Sky News fails to challenge lie that Israel plans to destroy al-Aqsa Mosque

Yesterday in London, there was another hateful anti-Israel demo outside the Israel embassy. Sky News had a segment on both the demo and the broader issue concerning recent Arab terror attacks in Israel.  Whilst the entire segment is problematic, the final minute includes an interview at the London demo with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) Vice Chair, in which several blatantly false charges unchallenged.

Specifically, Sky News reporter Alex Rossi interviewed PSC Vice Chair Kamel Hawwash and failed to challenge two dangerous lies about the ‘root cause’ of the recent terror wave in Israel.

Here’s the entire seven minute segment:


First, beginning at roughly the 4:20 mark in the film, note that Rossi falsely claimed that Netanyahu has a secret plan to allow Jews to pray at the Temple Mount / Al-Aqsa Compound.  

However, as anyone who’s been following the issue would surely know, the Israeli prime minister has stated repeatedly that there is no such plan to change the status quo, where Jews can visit but not pray.  Indeed, Netanyahu recently banned Israeli MKs and ministers (and Arab MKs) from visiting the site in order to prevent the possibility that a visit by a controversial political figure will ignite more violence.

Even worse, the PSC Vice Chair then claims there is a secret plan to destroy the Mosque and build a Third Temple. This also goes unchallenged by Rossi.

He further claims that Israeli security personnel have engaged in “extra-judicial executions”.

The Sky News reporter allowed millions of viewers to hear such PSC propaganda without comment or critical scrutiny.

Of course, these aren’t just any lies. The charges by the PSC parrot Palestinian conspiracy theories about al-Aqsa which have helped fuel the recent orgy of violence against Jews – attacks which have left eight Israelis dead and dozens injured in knifing, car-ramming and shooting attacks.

In other words, the PSC Chair added fuel to the fire by repeating Palestinian agitprop, and the Sky News reporter just let it pass as if they were reasonable or uncontroversial charges.

We should of course remember that British news editors and broadcasters have a professional responsibility to challenge questionable or outright false charges leveled by those they interview or quote.

It’s extremely dispiriting that not only do Israelis have to cope with the violence instigated by a campaign of incitement by Palestinians and their leaders, but they must also deal with the amplification of such dangerous propaganda by putatively professional British journalists.

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