Monday, April 11, 2005

The Australian gets it wrong

THE fragile truce between Israel and the Palestinians was shaken at the weekend when Palestinian militants fired at least 60 mortar shells at Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip after Israeli soldiers killed three unarmed Palestinian youths who had entered a military no-go area on the border with Egypt.

The Australian
A short analysis of the above:

  • Arms: 60 mortars vs 3 bullets
  • Targeting: general vs specific
  • Victims: settlers vs "unarmed Palestinian youths"

The article is structured so that the latter imbalance justifies the former two. Later on, tucked away in the midst of the article is the following statement: "Palestinian security officials later acknowledged they were involved in an arms smuggling operation" and explains that the figures were crawling through the restricted military zone. With this in mind, is the term "unarmed Palestinian youths" correct? and accordingly, the entire framing of the article is wrongfooted.

Tensions rose further with the attempt by an extreme right-wing Jewish organisation to stage a massive pray-in yesterday on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, a site holy to both Muslims and Jews. Islamic organisations warned of the outbreak of a new intifada if Jews violated the sanctity of the site, dominated by the al-Aqsa mosque, Islam's third holiest site.

Another short analysis:

  • Temple Mount: "a site holy to both Muslims and Jews" (joint/equal claim)
  • al-Aqsa mosque: Islam's third holiest site (special claim: Muslim)

The article fails to mention that the Temple Mount is (and has been for some 3000 years) Judaism's holiest site. Despite that, for the sake of the peace, Israeli police have consistently supported the WAQF (Islamic administrator of the holy site) and refused or limited Jewish entry to their holiest site. The Western Wall is the nearest Jews can get to their holy site.

(Note: Jews all around the world pray facing the temple mount, while Muslims of the middle east will face their backside to the mosque and pray to Mecca)

Further, the article fails on the facts, the temple mount is not dominated by the al-Aqsa mosque, but rather the dome of the rock - Qubbat As-Sakhrah, which does not even make the top three list. In fact, it is not even a mosque, and your local mosque and 123 Main Street is holier than this structure. The following image and links highlight this:

See Wikipedia or your encyclopedia's own definition of the terms Temple Mount, Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque.

Aerial view of Temple Mount, with the Dome of the Rock in the center and the Al Aqsa Mosque on the upper left of the compound

The Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is not to be confused with the Dome of the Rock

1 comment:

lisamarieelliott said...

Thanks for your article, quite effective info.