing clean electricity for 50 million people by 2020.