Albert Russo
"Art is but a moment of happiness, it is like a lightning of bliss cleaving the never-ending horrors of our world."

Open letter to the King of Jordan: Bearing a heavy responsibility

I bid you pax, salaam, shalom, your Majesty.

There is renewed tension in East Jerusalem.  Since you are a peace-loving monarch, I urge you to do all you can to lower, neigh, to end the disturbance that is continuing to inflame the atmosphere of the Holy City, which, as you are perfectly aware, is the main holy city of the Jewish people and the third one of the Muslim folk around the world.

A quick reminder of the causes of these disturbances that led to the second intifada is necessary here.  In 1967, five Arab countries were resolved to throw the Jews into the sea, thus putting an end to the existence of Israel.  But to the world’s great astonishment, little Israel won the war.

Your Majesty, you who are endowed with a double culture, know that all along the course of human history, a country attacked, which, after a fierce battle, claims victory, usually keeps the conquered territory.

Israel was magnanimous with Jordan, offering the latter, a vanquished enemy then, the control of the two major mosques of Jerusalem.  As in the case of Gaza, when Ariel Sharon had the Jewish colonists removed, manu militari, instead of expecting peace, Israel got pummelled with thousands of rockets from the Hamas regime, so too, the Palestinians continue to throw rocks and Molotov cocktails at the Israeli police, when the latter use metal detectors, to make sure there are no terrorists among the faithful.  Aren’t you too fighting the terrorists in your kingdom?  Terrorists remain terrorists all over the world!

Your Majesty, you BEAR A VERY HEAVY RESPONSIBILITY in these matters. Your duty as a peace-loving person is to placate the rebellion, and I shall even add, to shut up the constant incendiary logorrhea of the mufti.  There is no place, you will agree, for religious fanaticism in our modern era.  That belongs to the Middle Ages.  Would that mean that the Israelis were wrong, in offering you to control the Temple Mount, also known as the  Noble Sanctuary?  I begin to think it was indeed a terrible mistake. I beg you not to take advantage of it, your Majesty, it would cast you into a category of folks whom you yourself despise.

It is also your duty to allow every Jew to pray on the Temple Mount.  That the mufti and the Muslim clerics of the Islamic world forbid it is outrageous.  After all, your Majesty, the Dome of the Rock lies exactly where the Jewish Temple stood.  Even the Muslim religious authorities recognize it.

I shall even dare this claim: nowhere in the Muslim world is freedom of religion respected like in Israel.  And that is A FACT.  What I see happening now is the result of fanaticism.  No peace can be achieved with people who prefer to be martyrs instead of sharing the bounties of this earth.

By the way, your Majesty, I believe Jordan, your kingdom, along with the 56 other-odd Muslim countries, have recently voted at the United Nations and at Unesco to ban any link the Jewish people have to Jerusalem.  Let’s not falsify History, your Majesty, Jerusalem is mentioned more than 700 times in the Torah and the Christian Bible, whilst the Kuran never mentions the city.  We all know, when we use our reason, that the so-called Holy Scriptures of all denominations contain legends, half-truths, and archaeologically proven facts.  So, let’s not mix everything and create havoc, for none of us would benefit from such a poisonous situation.

I do hope that you can still make the distinction between religious belief, history, and the attainment of peace, your Majesty.  Which is not the case of many an undemocratic ruler of the ilk of Mr. Erdogan, or of the Muslim Brotherhood for that matter.

You have better things than to respond to my call, but at least enlightened people like your Majesty will heed it.

About the Author
Albert Russo who has published worldwide over 85 books of poetry, fiction and essays (35) and photography (50), in both English and French, his two mother tongues, and sometimes in Italian, (Italian being his 'paternal' tongue) - he also speaks Spanish and German and still has notions of Swahili -, is the recipient of many awards,such as The New York Poetry Forum and Amelia (CA) Awards, The American Society of Writers Fiction Award, The British Diversity Short Story Award, The AZsacra International Poetry Award (Taj Mahal Review - US$ 500), the Books & Authors Award, several Writer’s Digest poetry and fiction Awards (winner and finalist), aquillrelle Awards, the Prix Colette and the Prix de la Liberté, among others. His work has been translated into about 15 languages in 25 countries, on the five continents. He has co-published Gaytude with Adam Donaldson Powell, which won Best Gay Book in the USA. Albert Russo’s major books are the AFRICAN QUATUOR (AQ), his memoir CALL ME CHAMELEON (CMC), his humorous ZAPINETTE Series (Zapy), GOSH ZAPINETTE, the first ever series of global Jewish humor, his books of stories and of poetry encompassing 40 years of writing, entitled: THE CROWDED WORLD OF SOLITUDE, vol. 1 -CWS1 (the stories and essays) and THE CROWDED WORLD OF SOLITUDE, vol. 2 (the poems) CWS2 + the two big books dedicated to his beloved mother Sarah Russo (SR) + about 50 books of photos. His definitive biography penned by the Norwegian African-American writer, poet and artist Adam Donaldson Powell, UNDER THE SHIRTTAILS OF ALBERT RUSSO was released by l’Aleph (November 2017), Wisehouse Publishing. A humanist with roots in Central, Southern Africa, and the Mediterranean, he has been acclaimed by James Baldwin, Edmund White, Martin Tucker, Douglas Parmee of Oxford University, Joseph Kessel, Pierre Emmanuel, both of the Académie Française, among many other literary authorities, as well as by his African peers, Chinua Achebe among them. Albert Russo was also a member of the 1996 jury for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature which often leads to the Nobel Prize of Literature. Latest Prize: Best 2013 Unicef Short Story award in defense of childhood worldwide, for Revenge by proxy / Vengeance par procuration.  His 50-odd books of photography have garnered awards in the USA, UK, Russia, France, etc. Some of his work has been exhibited in the Louvre Museum, at the Espace Pierre Cardin, both in Paris, in Times Square, New York, at the Museum of Photography in Lausanne, Switzerland, in Art Berlin, in Tokyo, in Moscow, etc. The former Mayor of the Big Apple, Mr Bloomberg, has lauded his two photo books on Paris and New York. Some of his novels and memoirs have also been filmed in English, with videos 90 and 100 minutes long. Latest award: I have just received the following award. "Dear Albert, It is with great pleasure to announce that you have been selected as a Book Excellence Award Finalist for the following book: 'GOSH ZAPINETTE! the first ever series of global humor’ (770 pages). There were hundreds of entries from around the world and 'GOSH ZAPINETTE! the first ever series of global humor' was selected for its high-quality writing, design and market appeal. Congratulations. The Book Excellence Award Committee.” The Book Excellence Awards Advantage. More than just an awards competition, the Book Excellence Awards provides authors and publishers with extended support and resources on topics such as publishing, marketing, writing, publicity and social media. The Book Excellence Awards is a smart investment on your publishing journey and the results and benefits will last a lifetime! Literary website: - "Art is but a moment of happiness, it is like a lightning of bliss cleaving the never-ending horrors of our world." Albert Russo “Inspiration is like delicious food that your taste buds remember, or a perfume you have long forgotten and whose whiff suddenly brushes your nostrils again, giving you pangs of nostalgia.” Albert Russo