Reuters Corrects: Ancient Jewish Temples Were Located On Temple Mount

CAMERA’s Israel office today prompted correction of Reuters’ Nov. 25 article (“Israeli far-right’s Ben-Gvir to be national security minister under coalition deal“) which had qualified the historical fact that the Jewish temples were located on the Temple Mount as unverified.

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

While archeologists are in total agreement that the Jewish temples stood on the Temple Mount, Chacar reported this information as merely a claim, referring to “The site, said to have once housed two ancient Jewish temples . . . ” (Emphasis 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.

Indeed, Reuters itself has rightly cited as recently as August the “ancient temples which once stood on the site.”

In response to communication from CAMERA’s Israel office, Reuters today amended the text to accurately cite “The site, which once housed two ancient Jewish temples … .”

In addition, editors commendably posted the following note at the top of the article: “This Nov.25 has been corrected to clarify the location of ancient temples in paragraph 17.”

The denial of the historical fact that the Jewish Temples once stood on the Temple Mount is an anti-Israel talking point.

The article’s byline cites Henriette Chacar, who joined Reuters this year after previously writing at two fringe publications   +972 and the Intercept   but Reuters has informed CAMERA that the problematic language originated in the editing process. Before joining Reuters, Chacar repeatedly called for Israel’s dismantlement, and she has also been explicit and outspoken in her conviction that the (false) notion that Israel is a pariah state should penetrate and shape mainstream media coverage. For example, asked in an interview whether Palestinians feel emboldened by the support for the (baseless) accusation that Israel is an “apartheid” state, Chacar responded enthusiastically about what she sees as an increasing freedom to defame Israel: 

One of the ways that we’re feeling it is in what we’re being allowed to say in international news media, terms like “ethnic cleansing” and “settler colonialism” that were sanitized, both in edited print pieces and interviews and now we’re seeing them make it through the edits, which I think is a very interesting process, very exciting process that we’re able to use our own language to describe our reality. (London Review of Books podcast, May 21, 2021)  

 To that end, she praised comedian John Oliver’s vitriolic and unhinged diatribe on Israeli “apartheid” and “war crimes” as doing a “better job providing context than seasoned journalists.”

This post was amended on Nov. 29 to reflect the fact that Reuters has informed CAMERA that the objectionable language originated with an editor.



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