AJ+ Temple Mount Lies

Enough is enough.

Since it’s inception, Qatari propaganda mouthpiece AJ+ has been flooding social media with catchy videos on a variety topics. The page is an attempt to whitewash the abhorrent human rights violations, sexism, corruption, gay rights abuses, and funding of terror which the state of Qatar (and as a result Al Jazeera) promote. The promotion and embrace of terror on Al Jazeera has even been condemned by other Arab nations like UAE.

But as an Israeli Jew, I can’t stay silent after the latest absurd attempt to whitewash terrorism against Israel and incite violence in my country.

Last week, AJ+ published a 6 minute video, over triple the length of their more popular videos, on Jerusalem and the conflict raging over the Temple Mount. I released a video response addressing some of the most absurd claims, (WATCH VIDEO HERE)  but in the following days, AJ+ released another video riddled with inaccuracies and purposeful mistruths.

The video “investigates” if the Palestinian protests “finally pushed Israel to take down its barriers at Al Aqsa?” It claims that Palestinians are celebrating a “rare victory” because of protests against Israel’s installation of metal detectors outside the Temple Mount following a terror attack yielded a reversal on Israel’s part, but it’s filled with factual errors for almost the entire video.

For one, they claimed that the Waqf announced Palestinians “can now stop praying in the streets” implying that Israel didn’t permit them to pray at Al Aqsa (a myth). Palestinians simply refused to enter because they didn’t want to go through metal detectors – an absurd refusal considering metal detectors are used all around the world including at Islamic holy sites.

Then, they claim that Israel “generally has a policy of denying entrance to Muslim worshippers.” This is blatantly untrue and untrue even for Palestinians. Nearly 100,000 Palestinians enter Israel daily for work, and thousands more have permits for visiting holy sites like Al Aqsa. During Islamic holidays Israel grants additional permits and oversees the travel for Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank just to pray at Al Aqsa.

Next, Al Jazeera claims “the protests were not organized by any political group.” This is again untrue. Fatah, Hamas, and the Islamic Waqf in Jordan all called for “Days of Rage” which led to multiple terror attacks against Israeli civilians (one of whom happened to be an Arab Muslim himself), and dozens of injured Palestinians and police in clashes brought about by violent protesters.

They then claim that when Israel put up the “barriers,” which, again, were metal detectors, they were “playing a dangerous game with one of Islam’s holiest sites.” Completely ignoring the fact it is Judaism’s most holy site. But aside from that, why? Why are metal detectors “playing a dangerous game?” Because they want security for Muslims Christians and Jews who enter the compound?

Al Jazeera is fanning the flames of a manufactured protest in which people died for these libels. They explained that it’s because “Al Aqsa” is more than just a religious holy site for Palestinians, it’s a symbol of their identity. Al Aqsa may have become a symbol for the Palestinians, but if that’s the case, why was it largely abandoned and unkempt during Jordan’s occupation of Jerusalem prior to 1967? And in the years before that as well?

In the hours following Israel’s security reversal outside the Temple Mount, Palestinians continued to riot en masse and some physically attacked both police and Jewish worshippers with rocks at the Western Wall. Al Jazeera reported this as “Israeli police attacked Palestinians when they were finally allowed to enter the compound.” They also claimed Palestinians raised their flag a top the Temple Mount in an “act of defiance,” as if this was a heroic act of bravery. But it is illegal to wave flags a top the Temple Mount because it is a holy site for all three monotheistic faiths and Israel seeks to protect that. Additionally, control over the area is to be determined in final status negotiations as per the Oslo Accords with the Palestinian Authority signed. Unlike Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the Islamic Waqf want supremacy over the site and want to actively prevent non-Muslims from praying there. How is that fairness or justice?

Al Jazeera ends their clip by stating that the Palestinians achieved a small victory after “70 years of occupation.” 70 years? What was Israel occupying in 1948? Tel Aviv?

Al Jazeera once again demonstrates a rejectionist, anti-peace agenda that denies the existence of the state of Israel, and the right of the Jewish state to exist entirely. They inadvertently proved through their final words that this conflict wasn’t about the metal detectors at all, but about a refusal of a large portion of the world to accept reality: Israel exists, Israel has a right to exist, and Israel is here to stay.

It’s time we start holding Al Jazeera responsible for their irresponsible journalism, their hypocrisy, and their explicit incitement.

About the Author
Emily Schrader is a writer and political consultant originally from Los Angeles, California. She made aliyah in 2015 and works for a nonprofit organization in Jerusalem. Emily has a BA from the University of Southern California and MA from Tel Aviv University. She has previously written for many different publications including The Weekly Standard, The Jerusalem Post, and more.