Yesterday we posted about a Guardian story titled ‘‘Life in Palestine 20 years on from the Oslo accord – in pictures‘, Sept. 21, which included one photo of a protest in Gaza City with a caption claiming that the Palestinians were demonstrating in response to “Jewish settlers” who had recently “stormed” the al-Aqsa mosque. This bizarre charge, as we clearly demonstrated, was a lie.
Additionally, a second photo in the same Sept. 21 Guardian set included a caption which is similarly untrue.
Here’s the photo:
Here’s the caption:
However, regardless of what the Palestinians in Betunia thought they were protesting, the claim that “Jewish extremists” entered the al-Aqsa mosque is untrue.
For beginners, though non-Muslims are permitted to walk around the mosque compound (The Temple Mount, which is the holiest place in Judaism), all non-Muslims (including “Jewish extremists”) are forbidden from entering inside the mosque. (I confirmed that this is the policy by calling the Islamic Waqf, which is responsible for the Temple Mount area, and asking if I, as a non-Muslim could enter. I was told that I can walk around the mosque, but not inside. A professional Israeli tour guide I spoke to also confirmed that this is the policy.) Additionally, even if Jews had somehow entered the mosque, how would anyone be able to determine if they were “extremists”?
As with the previous photo caption, the Guardian again allowed pure Palestinian propaganda regarding the al-Aqsa mosque – consistent with a larger anti-Zionist narrative advanced by extremists alleging that the mosque is threatened by Jews – to pass as straight news. Whilst the Guardian likely isn’t responsible for the photo itself (as such images are typically taken by photojournalists at outside agencies), their editors are indeed responsible for editing the caption for accuracy. In the last two examples we’ve highlighted, Guardian editors failed miserably at this task.