CiF Watch prompts Guardian correction #2: Evidently, Jewish ‘extremists’ didn’t enter the mosque

We recently commented on two false and remarkably propagandistic photo captions at the Guardian in a Sept. 21 story titled ‘Life in Palestine 20 years on from the Oslo accord – in pictures, both of which have now been corrected.  

Whilst we already posted about one of the corrections (a caption, before the correction, which included the comical claim that Jews had “stormed” the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem on Yom Kippur!), there was an additional caption we complained about which also prompted a correction.

Here is the photo:

Here is the original caption:

As we noted in our original post, regardless of what the Palestinians in Betunia thought they were protesting, the claim that “Jewish extremists” had entered the al-Aqsa mosque was untrue.  Whilst non-Muslims are permitted to walk around the mosque compound (The Temple Mount, which is the holiest place in Judaism), all non-Muslims (including Jews) are forbidden from entering inside the mosque. Additionally, we asked, even if Jews had somehow managed to enter the mosque itself, how would anyone be able to determine if they were “extremists”?

The Guardian was unable to defend the original caption and revised it as follows:


Whilst we’re glad they acknowledged that their original claim (that “Jewish extremists” entered the mosque) was untrue and that Jews had in fact only entered the area around the mosque (as they are permitted to do every day except Friday), note that the word “extremists” was curiously changed to “settlers”.

We asked in our original post how the photographer (and Guardian editors) could possibly have determined if Jewish visitors to the site were political “extremists”, and their revision begs a similar question: Absent interviews with each visitor, how precisely can the Guardian determine if the Israelis touring the holy sites were in fact “settlers”?

It’s almost as if Israelis who live in the “West Bank” have some sort of distinct physical marking on their body which is absent from those who live within the state’s pre-1967 boundaries – an idea which may be a bit of a stretch, but no less fantastical than the Guardian tale (implicit in their original captions) of masses of crazed, extremist Jews storming the al-Aqsa mosque!   


5 replies »

  1. The word “settler” itself is politically charged. If it’s a community of Jews, it’s called a “settlement.” If it’s a community of Arabs, it’s called a “refugee camp.”

    • “If it’s a community of Arabs, it’s called a “refugee camp”

      If it was a community of Arabs in 48, it soon became a “refugee camp.”

      Off topic Im a little worried that CIFWatch has lost its edge and I may have to return to CIF out of boredom . Maybe the problem for CIFWatch is that there is so little in- your -face anti Semitism on CIF that the most tangential and least effective of links are used here.

      Also sometimes people makes mistakes when they talk about Israel , here it is seized on as proof of horrendous hate thought . They often use the words Jew/Israeli in ways that cause offence, indeed are inappropriate ,but given the confusions in Israel itself ( The Jewish State ) its hardly surprising.

      However I would like to come back occasionally if that’s OK and thank posters and particularly Adam for putting up with me whilst on a break from CIF.