NYT assigns equal blame to Israel for Arab riots

On Sunday, Oct. 25, Arab rioters, using Al-Aqsa Mosque as their weapons arsenal, hurled a barrage of rocks and a firebomb at Israeli security forces on Temple Mount who were on alert because of an all-out incitement campaign by Israel's domestic Islamist movement and by Hamas which broadcast  false rumors that Jews were about to invade Al-Aqsa.  When the rioters holed up inside Al-Aqsa, Israeli police patiently waited them out.  For their trouble, nine police officers were injured by rocks. 

But this is not how the New York Times reported this incident.  Instead, in a dispatch by Jerusalem correspondent Isabel Kershner, the Times distorted the events so as to assign blame to both sides -- the rioters and the police!

To wit:

Start with the headline:  "Israeli Police Clash With Palestinians at Sacred Compound in Jerusalem."   It's the Israeli cops that spark the disturbances by "clashing" with "Palestinians" -- not with rioters.  In fact, there's not a hint about rioting in the headline, which grievously ignores what this incident was all about.

Then, when Kershner gets around to describing Temple Mount, she plays down its religious significance to Jews, while underlining its significance to Muslims -- "The Temple Mount, revered by Jews as the site of two ancient temples and by Muslims as the site of the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque."  Kershner somehow can't bring herself to noting that Temple Mount is Judaism's most sacred site, the place where stood the First and Second biblical temples -- not just where stood a couple of "ancient temples" with no particular significance.

Kershner also shoves aside Israel's claim to Temple Mount, reporting that the compound "sits in contested territory that Israel took from Jordan in the 1967 war."  In other words, Temple Mount really belongs to Jordan.  When and how Jordan acquired Temple Mount Kershner and the New York Times would rather not tell their readers.

As for what sparked the riot, Kershner goes into equal-blame mode.  She reports that authorities, responding to widespread incitement, positioned  hundreds of police officers on Temple Mount,  "prompting Muslims to accuse Israel of provocation."

Even though no Jewish troublemakers showed up on Temple Mount, she further reports that nevertheless "Palestinians insisted that they were defending the mosque from 'Israeli settlers' wanting to upset the delicate status quo."

She then provides direct quotes from a rioter who tells her "It is the duty of every Muslim to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque."

Significantly, there is not a single direct quote from an Israeli security official in her entire article.  Direct quotes that convey more vividly any particular message are reserved for Arab rioters.

In sum and on balance, a reader easily might get the impression that Israel is at the root of what happened on Temple Mount , if you rely on the New York Times. 
On Sunday, Oct. 25, Arab rioters, using Al-Aqsa Mosque as their weapons arsenal, hurled a barrage of rocks and a firebomb at Israeli security forces on Temple Mount who were on alert because of an all-out incitement campaign by Israel's domestic Islamist movement and by Hamas which broadcast  false rumors that Jews were about to invade Al-Aqsa.  When the rioters holed up inside Al-Aqsa, Israeli police patiently waited them out.  For their trouble, nine police officers were injured by rocks. 

But this is not how the New York Times reported this incident.  Instead, in a dispatch by Jerusalem correspondent Isabel Kershner, the Times distorted the events so as to assign blame to both sides -- the rioters and the police!

To wit:

Start with the headline:  "Israeli Police Clash With Palestinians at Sacred Compound in Jerusalem."   It's the Israeli cops that spark the disturbances by "clashing" with "Palestinians" -- not with rioters.  In fact, there's not a hint about rioting in the headline, which grievously ignores what this incident was all about.

Then, when Kershner gets around to describing Temple Mount, she plays down its religious significance to Jews, while underlining its significance to Muslims -- "The Temple Mount, revered by Jews as the site of two ancient temples and by Muslims as the site of the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque."  Kershner somehow can't bring herself to noting that Temple Mount is Judaism's most sacred site, the place where stood the First and Second biblical temples -- not just where stood a couple of "ancient temples" with no particular significance.

Kershner also shoves aside Israel's claim to Temple Mount, reporting that the compound "sits in contested territory that Israel took from Jordan in the 1967 war."  In other words, Temple Mount really belongs to Jordan.  When and how Jordan acquired Temple Mount Kershner and the New York Times would rather not tell their readers.

As for what sparked the riot, Kershner goes into equal-blame mode.  She reports that authorities, responding to widespread incitement, positioned  hundreds of police officers on Temple Mount,  "prompting Muslims to accuse Israel of provocation."

Even though no Jewish troublemakers showed up on Temple Mount, she further reports that nevertheless "Palestinians insisted that they were defending the mosque from 'Israeli settlers' wanting to upset the delicate status quo."

She then provides direct quotes from a rioter who tells her "It is the duty of every Muslim to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque."

Significantly, there is not a single direct quote from an Israeli security official in her entire article.  Direct quotes that convey more vividly any particular message are reserved for Arab rioters.

In sum and on balance, a reader easily might get the impression that Israel is at the root of what happened on Temple Mount , if you rely on the New York Times.