Readers may recall that back in December 2014 the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’ sent Tim Franks to Jerusalem to make a special programme titled “The push to increase access to the Temple Mount”.
Franks’ first interviewee in that programme was a woman he described as being “a guardian of the compound” but – as was noted here at the time:
“…Franks should also have clarified to listeners that the female “guardians of the compound” (whose main activity is to hassle non-Muslims visiting Temple Mount), among whom his interviewee is apparently to be counted, are paid by the Hamas-affiliated Northern Islamic Movement with the funds often coming from Gulf countries.”
The New York Times recently produced an article on the same topic of the female activists on Temple Mount and, writing at Tablet Magazine, Yair Rosenberg provides some additional background and context absent from the BBC’s portrayal of the subject.
“This account is not simply a vivid dispatch from another front in the Middle East’s many religious conflicts. It is also a sobering reminder of why many Israelis insist on ironclad security guarantees in any two-state deal with their Palestinian neighbors. After all, if Palestinian extremists cannot bring themselves to accept Jewish presence even at Judaism’s holiest site, it is hard to imagine them accepting a Jewish presence within any borders outside that site, without detailed and robust security arrangements to head off any unrest–and without responsible Palestinian leadership that calms the fears of its people rather than inflaming them.”
Read the article here.
BBC WS ‘Newshour’ special edition from Jerusalem – part one