UKMW prompts correction to Times of London claim Sharon visited “al-Aqsa Mosque”

An article at Times of London yesterday (US to rule on recognising Jerusalem as capital of Israel, Dec. 4) included one extremely misleading passage, which we brought to the attention of the journalist (Bel Trew) in the following tweet:

As we explained in our subsequent complaint to Times of London editors, the language used by their reporter erroneously suggests that Sharon, then the opposition leader, visited a Muslim holy site, when in fact his 34 minute tour was to Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount.  Though the al-Aqsa Mosque is located within the larger Temple Mount compound, Sharon did not visit the mosque itself.  Indeed, the language used by Trew mirrors Palestinian propaganda which frames a visit by any Jew to the Temple Mount as an incendiary act and a desecration of a Muslim holy place. 

Further, as our tweet noted, it’s also extremely misleading to claim that Sharon’s visit “triggered the intifada”.  His visit, which was coordinated in advance with Palestinian security officials, may have been the pretext for the subsequent orchestrated Palestinian campaign of violence, but it certainly was not its cause.  (We didn’t include this in our complaint, as editors would have likely viewed the question of causation as open to interpretation.)

Later in the day, we learned that our complaint had been upheld.

Here’ the new language:

(For a version of this post at CAMERA’s Arabic site, go here.)

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11 replies »

  1. I distinctly recall reading a translation from an Egyptian newspaper at the time (or maybe a few months later, even a year or 2), an article which specifically quoted (or was written by) a Palestinian official that Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount was simply a pretext for a wave of violence. Does anyone have a link to that article?

  2. I wonder how they reconcile the fact that the intifada began the day before Sharon visited the Temple Mount. I know that it too much to ask of a British newspaper but it should be mentioned someplace.

  3. As an ex U.K. resident. I distinctly recall that on the day Sharon went walkabut on templemount with many guards,which ch he was perfectly entitled to do,the same day,emergency meetings were held at various synagogues.There was a prepared speech by ambassador and two prepared questions from the floor.Nobody else was allowed to ask or say anything.My point is,if they were worried enough about a reaction,why did they give the Arabs that excuse to riot?And again,although we all know that Jerusalem IS the capital of Israel,and knowingthe likely respons regarding embassy move,(which should have specified West Jerusalem),What was gained?

    • Your message is that everything we plan should be tempered by the expectation that it might displease the Arabs.