Contrary to claims by Sky, AFP and Reuters, Jordan does not have a guardianship role over Jerusalem’s Christian holy sites.
Though the Sky News Arabia article is correct in observing that there have been no Arab players on the team, their claim that Beitar hasn’t had a single Muslim player is completely untrue.
Little is new in Sky News Arabia’s world: the sun shines, the wind blows, and Jewish settlers “storm al-Aqsa Mosque”. Thus, the British-Emirati network’s portrayal of virtually all Israeli and Jewish presence at the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, as illegitimate, has encompassed twenty-two exclusive news items over less than two years.
It’s extremely troubling that Sky News Arabia – a network which purports to uphold Western journalistic standards – would evoke classic antisemitic tropes by suggesting that the editorial decisions of a rival Arab media outlet were made at the behest of ‘the Zionists’.
When the entire country is labeled “occupied” “Palestine”, these Arabic-language Western media outlets – which purportedly uphold Western journalistic standards of objectivity and accuracy – are legitimizing extremist rhetoric negating Israel’s very existence.
Earlier this month, Sky News Arabia – a joint venture between the UK-based Sky News and Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation – joined the long list of news outlets who have falsely claimed that Jerusalem’s Western Wall is “Judaism’s holiest site”. The false claim was in an article, published in its website on March 8th, about a protest at the Western Wall compound by the organisation “Women of the Wall”.
According to Sky News Arabia, even Arab citizens of Israel are being “occupied”. This represents the adoption of a radical terminology associated with the positions of terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, which views any Jewish presence in the region as an illegal “occupation”.
In recent years, CAMERA analysts have noted that media coverage of Beitar is often obsessive, myopic and plagued by double-standards. We’ve noted that ethnic and religious tensions in football teams’ hiring practices, and racism by some fans, is not at all a phenomenon that’s at all unique to Israel. Moreover, we’ve criticised such tendentious media reports which misleadingly draw broad conclusions about Israeli society based on the behavior of one team and some of their fans behavior.
Contrary to claims by Sky News Arabia that the Jordan-Israeli peace agreement grants Jordanian custody over Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, the text of the agreement makes clear that Jordan’s special role only involves Muslim shrines in the city.
Such shoddy journalism again indicates that Sky News Arabia appears more interested in joining its brethren in the Arab media by parroting anti-Israel propaganda than in engaging in well-sourced, professional reporting – a disregard for basic journalistic standards that also casts a shadow on its London-based parent
Whilst covering events in Jerusalem over the past year, including tensions at the city’s holy sites in the summer of 2017, Sky News Arabia has repeatedly leveled unsubstantiated and erroneous allegations against Jewish visitors and Israeli security forces when reporting on incidents at The Temple Mount – Judaism’s holiest site. Namely, all Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount are blanketly referred to as “settlers”, and are accused of “storming”, “infiltrating” and “violating” the al-Aqsa Mosque compound with the support of the Israeli police (“the police of the Occupation”).
Sky News Arabia wholeheartedly parroted Palestinian propaganda regarding incidents on the Temple Mount – ignoring the principles of neutrality and objectivity.
On April 8th 2018, Sky News Arabia published an item with the headline: “A Palestinian injured by a settler in the West Bank”. Camera-Arabic researchers noticed that the headline was inaccurate, as it creates the impression that the injured Palestinian was an innocent man who was shot by a settler without justification.
What Sky News Arabia claims was “1000 settlers storming al-Aqsa” actually refers to 1000 Jews peacefully and legally visiting the Temple Mount (Judaism’s holiest site) on Tisha B’Av, the Jewish day of mourning to commemorate the destruction of the first and second Temples.
The Sky News Arabia report omitted any mention of the Muslim rioting at the Temple Mount which necessitated the police response and falsely claimed that “Israeli extremists stormed the mosque”.