UK Media Watch

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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