AFP Arabic’s Diehard Denial & The Jewish Temples on the Temple Mount

At Agence France Presse’s Arabic service, diehard devotion to the denial of the historic fact that the ancient Jewish temples stood on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount clouds coverage.

When CAMERA Arabic last week called out the French news agency for falsely casting the historic fact as nothing more than an unfounded claim, AFP sidestepped a correction by erasing all mention of the Jewish connection to the site. 

AFP Arabic’s erroneous wording, reproduced at Swissinfo

Covering the Jerusalem Day flag march in celebration of the 1967 unification of the city, the French news agency’s May 18 Arabic-language report dismissively referred to the temples’ location on the mount, Judaism’s most sacred site and the third holiest site in Islam, as merely a matter of Jewish belief, stating: “The Wailing Wall, located at the base of the al-Aqsa compound, which the Jews say was built on the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.” (Emphases added.)

There is no archeological dispute about the fact that the Jewish temples were located on the Temple Mount. As The New York Times was compelled to acknowledge in a 2015 correction:

An earlier version of this article misstated the question that many books and scholarly treatises have never definitively answered concerning the two ancient Jewish temples. The question is where precisely on the 37-acre Temple Mount site the temples had once stood, not whether the temples had ever existed there.

In addition to archaeological findings, a variety of historical sources, including classical Muslim and Christian texts, attest to the temples’ presence at the site. The Western (not “Wailing”) Wall, a Temple Mount retaining wall, in one of several remnants from the temple complex.

Notably, the misreporting does not appear in the English version of the same AFP report, which skips over the site’s past, and which correctly refers to the “Western Wall.”

The Temple Mount on a stormy day (Photo by A. Sternthal)

Deutsche Welle demonstrates that Arabic-language reports from Western media outlets can rightly acknowledge that the temples were an integral part of the site’s. The publicly funded German network reported in Arabic last month: “Until its destruction by the Romans in 70 AD, the second Jewish Temple was situated [t]here.”

In addition, Al Hurra, the publicly funded American network, recently deleted a paragraph which reported that “the Jews … believe” that there was a temple which was destroyed in 70 AD.

AFP, in contrast, did worse than simply fail to correct the article. It entirely removed the flawed, inadequate reference to the site’s status as Judaism’s most sacred site, replacing it with the following: “the al-Aqsa compound, the third holiest site in Islam.”

AFP also passed on correcting the erroneous reference to the “Wailing Wall.”

Comments are closed.