Israeli police detained the mufti of Jerusalem to interrogate him about a riot by Palestinians on the Temple Mount the day before. Western press is breathlessly reporting every moment; I could barely find the story in the Israeli papers. But take note of the subtle anti-Israel bias that flows through every Western media report. Here’s the thrust of most of the AP reports. Note that the AP takes pains to make sure you know that the al-Aqsa mosque (all caps) is considered the third holiest site in Islam, and says why. Does it mention that the Temple Mount contains the holiest site in Judaism? Nope. “built agove the ruins” is a very subtle way of making it appear that the Temples are nothing but rubble, whereas the mosques are whole and used by Muslims.
Hussein was detained for questioning over an incident on Tuesday in which Muslim worshippers threw rocks and chairs at tourists visiting the hilltop compound that houses the Al Aqsa Mosque, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. He wouldn’t elaborate on the mufti’s alleged involvement and said the cleric could be released later. Senior clerics are rarely detained in Jerusalem.
The hilltop compound is one of the region’s most sensitive sites. It is revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, built above the ruins of the two biblical Jewish Temples. The Al Aqsa Mosque is the third-holiest site in Islam, from which Muslims believe their Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.
The conflicting claims to the site lie at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and any acts seen as upsetting the delicate status quo risk setting off violence. Palestinians see visits by Israelis at the site as a provocation. Israeli steps to quell Palestinian disturbances there have led to riots in the past.
See what they did with that last bolded line? Israeli steps to put down rioting causes rioting. Got it? Riot control measures equals rioting.
There’s one more thing the AP does throughout its reporting. They lie.
The incident occurred as Israelis marked Jerusalem Day, which commemorates the anniversary of Israel’s capture of east Jerusalem. The city’s eastern sector is home to the Old City, where key Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy sites are located.
Many Jews celebrate the day for “reunifying” the city they yearned and prayed for. Thousands flock to the city to wave flags and dance outside the Old City. For Palestinians it’s a somber day.
Jerusalem was split in two in 1949. This is a fact. Jordan stole the eastern half, annexed it, and proceeded to destroy all of the synagogues and Jewish sites like cemeteries. They used headstones as paving stones and destroyed 58 synagogues. When Israel captured Jerusalem in 1967, the city was reunified after 18 years split in two. By using scare quotes, the AP suggests that it was never “reunified”. This is patently untrue.
Now here’s the WaPo muddying the facts as well. They don’t even begin to explain the Jewish history of the Temple Mount until they’ve fully informed you of the Muslim mosque connection. And they imply that Muslims think of the Temple Mount as holy with this ill-written sentence.
The mosque is on the Temple Mount, a holy site for both Muslins and Jews, and the scene of frequent clashes.
A few paragraphs later, their explanation. Note that the Muslim claim to the Temple Mount is mentioned first and explained more in-depth. And the WaPo capitalizes the Muslim religious shrines, but not the Jewish ones. Interesting, that.
According to Israel police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, the incident began Tuesday when police detained an Israeli Arab who refused to present his identification card when entering the walled plaza that Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary and Jews call the Temple Mount.
After his arrest, Rosenfeld said, a group of young men began to throw plastic chairs at Israeli tourists who were visiting the plaza around the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque, considered the third-most holy site in Islam. Two police officers were slightly injured.
Rosenfeld said the tourists were on a routine visit and were not violating the regulations that non-Muslims refrain from praying, wearing religious symbols or carrying flags at the site, which is also venerated by Jews as the site of the first and second temples.
By the way did you catch that last paragraph? Jews are not allowed to worship on the Temple Mount. There are laws against it. So when Mahmoud Abbas says that Israel is suppressing the freedom of religion, he’s right. But he’s talking about the wrong religion. Jews are regularly arrested for trying to pray on the Temple Mount.
The Reuters article is the worst offender. The first three paragraphs refer only to “al-Aqsa Mosque,” not even mentioning the Temple Mount. This is the fourth paragraph:
Hussein’s arrest came the same day Israel celebrated the anniversary of its capture of East Jerusalem, where al-Aqsa is located, from Jordanian control in the 1967 Middle East war.
Not until the fifth paragraph–which is often two more than your average “World News” section of your local paper prints–does Reuters mention the Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Hussein was arrested to answer questions about what he called the “public disturbance” near al-Aqsa, which overlooks Judaism’s Western Wall. Rosenfeld said no charges were filed after Hussein was questioned for six hours.
And again, when they finally deign to describe the Jewish connections to the Temple Mount, they first emphasize the Muslim ones.
Al-Aqsa mosque is one of the most sensitive sites in the city. Muslims see it as one of their holiest places along with Mecca and Medina, believing the Prophet Mohammad ascended into heaven from the spot during a night journey to Jerusalem.
It is also the most sacred site in Judaism, with Jews revering it as the place where biblical King Solomon built the first temple 3,000 years ago. A second temple there was razed by the Romans in 70 AD.
Note the denigration of the Second Temple and the deletion of any Jewish references, like some random person built some random second temple over the first one, as if it wasn’t also a Temple for Jewish worship. Funny how they do that. I mean, it’s not like the Christian Bible mentions the Second Temple and Jesus being there at all, right? Oh. Wait.
Minimize, minimize, minimize Jewish history. That is the goal of the Palestinians, and journalists appear to have wholeheartedly accepted that goal in their stories. Just once, I’d like to see them reverse the order of the descriptions, pointing out first that the Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism, and then adding that it’s the third-holiest in Islam. But of course, that would break the narrative of Palestinian as victim.
You know what the media never do when they mention “East Jerusalem” or the Old City? They never mention that the Temple is in what was known as the Jewish Quarter of the city. Check out the map. 100,000 Jews lived in Jerusalem in 1948. That never manages to make it into any discussion in Western media. Because, again, it goes against the narrative to point out that Jews lived in East Jerusalem in 1949 when Jordan took it over and threw them all out.
Of course, they can’t. Because it goes against the narrative. Jews can’t have rights to the land, because they’re no longer victims, or something.
Your daily dose of anti-Israel media bias, Jerusalem Day version.