Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wikipedia summarizes the incident:
Denis Michael Rohan (born 1 July 1941 - died 1995) was an Australian citizen who gained worldwide infamy on 21 August 1969, when he attempted to set fire to the Al-Aqsa mosque, located atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Rohan was arrested for the arson attack on 23 August 1969. He was tried, found to be insane, and hospitalized in a mental institution. On 14 May 1974, he was later deported from Israel "on humanitarian grounds, for further psychiatric treatment near his family". He was subsequently transferred to the Callan Park Hospital in Australia. In 1995, he was reported to have died under psychiatric care.

Rohan, a Christian, stated that he considered himself "the Lord's emissary" and that he tried to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque acting upon divine instructions to enable the Jews of Israel to rebuild the Temple on the Temple Mount in accordance with the Book of Zechariah, thereby hasten the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Today is the 44th anniversary of that event, and practically every single Arab media outlet is claiming that the arsonist was Jewish.

Of course sites that are filled with overt antisemitism, like Al Watan Voice, claim Rohan was Jewish. But Ma'an News - which pretends to hold to Western journalistic standards - says Rohan was a "Jewish extremist" (in Arabic.) Jordan's Al Ghad says he was Jewish.

Ma'an separately reports that the head of the Muslim-Christian Association in Jerusalem commemorated the anniversary and also said Rohan was Jewish.

The official Palestinian Arab news agency Wafa also claims Rohan  was Jewish. As does, naturally, Hamas' Felesteen newspaper.

Respected pan-Arab Al Arabiya claims Rohan was a "Jewish extremist" as well.

Hezbollah's Al Manar is slightly more careful, calling Rohan "Zionist." And Islamic Jihad's Palestine Today - one of the better Arabic sources of news, believe it or not - calls him an "Israeli extremist."

There are literally hundreds of articles in the Arabic media today making the claim that Rohan was Jewish (or Israeli.)

This is only a small indication that Arab media has no compunction about lying. This is something Westerners find hard to believe, but it is true, and it is something they need to understand. There are no consequences for the Arab media lying; no shame in it, no watchdog organizations in the Arab world that tries to correct errors and lies. The falsehoods are endemic.

Interestingly, I did a similar survey of Arabic media in 2007 on this anniversary. At the time, while some said he was Jewish, many only implied it, while others claimed Israel itself was behind the bombing.

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