The terror attack on the Temple Mount by two Arab Israelis on July 14th, Palestinian riots following the installation of metal detectors on July 16th and the hacking to death of a Jewish family during Shabbat on July 21st all had one thing in common: they all involved violence at least partly inspired by the deadly myth that Jews are going to defile, take over or destroy al-Aqsa Mosque.
Not only did the Guardian’s coverage of these incidents fail to mention the history of what is essentially an antisemitic conspiracy theory about al-Aqsa, and the violence it has incited, but it also created new myth: that Palestinian protests over al-Aqsa (putatively over new security measures on the Mount) can be characterised as a “largely non-violent…campaign of civil disobedience“.
The evolving crisis has seen Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority suspend security cooperation with Israel on the West Bank, as well as the nightly mass protests in Jerusalem that are beginning to take the shape of a campaign of civil disobedience. – The Guardian’s Peter Beaumont, July 26th
There have been signs that the prayer protest movement – which drew thousands each night to largely non-violent gatherings – had given an unusual sense of empowerment to Palestinians in East Jerusalem who have long lived without their own political institutions under Israeli occupation. – The Guardian’s Peter Beaumont, July 27th
However, as anyone not influenced by the Guardian’s continuous obfuscation of illiberal Palestinian tendencies would surely know, protests since July 16th have been defined by violent riots and incitement to violence.
Violence by Palestinian ‘protesters’:
Here's one of the Palestinian nonviolent demonstrations of the last weeks.
— Shlomi Ben Meir (@shlomikliab) July 31, 2017
Incitement to violence by Palestinian ‘protesters’:
Protestors back at Lions Gate: "We want bullets, we want rockets. The people will liberate Al Aqsa." pic.twitter.com/PbVR3qRfPZ
— joshmitnick (@joshmitnick) July 25, 2017
Muslim women from the outlawed Muribitat group chatting "With our blood and our souls we will redeem Al-Aqsa" outside Temple Mount entrance pic.twitter.com/k0KqUsER97
— Raoul Wootliff (@RaoulWootliff) July 25, 2017
Parts of the crowd shouting "how beautiful it is to kill soldiers, officers and border police" pic.twitter.com/DUzie9v1Yc
— Raf Sanchez (@rafsanchez) July 21, 2017
A Ghandi-esque campaign of peaceful resistance it was not.
However, the advocacy journalism practiced by Beaumont demands that the Palestinian cause be framed – regardless of the evidence – as peaceful and progressive. Therefore, all information that runs counter to this narrative must be downplayed, obfuscated and whitewashed.