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August 1, 2016 3:40 am

The BBC Ignores Another Story on the Temple Mount

avatar by Hadar Sela

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The Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

BBC reporting of confrontations on the Temple Mount has often been selective, and therefore it came as little surprise to see that the corporation elected to ignore this story:

Two members of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf were arrested Wednesday after allegedly attacking Israeli archaeologist Zachi Dvira on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.

A group of six Israeli archaeologists were attacked by eight Waqf members as they toured the holy site, the Hebrew language Ynet website reported. The clash began after the Israeli group refused to leave the compound when ordered to do so by the Waqf personnel.

A first-hand account of that incident can be found here.

The Waqf’s demands were unsolicited and absurd, especially when they prevented us from seeking out the police. Officially, the Waqf guards have no authority upon tourists walking in the open courts of the Mount. Their only authority is inside the Mosques, in which tourists are not allowed. The only official authority are the police, and it is sad that these types of incidents are often overlooked due to political concerns and that the Waqf guards can harass innocent tourist.

Once again, we see that BBC audiences do not receive news that does not tie in with the BBC’s prevailing narrative.

Relatedly, we noted here last month that a BBC Trust adviser handling an appeal concerning a BBC report wrote:

“…the Al-Aqsa Mosque is situated very close to, and on the same raised platform as, the Dome of the Rock (under which the ruins of the two Jewish temples are assumed to be buried – although there was ongoing debate about this)” [emphasis added]

We remarked:

One can only hope that the statement above does not suggest that the BBC subscribes to, or accommodates, the narrative of ‘Temple denial’ propagated by some PA officials and others.

The Times of Israel recently published an interview with the Palestinian Authority’s “top cleric,” which contained the following revelations:

But regarding the holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount — known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif — Habbash said the idea that ancient Jewish temples stood where the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem stands today is a myth.

Habbash was unfazed by a 1925 pamphlet on the Temple Mount produced by the Supreme Islamic Council, the body in charge of Muslim community affairs during the British Mandate in Palestine from 1920 to 1948, that states that the Temple Mount is indisputably the former site of Solomon’s temple. While he respects the Jews’ right to their own narrative, Habbash said, there is a “reality on the ground.” […]

Pressed on this point — wasn’t it once the Waqf’s own narrative that Solomon’s temple was on the mount? — Habbash’s response, in short, was this: forget narratives and concentrate on the status quo. “Please, please, don’t push us against the wall” and make this a religious war, he said, in which Israel would find “two billion Muslims as well as two billion Christians against you.” This unveiled threat was delivered in the calmest, nicest way imaginable.

Following the interview, Habbash asked for a copy of the pamphlet. In a statement to The Times of Israel, he questioned the document’s authenticity, saying he has “plenty of reasons to believe that some of the sentences were altered and new phrases and terms were injected in order to make it look like it endorses the Jewish narrative that the area where Haram al-Sharif stands used to be the site of the Temple Mount.”

The ability of BBC audiences to understand the frequently reported tensions surrounding Temple Mount would obviously be enhanced were they informed of the motivations that lie behind the Palestinian tactic of trying to rewrite Jewish history in Jerusalem. However, with the BBC increasingly compromising its own impartiality by adopting PLO approved terminology and narratives, it seems unlikely that audiences will be provided with objective information anytime soon.

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  • Michael Farmer

    Strange how a reply to this post has been censored. Ms. Sela is no guardian of truth or free speech.

  • Michael Farmer

    “The Land of Israel as the National Home of The Jewish people in their historical land as international law.”

    You are continuing to deceptively mis-quote Balfour by using the text “THE National Home of the ….”

    The actual text, which you have been reminded of on many occasions is … “the establishment in Palestine of A national home for the Jewish people”. This they now have. It’s called Israel, yet they seek by force of arms to take the land that should be used for the Palestinians to also have their own state. Balfour does NOT suggest that the whole of Palestine be given as the state of Israel. Why are you so afraid of the truth, Draiman?

  • In Israel; if we do not fight for our rights, we will not be here. It is a matter of survival.
    Abbas the financier of the Munich Massacre.
    Complain on Israel ignoring its Jewish roots and heritage of our nation.
    The minute the U.N. its representatives or anyone else call Judea and Samaria aka West Bank occupied territory, than there is nobody to talk to. Jordan is also occupied territory. Moreover, all the Arab countries received over 12 million sq. km. of territory, established after WWI are also occupied territory; they were all allocated their territory by the Supreme Allied Powers at the same time they allocated Palestine aka The Land of Israel as the National Home of The Jewish people in their historical land as international law. The Jewish people must fight for their rights and heritage no concessions. Past concessions and compromise have proved counterproductive and only increased terror and violence. Stop deluding your-selves the Arabs do not want peace; they want all of Israel without the Jews. When the Arabs teach and train their children to hate, commit terror and violence, and their charter calls for the destruction of Israel. You are dealing with the enemy and not a peace partner. NEVER AGAIN. Stop the Ghetto Mentality.
    The Arabs attacked Israel with superior men-power and weapons, in four wars since the British left The Land of Israel aka Palestine in 1948. They lost all four wars in utter defeat. It is time for the Arabs to face reality. The Land of Israel west of the Jordan River including ancient Jerusalem, which was liberated in four defensive wars; belongs to the Jewish people and will be retained by Israel and its Jewish population for eternity.
    It is enough, that the Arabs have Jordan, which is Jewish territory, and the homes and over 120,000 sq. km. of land the Arabs confiscated from the expelled million Jewish families, who lived in the Arab countries for over 2,600 years and now were resettled in Israel and comprise over half the population.
    YJ Draiman

    The Arab countries terrorized and expelled a million Jewish families

    Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.