Harriet Sherwood ‘forgets’ to note place of relative Jewish significance in Jerusalem

SherwoodHarriet Sherwood’s latest report, ‘Israeli elections set to amplify religious voice in Knesset‘, Jan. 21, highlights commentators predicting that Knesset representation for religiously observant Jews will likely increase following the Jan. 22 election.

While Sherwood’s report represents the latest in a string of Guardian news stories and commentaries suggesting a ‘rightward’ electoral shift in the Jewish state, one passage in particular stood out:

“Binyamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party, currently in an electoral alliance with the former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu, is also expected to be more hardline rightwing in the next parliament. Among those expecting to become new members of the Knesset is Moshe Feiglin, who this month proposed that the Israeli government pay Palestinians in the West Bank $500,000 a family to leave. “This is the perfect solution for us,” he said.

Feiglin, a hardline settler from Karnei Shomron in the West Bank, was recently arrested for praying near the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque. Israeli law forbids Jews from praying at the compound.”

Yes, why indeed would a religious Israeli Jew be provocatively praying “near the the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque” in Jerusalem?

Could there be a place of Jewish religious significance near these sacred Islamic sites?

Indeed, yes there is.  

A little place known as ‘The Temple Mount’, or Har Habayit, is identified in Jewish (and Islamic) tradition as the area of Mount Moriah where Abraham offered up his son in sacrifice, and it is where the Second Temple stood between roughly 515 BCE until 70 CE.

It is universally recognized as the holiest site in Judaism.


Millions pray each year at the Western Wall (a retaining wall initiated by King Herod) due to its close proximity to the original Temple. 

Though Israel does not allow non-Muslim prayer on the Temple Mount to avoid offending Muslims (which is indeed why Feiglin was arrested), it strains credulity to imagine that Sherwood, who’s been the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent since 2010, just innocently forgot to mention the Jewish significance of the site where the Israeli MK was praying.

While we have credited Sherwood for her few recent minimal steps towards more balanced reporting, this glaring omission again demonstrates the degree to which her view from Jerusalem is still egregiously skewed by a knee-jerk anti-Israel bias. 

36 replies »

  1. It has become axiomatic that British reporters exhibit pathological ignorance not only in history but have no shame in displaying what a bunch of morons they are. Indeed, Feiglin is a bit of a curse on Bibi and his hopes to govern more from the center, but the notion that a Jew is provocatively praying on Temple Mount is nothing but an insult to any Jew or for Israelis, and the British are good and reliable when it comes to put down Israel, Israelis, Jews, regardless if they are Orthodox, Right Wing, or simply “settlers”. They were the first to impoverish Jews who came to settle in England and threw them out, hatred and perfidy going back 1000 years, so it is not surprising that the current residents are nothing but nasty to the Jews.

    • “Feiglin, a hardline settler from Karnei Shomron in the West Bank, was recently arrested for praying near the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque.”

      This is 100% accurate. He was praying near the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque, in violation of Israeli law.

    • “the British are good and reliable when it comes to put down Israel, Israelis, Jews … it is not surprising that the current residents are nothing but nasty to the Jews.”

      What a load of nonsense. And you accuse others of ignorance?
      (although you at least have the excuse of not being e.g. a London correspondent)

    • “the British are good and reliable when it comes to put down Israel, Israelis, Jews, regardless if they are Orthodox”

      Al Ramy, many of thosee British citizens you seem to despise are Jews.

  2. Dig a little deeper, my friend. It’s not as a ‘British’ reporter that Harriet Sherwood is writing. He roots are as un-British as they are malicious.

  3. Ooh Harriet you saucy wench! You forgot to mention the religious significance of the Wailing Wall! next thing you’ll be calling for the destruction of Israel and all it stands for!


    • Is Hattie a saucy wench? Anyways, Snotty, the reference is to the Temple Mount, not the Wailing Wall. It’s a common mistake the ignorant make all the time.

  4. Nice post, Adam. Again Sherwood can’t be bothered to notice that the Temple Mount is IT for religious Jews, only that it is a place of Muslim worship, but notices that “Israel” is lurching to the right, but nothing about the Fatah lurching even further to the right by making nice with Hamas, even though it’s hard to imagine anything that could be further to the right than Hamas.

  5. Adam,
    A religious Jew, other than a Cohen or a Levi, has no place in Har Habayit!
    Surely you knew that?

    This is the holiest place for Judaism where only priests may enter.
    Until, and if, the temple is rebuilt Jews which classify themselves as religious, have no place walking there, let alone praying there.

    Ask your Rabbi.

    • 1 – A religious Jew, other than a Cohen or a Levi, cannot take the risk of stepping into where the Holy of Holies used to stand, which is why religious Jews cannot visit the Haram Al Sharif / Temple Mount.

      2 – An Israeli does not have the right to visit the Haram Al Sharif / Temple Mount unless he has a special permit (e.g. security personnel) as per Israeli law.

      3 – Any responsible Israeli politician will refrain from acts of provocation on the Haram Al Sharif / Temple Mount. Ariel Sharon’s act of provocation unleashed a Palestinian uprising which cost the lives of many innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians.

      • Nonesense.
        Every Israeli have the civil right to visit the place, as I have, unless he / she intends to disrupt the peace.

        Praying is classifyed as disrupting the sensitive of the site (the old city).
        The reason being is that religious Jews should not set foot in it (until the temple has been rebuilt) and since these issues have been issued by rabbis the government sees no reason to anger the Muslims by disputing this to appease some people who need to provocate no matter what.

        I have no comment about what sharon did since I do not like him it will biased of me to give my opinion.

        • Israeli soldiers screen people entering the Haram Al Sharif / Temple Mount, to make sure only Muslims enter through the usual gates, and that only non-Israelis enter through the Maghrebi gate. An Israeli friend was refused entry and told he could access the site only as part of a group escorted by the Israeli police.

          • Every israeli and non-Israeli can freely enter to the Har Habayit (Temple Mount in English) during predetermined visiting hours. There are no soldiers at the entry but police who do security checks. Thank you Nat proving again that you never ever put your feet on Israeli soil and you are not only a dumbass but a pathological too.

              • I not only went in with my kids and wife, I sat down at the enterence and had a chat with the 2 Magavnikim that were on shift.
                They knew who i was and that I do not enter to provoke but to view a beautiful historical and religious site.

                The locals don’t mind if you show respect.
                It’s those who don’t show respect that cause problems.
                And that goes for anywhere in the world.

                • Actualy while I was there last time there was a group of French Orthodox Jews who were prevented from going up because they had their Talit and Tefilin bags with them.
                  The guards instructed them to leave it behind and return for it, when they refused and made a scene they were asked to leave back to the Kotel.

                  It’s as simple as that.
                  It won’t be the provocator which will end up having to clean the mess they make.
                  It will be the police.

          • Only Muslims?

            Shit – they let me in!

            As I understand it, it is only an advisory rule. But I’m sure others here will have the low-down.

            As peter suggests below – have you ever actually been to Jerusalem?