Saturday, June 21, 2008

Can You Believe This?

Bill Weinberg is editor of the online journal World War 4 Report whose mission is: to scan the world press and Internet for important stories overlooked by the mass media, and examine the headlines with a critical eye for distortion, deceit and propaganda. He is an award-winning 25-year veteran journalist in the fields of human rights, indigenous peoples, global war on drugs, ecology, and war.

Weinberg writes here that:-

The Jewish fundamentalist group “Ateret Cohanim” [???] and the Muslim Waqf that administers the Haram al-Sharif accuse each other of carrying out illegal excavations at the Temple Mount. At issue is the long-lost Ark of the Covenant, whose re-emergence is held by the Jewish fundamentalists as signaling the coming of the messiah. One fundamentalist group, the Temple Mount Faithful, openly seeks to build a new Jewish temple at the site—which would, of course, mean demolishing the Dome of the Rock, adding to fears about the Israeli-approved excavations.

“Temple Movements” sacrificed goats at the site [???] before Israel's courts issued a ruling barring the ritual. But the self-proclaimed “New Sanhedrin Council”—conceived by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz as a revival of the ancient Hebrew supreme religious body, the Sanhedrin Court—refuse to recognize Israel’s secular courts. In February 2007, six children were shot and wounded in a Hebron protest [???] against the Jewish archeological work at the Temple Mount. Tisha b'Av, the Jewish holiday commemorating the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 CE, generally falling in August, always sees security beefed up at the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif.

Ironically, the Jewish fundamentalists arguably have more of an ear in Washington’s corridors of power than Tel Aviv’s. The mutual enmity between Hagee and Ahmadinejad reflects their fundamental unity. A clear repudiation of such politics in post-Bush America would go a long way towards staving off unparalleled disaster. Unfortunately, that still hasn’t quite happened.

That is quite a piece of conspiratorial misrepresentation.

Let me try to place the above in another context.

The Temple Mount was the site of the First and Second Temples, later destroyed and, according to the prophets, where a Third Temple is to be built. The Arabs in the 7th century conquered Jerusalem and built on the Temple Mount two major structures, the El-Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Yassir Arafat claimed at the 2000 Camp David Conference that the Temples never were located on the Mount.

Ever since the 13th century and perhaps earlier, no Jew has been allowed by the Waqf to enter the Temple Mount compound (the issue of Jewish restrictions has been dealt with in other places by me). This changed in 1967 although the Israel governments have prohibited Jewish prayer there and have been quite strict about free entrance.

Now, if any sort of compromise were to be suggested between Jews and Muslims, the Temple Mount should be one text case. For example, all Waqf destruction of Jewish artifacts should stop immediately. There are no "excavations" by the Waqf, as Weinberg claims, but simple diggings for two underground mosques and in doing so have dumped archeological remains (now being taken care of by Gaby Barkai and Tzachi Zweig). "Ateret Cohanim" do not engage in diggings at the Temple Mount. In this, Weinberg display gross ignorance. Writing thus actually negates his mission about biased media. Even the Hasmonean Tunnel wasn't "at the Temple Mount" but parallel to same. Weinberg accepts poisonous Arab propaganda a la Sheikh Salah Raad it would seem.

No goats have been sacrificed at the site. As for shootings, in 2002 two TIPHers were shot and killed near Hebron but TIPH didn't even mention the identity of the killers who were Arabs but TIPH doesn't record any shootings of Arabs at their web site. A TIME report doesn't mention any shootings. This very detailed list of incidents also doesn't include a shooting of six Hebron Arab children.

Weinberg is a peddler of false tidings.

P.S. I left a comment there.

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