This narrative is reinforced by the FT’ journalist’s introduction of a quote, in the second paragraph, by the radical, anti-Zionist group Adalah, which characterises the crackdown as as a way to “intimidate and exact revenge” against Palestinians.
In the fifth paragraph, the writer again reinforces the ‘crackdown on peaceful protesters’ narrative:
This week’s crackdown on protesters threatens to extend unrest, activists warn, ahead of a so-called ‘day of rage’ on Friday called for by the Palestinian authorities in the West Bank.
It’s not until the sixth paragraph that readers are provided with any information suggesting that the police crackdown is not on peaceful “protesters”, but on those who’ve engaged in violent riots and attacks during the spate of Arab-Jewish violence that broke out in Israeli cities. Even then, however, it’s only in the form of a quote by a police spokesperson.
The police this week launched operation “law and order”, describing it as “a comprehensive deployment against the rioters, criminals and everyone involved.” On Thursday, the police said the operation would continue into next week, focusing on people with illegal weapons.
The article then devotes three paragraphs to the plight of two Palestinian woman who allege they were arrested by Israeli police without cause. However, there isn’t even a sentence in the entire piece about the hundreds of incidents, many caught on video, of Palestinians rioting and attacking Jews.
The article ends thusly:
Despite the ceasefire, tensions have remained high because of the increased numbers of Israeli “settlers” allowed into the compound by the Israeli authorities. Palestinians claim these are extremist groups staking a claim with the ultimate aim of building a third Jewish temple there.
Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, director of the mosque, said the settler’s actions and aggressive policing risked further inciting Palestinians and Muslims worldwide. “Their provocations are the reason for this unrest and instability,” he said. “We feel there is war each time we come to this sacred place.”
First, the FT journalist fails to note that the Temple Mount was closed to Jews for nearly three weeks, beginning in early May, in order to lessen the chances of Palestinian violence. So, the “increase” in Jews visiting in reality merely refers to a number greater than zero.
Additionally, note how the Palestinian “claim” that those Jews visiting Judaism’s holiest site are “extremists” who want to destroy al-Aqsa and build a Third Temple on the site, and the mosque director’s warning that the “settler’s” visit to the site are “provocations”, goes unchallenged by the journalist, who evidently doesn’t find it peculiar that peaceful visits by Jews to the holy site are seen as a threat.
The fact is that various forms of the “Al-Aqsa is in danger” libel has been used by Palestinian extremists to incite violence against Jews for nearly one-hundred years – that is, it precedes, by over four decades, Israeli control of the site. To this day, official Palestinian Authority leaders, and their government controlled media outlets, consistently peddle such lies, often characterising any Jewish presence whatsoever at the Temple Mount/al-Aqsa Mosque compound as a “defilement” and “invasion”.
The cry that the al-Aqsa Mosque is endangered by Jews is nothing less than an antisemitic conspiracy theory, and the FT’s uncritical amplification of the most recent charge reflects a larger pattern of Western commentators framing Palestinian pathologies as legitimate grievances.