From start to finish, the article is a very sophisticated piece of anti-Israel propaganda.
The propaganda begins in the headline:
According to the headline, the "Al Aqsa Mosque" and the "Temple Mount" are two names for the same thing. While the article itself says "Al Aqsa Mosque compound" this is part of a relatively new campaign by Muslims to rename the entire Mount as "Al Aqsa Mosque," the third holiest site in Islam, a holy place for Muslims, and not just the mosque itself which is now referred to as the "Al Qibli Mosque." Up until recent years, the Waqf called the building the Al Aqsa Mosque and the compound the Haram al-Sharif.
At a workshop on the edge of the Aqsa Mosque compound, Muhammad Rowidy spends hours hunched over panes of stained glass, painstakingly carving through white plaster to reveal geometric designs. While he works, there is a thought he can’t shake.“You see this,” he said, pausing and leaning back, “this takes months to finish, and in one minute, in one kick, all this hard work goes.”
The "one kick" is a clear reference to Israeli security as being the source of damage to the stained glass. And that is the impression that the article tries to give, that Israeli forces are the ones who cause damage, until nearly at the end, when it says:
Mr. Rowidy, 41, said it was easy to tell which side had broken which windows. Those completely smashed were done by the Israeli police with batons, he said. A video posted on Facebook during the unrest shows one of the windows being broken, with what appears to be a baton, from the roof outside.In comparison, Palestinians who threw stones had knocked large holes in the windows, he said.
So Palestinians stockpile stones inside the mosque, throwing them at Jews and responding troops including through valuable stained glass windows, and Israeli forces shoot tear gas through the damaged windows to avoid entering the mosque. And somehow the Israelis are the ones blamed!
The Times doesn't show these images of deliberate damage to and weaponization of the Al Aqsa Mosque by Muslims:
The article has other examples of one-sidedness:
Incidents at the compound have often served as a spark in the broader Palestinian-Israeli conflict.In 2000, a trip to the site by Ariel Sharon, who later became Israel’s prime minister, surrounded by hundreds of police officers, set off the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising. More recently, the security minister in Israel’s right-wing government, Itamar Ben-Gvir, angered Palestinians and regional Muslim states by visiting the compound.
Sharons' visit didn't spark the second intifada. It was an excuse for a pre-planned, deadly uprising.
And Ben Gvir's visit did not result in any incident whatsoever, although many predicted it would. So why mention it at all?
But on the other hand, sometimes Muslims start to attack Jews for no reason from inside the mosque - but they are never described as "sparking" anything.
The workers at the mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, need approval from the Israeli authorities for repairs or replacements, down to every broken window or smashed tile, according to the workers, administrators of the site, and Israeli rights groups.Jews believe that the compound is the location of two ancient temples and consider it the holiest site in Judaism. In recent years, Jewish worshipers have prayed inside the compound, a violation of an agreement that has been in place since 1967.
Calling Al Aqsa the "third holiest site in Islam" is said with no caveats, even though for Sufi Muslims this is not so obvious, and this is controversial in Shiite Islam as well, as some believe that the Al Aqsa mosque mentioned in the Quran exists only in heaven.
But while the Sunni Muslim beliefs are written as fact, the location of the Jewish Temples are framed as something that Jews merely "believe," despite the quite clear evidence of the 2000 year old remains of the Temple compound that exist today and a continuous historical thread since Biblical times.
. With the overlapping holidays this year, there are concerns that increased visits and unauthorized prayers could provoke further clashes between the Israeli police and Palestinians, as has been the case in previous years.
Jews quietly and silently praying "provoke" clashes? No, Muslim intolerance for Jews is the source of the violence, not devout Jewish prayers.
But perhaps the biggest problem with this article isn't how Abdulrahim artfully manages to avoid running afoul of the New York Times fact checkers while injecting so much bias. The major problem is that she doesn't say a word about why Israel is so skittish about unauthorized and unsupervised repairs on the Temple Mount.
Because Muslims had lied about this before and used those lies to build a massive underground mosque that destroyed and carted away tons of the most valuable archaeological and religious treasures on Earth. And the destruction of valuable treasures continues today. Even during last year's riots the Muslim youth broke some ancient columns, with not a word from the New York Times.
By not reporting about this wholesale destruction done by the Waqf and Palestinians on the Temple Mount, Abdulrahim frames this as Israeli meddling in Muslim culture just to harass them.
Put it all together, and this isn't a news article. It is anti-Israel agitprop that twists and chooses facts to give an entirely wrong impression to the reader.