|April 23, 2014|
In Ha'aretz, Western Wall Errors, and a Correction
For the second time this month, Ha'aretz's English edition corrects the erroneous reference to the Western Wall as Judaism's holiest site. The page-one article today, about a documentary by Tanya Hoffman, the daughter of Anat Hoffman of Woman of the Wall, had originally reported:
The Temple Mount, the site of the First and Second Temples, which once housed the Holy of Holies, is Judaism's holiest site.
The Western Wall is the holiest site where Jewish prayer is now permitted, and its sacredness is derived from its proximity to the Holy of Holies. As noted by Hasson in 2013, only in recent centuries has the Western Wall come to be revered as a holy site.
In addition to Ha'aretz, several other media outlets have also corrected this error, including most recently, The Washington Post.
Following a request from CAMERA's Israel office, Ha'aretz English editors commendably fixed the online article. As of this publishing, the text appears as follows:
Contrary to common journalistic practice, the change has not been noted anywhere on the article. CAMERA has requested a correction in the print edition as well.
In another Western Wall related error, a separate page-one article today about the discovery of an ancient chisel reports:
The Western Wall was not "a wall of the Second Temple." As Nir Hasson, the author of today's piece, himself earlier reported: "The Western Wall was built as a retaining wall for the Temple Mount," the large plaza upon which the First and Second Temples once stood."
The paragraph containing this error does not appear in the original Hebrew article, and is thus the latest victim of "Ha'aretz, Lost in Translation." In other words, the error is not Hasson's.
Finally, the article (again, only in English), misleadingly reports: "The Second Temple had been erected on the site now known as Temple Mount in Jerusalem." The clear implication is that at some not too distant point in history, the term "Temple Mount" came into usage. But as blogger Judge Dan tweets, "Temple Mount" appears in Jeremiah 26:18.