How US media is quietly lobbying for Israel’s Temple

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SHAFAQNA – In an article on the Noble Sanctuary, or Temple Mount, in occupied East Jerusalem, New York Times reporter Jodi Rudoren twice refers to the Jewish extremists’ plans for the plateau.

Many Palestinians point to recent visits by Uri Ariel, Mr. Netanyahu’s agriculture minister, who has joined fringe groups in calling for a new Jewish temple to be built there . . .

The mount is also the holiest site in Judaism, and has drawn growing numbers of Jewish visitors in recent years, including many who agitate for the right to pray freely at the site, and a far smaller number who want to take full control of it and replace the iconic Dome of the Rock with a new temple.

“Build?” “Replace?” This is surely soft-pedalling more violent visions on the part of Jewish extremists.

Last year Phil interviewed several of these religious zealots at a demonstration in Jerusalem. The demonstrators chanted in Hebrew, “The mosque will burn, the temple rebuilt.” One spoke of possibly blowing up the mosques during a war. “We don’t know the exact details. There are some hints in scripture. It’s possible an earthquake could destroy the buildings, it’s possible a war could destroy it,” he said, then cited a leading Israeli rabbi who in 1967 “called someone powerful in the Israeli army and told him to blow up the Al Aqsa Mosque.” But the Israeli army missed “that window of opportunity.”

That Jew was clearly talking about religious war.

We let them have Mecca, but this is our city. . .  When the people are ready, they will defeat their enemies with the help of God.

Or check out Israel’s nominee for the 2002 foreign language Oscar, Time of Favor. The plot is that messianic settlers actually want to blow up the mosques, but principled Israelis uncover and stop the conspiracy.  Actor Assi Dayan (Moshe Dayan’s son) does an impressive interpretation of a fanatical settler rabbi.
And life imitates art; earlier this year the Israeli intelligence service thwarted a plan to blow up the mosque.
The point is that talking about blowing up the mosques is part of the culture in Israel; it is not just a “dispute” over “who can pray there.” When you hear about these ideas, Palestinian fear and anger — like this Palestinian leader’s alarm a year ago that the Israeli government wanted to blow up the mosque — do not seem so extreme. What if Protestant militants threatened to blow up St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and build a Presbyterian church there instead? Is it possible American Catholics would get exercised about these visions?
Once again, the New York Times covers up Israeli extremism.
PS. Here’s Israel supporter Jeffrey Goldberg baiting another NYT journalist on these religious issues:
Is there any doubt in your mind that the 2nd Temple stood on the Temple Mount?

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