Haaretz Corrects Erroneous Reference to Jewish Prayer on Temple Mount

A view of the Temple Mount this month (Photo by Akiva Sternthal)

CAMERA’s Israel office has prompted correction of an article in Haaretz‘s English edition which wrongly referred to Jews praying on the Temple Mount.  Thursday’s page-one English-language edition story (online here) had erroneously reported (“E. J’lem political activists deprived of NII benefits”):

According to Palestinians in the city, such a step was taken a few years ago against activists who were involved in the Al-Murabitun movement, a group of demonstrators who used to protest when Jews went to pray on the Temple Mount.

Jewish prayer is forbidden on the Temple Mount. Al-Murabitun would harass Jews who went to visit the Temple Mount, not pray there.

Screenshot of the error before it was changed

As Haaretz‘s Gili Cohen reported in 2015:

The northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel founded the two organizations – Morabiton for men and Morabitat for women – to harass Jews visiting Temple Mount. . . .

A few dozen men and women usually arrive on a given day, joined by some East Jerusalem residents. The participants spend most of the day praying or listening to lectures, but when Jews enter Temple Mount, they draw close, shouting and cursing at them. [Emphasis added.]

The Hebrew version of Nir Hasson’s article, in both print and online, does not contain the misinformation regarding Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. It more accurately states (CAMERA’s translation):

According to Palestinian sources in the city, this was the case a few years ago when activists from the Al-Murabitun movement would protest Jews going up to the Temple Mount.

In response to communication from CAMERA, Haaretz issued a “stealth” correction to the English digital article, removing the erroneous reference to Jewish prayer, but not appending a note to the article alerting readers to the change. A correction did not appear in the print edition. The amended article now refers to “the Al-Murabitun movement, a group of demonstrators who used to protest when Jews visited the Temple Mount.”

Haaretz’s 2013 correction had appeared in print

Haaretz had previously corrected the same errors, which had likewise appeared only in the English edition and not the parallel Hebrew articles, in 2013. For additional instances in which misinformation which had not appeared in the Hebrew edition was introduced into Haaretz‘s English coverage, see “Haaretz, Lost in Translation.”

Both the Hebrew and English versions of Hasson’s story mischaracterizee the Al-Murabitun’s activity as “protest.” In fact, as reported by Cohen, the Morabiton harassed and intimidated Jewish visitors, by crowding them into tight spaces and at times using physical violence against them. Haaretz did not clarify the nature of the Al-Murabitun’s activity.