We recently came across an article in The Herald (of Scotland) by former MSP Colin Campbell, titled ‘The power keg that is East Jerusalem‘, which recounts his tour of Jerusalem as part of a delegation funded by the Palestinian Committee of the Jordanian Parliament.
Its propaganda value is truly off the charts, as Campbell repeats nearly every Palestinian talking point about Israel’s alleged “desecration” of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City. He also notes that al-Aqsa is Islam’s third holiest site, while failing to even acknowledge the holiness of the Temple Mount complex for Jews (It’s of course Judaism’s holiest site.)
However, the most egregiously false claim is found in the context of his complaint about Israel’s ‘encroachment’ on the al-Aqsa mosque
Extremist settlers have been allowed, many would say assisted, in entering and occupying the mosque and using it to conduct Jewish ceremonies.
However, as anyone familiar with the rules in place at the Temple Mount / Al-Aqsa Compound would surely know, Jews (and all non-Muslims) are not allowed inside the mosque, and are only allowed to tour the larger compound. Indeed, even within the larger compound, Jews are not allowed to (even silently) pray.
The only Jews who ever occasionally go inside the actual mosque for any reason are Israeli soldiers, who of course do so to quell periodic Palestinian violence. Indeed, we were unable to find any serious news site even claiming that Jews have entered the mosque to “conduct Jewish ceremonies’.
Indeed, such broader narratives about ‘Jewish incursions’ on the mosque “to conduct Jewish rituals” are sometimes spread by Palestinian media sources, but are widely understood to represent crude propaganda designed to fuel the campaign of incitement.
Here’s one example, from Palestine News Network (republished at International Middle East Media Center) to show you how bizarre such claims are:
We’ve complained to Herald editors, under the terms of the accuracy clause of the editors’ code, and will update you when we receive a reply.