Wednesday, April 05, 2023

This morning's New York Times article about the clashes at Al Aqsa mosque, written by  Raja Abdulrahim and Patrick Kingsley, is filled with anti-Israel bias.

And it does not mention the single most important fact that would change the entire complexion of the article.

The Israeli police raided the most prominent holy site in Jerusalem early on Wednesday to detain scores of Palestinians who had barricaded themselves inside, prompting armed groups in Gaza to fire rockets into Israeli airspace and the Israeli Air Force to respond with strikes on military sites in Gaza.
The phrase "prompting armed groups in Gaza to fire rockets into Israeli airspace" is incredible. 

Israel doesn't "prompt" deadly rocket fire. That decision is made solely by terror groups, and they will always have an excuse. But the "Newspaper of Record" shares the logic of terror groups that shooting rockets into the south of Israel is a "natural response" to events in Jerusalem. 

And note the wording, "into Israeli airspace." Were they firing balloons? While some of the rockets were intercepted by Iron Dome, others hit the ground (a factory was damaged and others fell harmlessly in unpopulated areas.) 

Why couldn't the NYT say that rockets were fired into Israel or towards Israeli residential areas - phrases which would be far more straightforward and accurate? Because that might make readers a little sympathetic to the victims of the rockets! Rockets that are fired into "airspace" aren't dangerous. If it wasn't for gravity, they wouldn't have hit anything at all! 

The police forced their way into one of the two main prayer halls at the contested holy site, which is sacred to both Muslims and Jews. In the ensuing confrontations, police officers struck Palestinians with batons and Palestinians fired fireworks. Palestinian news outlets said the police had fired tear gas and sponge-tipped bullets.
Now, which came first - the batons or the fireworks? The Times implies that the fireworks were shot to defend against batons, which is clearly the opposite of the truth..

Here are some of the spent fireworks casings.

Clashes often occur at the Aqsa Mosque compound, which Jews call the Temple Mount, during periods of tension in the region. Officials and diplomats have been warning that the overlap of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the Jewish holiday of Passover, which begins on Wednesday evening, could make such clashes more likely.

The police said the Palestinians had locked the doors of the prayer hall, the Qibli Mosque, from the inside and barricaded the entrances, hours after the taraweeh prayers, which are held nightly during Ramadan. The police said they had raided the mosque after prolonged attempts to persuade the worshipers to leave.
...Some Palestinians had called for worshipers to go to Aqsa for itikaf, a tradition of staying overnight in a mosque for worship, which is practiced especially during Ramadan. They expressed concern that with Passover beginning, more Jewish worshipers would come to the site.

This is a gross perversion of the truth. And there is no doubt that Raja Abdulrahim is knowingly deceiving the readers.

Israel made an agreement with the Jordanian government, which controls the Waqf at Al Aqsa, that there would be no i'tikaaf at Al Aqsa on weeknights. The reason is because Palestinian and Islamist groups have urged Muslim youth to stay overnight in order to attack Jewish visitors the next morning. 

Israel arranged that other nearby Jerusalem mosques would be able to accommodate any Muslims who want to adhere to the custom. In previous years, Al Aqsa did not allow i'tikaaf either.

The Waqf issued a memo confirming that no one was to stay overnight outside of Thursday and Friday nights, and the last ten days of Ramadan. 

Israeli forces have been enforcing the agreement. Up until this morning, the worshipers have left peacefully. This frustrated the Islamists who have been trying to incite violence since Ramadan started. There were plenty of articles in Arabic claiming Israeli forces violently removed the worshippers, but there was no video that could incite the public.

The Islamists needed that video.

So last night, Palestinian youth barricaded themselves in the prayer hall hours after the last prayer of the night. They had already stockpiled fireworks and stones. And when they refused to leave, Israeli forces entered to enforce the Waqf agreement. 

Now they had the video they wanted, as they shot fireworks and threw stones from within the holy site. 

The New York Times purposefully omits anything about the agreement with the Waqf, and gives credence to the idea that Jews are the ones who are the aggressors here and Muslims have the right to block Jews from quietly praying on Judaism's holiest site:

For decades after capturing the site from Jordan in the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, Israel prevented Jews from praying at the compound. But they have been tacitly allowed to do so in recent years, which has angered many Palestinians and Muslim states in the region.

And the Times further justifies the violence:

Some Jewish activists recently called for sacrificing a goat at the compound to observe Passover, something that the Israeli police have repeatedly said they would prevent.

The NYT desire to hide the fact about the agreement with Jordan to avoid events like that of this morning is clear here:

Since Ramadan began two weeks ago, the police have been forcing Muslims to leave the Aqsa compound after the nightly taraweeh prayers to ensure that they do not stay overnight. The police have also prevented many young Palestinian men from entering the mosque compound for morning prayers, according to Palestinian news outlets.
Without mentioning the Waqf memo, the reader is left with the impression that Israeli police want to disrupt an important and sacred Muslim tradition for no discernible reason. 

This article may adhere to the New York Times' objectivity guidelines, but it is not objective. Every phrase is slanted to damn Israel, and the most crucial information that exonerates Israeli police actions is simply missing.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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