Times of London and Telegraph mislead in explanation of root cause of latest Arab violence

Two articles in the British media about the recent wave of Arab terror include background information on the Temple Mount, the contested Jerusalem site both reports claim represents one of the root causes of recent tensions.

Unfortunately, both reports omit crucial information about the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the al-Aqsa Mosque Compound.

An Oct. 13 article at Times of London by Jenny Booth (Death toll rises in Israel on Palestinian ‘Day of Rage’) included the following passage:

Six Israelis and 27 Palestinians, including nine alleged attackers and eight children, have died in almost two weeks of street attacks and security crackdowns, as Israel and the Palestinian territories suffer their worst period of unrest in years.
The attacks began on October 3, stirred in part by Muslim anger over increasing Jewish visits to the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s old city.

Additionally, a Live Blog at the Telegraph (Israel: three killed in Palestinian “day of rage“) on today’s attacks in Jerusalem and central Israel included this passage:

The violence has been stirred in part by Muslim anger over increasing Jewish visits to the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, Islam’s holiest site outside the Arabian Peninsula.

Both reports omit the fact that Jews are of course visiting the Temple Mount (located within the greater “al-Aqsa mosque compound”), the holiest site in Judaism.  

Readers would likely be left with false impression that Jews are trespassing on a uniquely Muslim holy site – thus causing increased ‘tensions’.

Indeed, we’ve noticed a greater tendency of UK news sites to highlight the Muslim importance of the site, while downplaying its significance to Jews, following a PLO memo to journalists “advising” them not to use the term “Temple Mount”. Instead, they instructed reporters to refer to the site as the “Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound”, and even strangely argued that using the term “Temple Mount” is a violation of international law.


We of course don’t know if there’s a connection between the PLO memo and the tendency of journalists covering the region to emphasize the Islamic significance the holy site. Nonetheless, it’s troubling that, for whatever reason, both reports fail to accurately convey to readers the Jewish significance of the Temple Mount, thus reinforcing the continuing Palestinian denial of Jews’ connection to the holy city.

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