Despite everyone’s insistence on milking the Ben & Jerry’s-West Bank headlines—which put new meaning behind the term “settlement freeze”—the ice cream cone-traversy was not the most relevant story on the Israeli-Palestinian front in the past few days. Had Prime Minister Bennett and Foreign Minister Lapid approached the whole situation with good humor rather than overwrought and misplaced statements accusing the Vermont-based company of antisemitism, the story might not have obscured more significant events taking shape in Jerusalem.

So here is the scoop: over the weekend, before the dairy wars, there was a near blow-up over an apparent abrogation of the religious status quo at the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif, taking place at the juncture of Tisha B’Av and Eid al Adha. The way it was handled says a lot about the interlocking relationships between the newly minted Israeli government, Jordan, and the United States.

On Sunday—at the conclusion of Tisha B’av—the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office released a statement thanking Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev and Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai for protecting the right of Jews to worship on the Temple Mount. The message contravened the terms that have reigned on the Temple Mount since the Ottoman period: Muslims pray there, non-Muslims “visit.” The move seemed out of place as it would have put a sour cherry on top of an otherwise earnest effort to repair Israeli relations with Jordan (the state of affairs left behind by former Prime Minister Netanyahu could generously be described as frosty). The Hashemite Kingdom is deeply invested in the situation on the Temple Mount as the custodian of Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, a position codified and formally recognized by Israel under the 1994 peace treaty and in an agreement with the Palestinian Authority in 2013.

Here it’s worth stating—because the status quo on the Temple Mount is often treated as sacrosanct—that the arrangement there is, in principle, unfair. Leaving aside theological disagreements about how close Jews can or should get to the site of the Holy of Holies, or whether they might risk accidentally setting foot upon it, people should theoretically be able to respectfully pray at a religious site, even when it is located in close proximity to (or overlaps with) another faith’s holy places. Conspiracy theories about Jews trying to take over the al Aqsa Mosque have fueled antisemitic violence since before the founding of the State of Israel. At the same time, right-wing members of Knesset were among those who have come to the site recently, there really is an extreme minority among Israeli Jews who do court conflict with Muslims and see al Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock as temporary facts to be replaced with a Third Temple, and the unequal status of Palestinian Jerusalemites hangs over everything. Alas, nothing in Jerusalem is simple or totally rational, and if you think otherwise then I have an immovable ladder to sell you. That may be an unsatisfying explanation for some, but the prohibition on Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount seems rather cut and dry when compared with the cumbersome and often acrimonious relationships between different sects of Christianity governing the upkeep of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Successive Israeli governments and prime ministers have understood this and acted accordingly, prioritizing conflict prevention and the relationship with Jordan. This included Benjamin Netanyahu; in the waning years of his tenure he rallied around a tougher opinion on Jewish access and used the Temple Mount to play petty politics with Jordan, but he never explicitly called for an end to the status quo.

All of this made Naftali Bennett’s statement on Jewish freedom of worship particularly puzzling, especially when considered alongside recent Israeli efforts to bring ties with Jordan in from the cold. After three years without a meeting between an Israeli premier and the Jordanian sovereign, Prime Minister Bennett met with King Abdullah in Amman earlier this month. The secret meeting was leaked to the Hebrew press—both sides denied breaching silence, but my money would be on the Israeli side, since the Jewish state’s deep unpopularity with the Jordanian public gives the Hashemite Kingdom little incentive to do so. Then there was the call between the king and recently inaugurated Israeli President Isaac Herzog, which was publicized through formal channels. Both conversations apparently went well—so why risk an implosion over the Temple Mount?

Bennett’s statement on Jewish freedom of worship was followed in close succession with condemnations by countries like Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey, as well as his own Israeli coalition partner, the Islamist faction Ra’am. According to Israeli reports, the Biden administration intervened with Bennett’s government at Jordan’s behest to address the Jerusalem question. Far from waffling on the issue, the government quickly turned around not only by clarifying that the status quo would not change; Foreign Minister Lapid also indicated as much directly to the Jordanians. More than any bland diplomatic plaudits following from the readouts of high-level meetings, this handling of a near-crisis showed a sincere intention to develop more mutually respectful Israeli relationships with both Jordan and the United States. It also shows a willingness to ignore domestic disruptors like Opposition Leader Netanyahu, who has been keen to politicize the Israel-Jordan relationship with spurious charges that Amman is supporting Iran, and who wants to frame the government as weak when it comes to standing up to a Democratic administration.

None of this means we should take our eyes off of Jerusalem. There are court hearings scheduled for early August on the status of Palestinian residents facing eviction from parts of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan. On August 9, the Higher Planning Committee—the settlement planning arm of the Israeli Civil Administration—will hold a hearing on public objections to building in the E1 area east of Jerusalem, which is an important, albeit, not final, step in the West Bank building process—potential construction would still require the defense minister’s signature. Given what lies ahead in Jerusalem over the next several weeks—and how Hamas has demonstrated a predilection for seizing upon the city as a pretext for fighting—a religious confrontation over the Temple Mount could very well have set Israelis and Palestinians down a path to something more ugly. It is a good thing that the status quo issue has been resolved, at least for now, in a relatively elegant manner, putting a nice bow on things before King Abdullah visited Washington yesterday, his first trip there since President Biden took office.

Now that I’ve covered the near disaster of this past Sunday, there is the matter of sundaes. If you couldn’t tell by the overbearing ice cream puns sprinkled throughout this piece, I am going to indulge and comment on Ben & Jerry’s, though it is ultimately a sideshow. The Israeli government need not accept settlement boycotts at face value; Bennett and Lapid’s rejection of the Ben & Jerry’s decision to not renew their agreement with their local licensee because it refused to limit its operations within the Green Line is almost certainly a reflection of the two Israeli leaders’ sincerely-held beliefs. However, axiomatically treating Ben & Jerry’s as antisemitic sets up a false binary for any corporation, organization, or individual who is weighing their own position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: accept Greater Israel, settlements and all, or find oneself branded a bigot, essentially a mirror image of the more hardline BDS framework, which also eschews any demarcation between Israel and occupation.

Then there is the whataboutism to which these sorts of controversies tend to give rise. A survey of Unilever’s operations in countries with far spottier human rights records than Israel’s does not suggest complete consistency, however, actions like Ben & Jerry’s withdrawal from the West Bank are not without precedent in other sticky situations: McDonald’s pulled out of Crimea after Russia seized the peninsula from Ukraine in 2014. Back then, officials in Moscow railed against Ronald, Grimace, and the Hamburgler, but the golden arches still stand throughout the Russian Federation’s internationally recognized territory. Yair Lapid’s decision directing Gilad Erdan to write the governors of U.S. states with anti-BDS laws and request they invoke the legislation against Unilever is an unnecessary and provocative foray into domestic American politics. Under Netanyahu, Israel declined to enforce its own anti-boycott laws against McDonald’s when the fast-food chain refused an invitation to open a restaurant in the West Bank settlement of Ariel. It is astounding to see Israeli officials who appear to have just successfully navigated a potential crisis with far-reaching religious and geopolitical consequences lose their minds over ice cream, but I suppose that’s the way the cookie crumbles—straight into the Ben & Jerry’s toppings bar.