As has been noted here on many occasions, the BBC serially avoids any serious reporting on the issue of Palestinian Authority incitement – including that relating to the sensitive issue of al Aqsa mosque.
For some years now the PA has been exploiting the anniversary of an incident that took place in 1969 when a mentally ill Christian Australian tourist set fire to the mosque. As the Times of Israel reported, this year was no exception.
“The Palestinian Authority and Hamas both revived the lie that a Jew or Jews were behind the 1969 arson of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by a Christian fundamentalist, which took place 48 years ago.
Marking the August 23 anniversary, both parties again blamed Jews and tied the old incident to recent conflict at the Temple Mount, which saw weeks of protests and violence. […]
Dr. Mahmoud Habbash, Supreme Sharia Judge in the Palestinian Authority and a close adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday, in statements published by the official PA news site Wafa, that “the fires that erupted in the Al-Aqsa Mosque 48 years ago by a Jewish terrorist of Australian origin are still burning today, as long as the noble sanctuary and the holy city [of Jerusalem] are violated by the Israeli occupation.””
Palestinian Media Watch reports that in addition, official PA television aired a ‘documentary’ on the topic that was also shown in previous years.
“With Palestinian-Israeli tensions over Jerusalem’s Old City and the Temple Mount still simmering, the Palestinian Authority has chosen to intensify Palestinian anger and hate by repeating one of its most dangerous libels – that “senior Jews of high position” planned the arson of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969. In a documentary broadcast on PA TV, it was presented as fact that not only did Jews plan the arson of the Mosque but also that after the fire started Israel shut off the water supply, preventing fire fighters from efficiently putting out the fire. […]
“PA TV’s decision to broadcast this Al-Aqsa libel now, follows its ongoing attempts to keep Palestinian hatred of Israel simmering over the Temple Mount issue. Last month the Palestinian Authority Minister of Religious Affairs told Palestinian viewers on television that Israel was planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque…”
The BBC frequently tells its audiences that ‘tensions’ in Jerusalem are caused by the belief on the part of Palestinians that Israel intends to alter the status quo on Temple Mount or even that al Aqsa mosque itself is ‘in danger’. It does not however bother to inform audiences why such baseless beliefs are so enduring and widespread and how they are nourished by incitement in the PA media and from even the highest of PA officials.
Without that crucial information, BBC audiences clearly cannot properly understand the recurring story of ‘clashes’ in Jerusalem.