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Media Analyses





AFP Clarifies: Temple Mount is Judaism's Holiest Site


Though Agence France Presse's revision of an article yesterday was small — it involved just three letters — its significance was much greater. The article about Jordan's plans to install video cameras at the contested Temple Mount/Al Aqsa site originally noted that the location is the "third-holiest site in Islam," but failed to note that the Temple Mount is "Judaism's holiest site."
 
The wire service's article had initially stated:

The mosque is the third-holiest site in Islam after the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina.

It is also revered by Jews as the site of their First and Second Temples and is Judaism's holy site.  (Emphases added.)

The article refers to the mount ambiguously as "Judaism's holy site." This might have been a typo. Indeed, earlier AFP stories do refer to the site as Judaism's holiest. For instance, a March 6 AFP story stated:

On its other side is the compound housing the Dome of the Rock and All Aqsa mosque, Islam's third holiest site. . .

Israeli authorities do not allow Jews to pray on the compound, the holiest site in Judaism.

Any news item which notes that the site is the third holiest in Islam should also note that it is the holiest in Judaism, as the AFP did on March 6. (And, to be clear, it's not the mosque which is Judaism's holiest site, but the ground upon which the mosque stands.)
 
In response to CAMERA's communication with editors yesterday, AFP commendably revised the story and republished it with accurate wording noting that site's primary holiness in Judaism:
 
Considered the third holiest site in Islam, and revered by Jews as their holiest site, known as the Temple Mount, the compound is a crucible of tensions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
It is this corrected version which appears on multiple websites, a fact which underscores the value of monitoring and responding to wire stories in the same news cycle as they appear. With this timely, preemptive work, CAMERA's Israel office prevents misinformation from appearing in media outlets around the world.
 
For additional AFP corrections prompted by CAMERA, please see here.

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