Following is a copy of an email I sent to the AP:
Several months ago, after the controversy over the Temple Mount archeological dig, I wrote to you to correct your error in the boilerplate about the Western Wall of Solomon’s Temple, which you mistakenly labeled “the holiest site in Judaism.” It is not. The holiest site in Judaism is the Temple Mount, the site of the First and Second Temples.
Below is one example of your current article, which again misidentifies the Western Wall.
Rep. Pelosi Tours Jerusalem Holy Sites
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Mar 31, 8:43 AM (ET)
By DIAA HADID
(AP) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivers her remarks at the Radio and Television Correspondents …
JERUSALEM (AP) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi toured Jerusalem holy sites Saturday alongside a congressional delegation that included the first Muslim elected to Congress.
The tour was part of the congressional delegation’s first full day in Jerusalem, the first stop on their fact-finding trip to the Middle East. The group arrived here Friday.
Flanked by security guards, Pelosi, D-Calif., and the delegation toured the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Christians believe Jesus’ body was buried, in Jerusalem’s Old City. They also visited the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, where Jews have gathered for centuries to pray.
Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison said his presence – as a Muslim – on the trip sent a message to Israelis and Palestinians that “people can come together.”
“Reconciliation is possible,” he said.
Ellison, a Minnesota congressman, said he hoped to visit the compound above the Western Wall known as the Temple Mount to Jews and the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims. The compound, the site of the biblical temples as well as the third-holiest site in Islam, is one of the main points of friction between Israel and the Palestinians in the Middle East conflict.
“I haven’t seen it yet, but I hope to, I’m really looking forward to it,” Ellison said of the compound, which is also home to the Dome of Rock shrine.
Pelosi’s delegation intends to meet Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the coming days.
On Sunday, Pelosi is to address the Israeli Knesset in her first address to a foreign legislature.
Wikipedia manages to get it right: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_Mount
It was the site of the first (c. 967 BCE, destroyed c. 587 BCE) and second (c. 515 BCE, destroyed in 70 CE ) Jewish Temples in Jerusalem and according to Judaism is to be the site of the third and final Temple to be rebuilt with the coming of the Messiah; and as such it is the holiest site in the world for Jews. It is also the site of two major Muslim religious shrines, the Dome of the Rock (c. 690) and Al-Aqsa Mosque (c. 710). It is thus one of the most contested religious sites in the world.
You corrected your mistake in your articles after my last letter. I don’t understand why the AP can’t get a simple fact straight: The Western Wall is part of what remains of the retaining wall. And while Jews pray there daily, and consider it the closest they can get to the Temple Mount, it is not the holiest site in Judaism. That would be the Temple Mount. It is not a “belief” that the Temple Mount is the site of the First and Second Temples. It is an archeological, proven fact: http://www.archaeology.org.il/newsticker.asp?id=17
Once again, you misinform your readers when you do not identify the Temple Mount as the holiest site in Judaism. Somehow, though, the AP always manages to identify the Al-Aqsa mosque as the “third-holiest site in Islam.” How is it that always seems to happen? Surely there is no religious bias to your reporting. You pride yourself on your unbiased reporting of the facts. Well, then, I would appreciate seeing the facts about the Temple Mount and the Western Wall portraying historical accuracy. In your current article, they do not.
Exit question: What can Keith Ellison do on a visit to Al-Aqsa that Joe Lieberman can’t do on a visit to the Temple Mount?
If you said, “Pray openly,” You are correct. Jews are forbidden to pray on the holiest site in Judaism, while Muslims have three mosques on the site. That would be due to the famous Muslim tolerance™ for other religions.