Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Temple Mount Picture and the Stories

The picture:

One version, from Bahrain:-

IOF Circulates Picture of Al Aqsa without the Rock Dome Share |

The Israeli Occupation Forces have circulated a picture of Al-Aqsa Mosque without the dome of the rock, claiming that the picture represents what it called "Temple Mount," the Talmud name for the mosque during the period of the second Temple. On the other hand, Al Aqsa foundation, in charge of the Islamic heritage in Jerusalem, said that circulating such a picture among IOF officers lays bare the Israeli dangerous plans and false claims.

An other version, from Tel Aviv:-

IDF rabbinate edits out Dome of the Rock from picture of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount

Israel’s military rabbinate released an educational document ahead of the holiday of Hanukkah last month, featuring a photo of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount without the Dome of the Rock, Haaretz learned on Thursday.

The photo was featured in a packet prepared by the Military Rabbinate issued to Israel Defense Forces bases ahead of Hanukkah, under the section titled “The Festival of Jewish Heroism,” which included an article and a quiz on the Jewish struggle against Hellenistic rule.

One reserves officer talking with Haaretz said that when he “received the materials from the battalion rabbi something seemed strange about that picture.”

“We get material from the rabbinate every week and it’s mostly positive things,” the IDF officer said, adding that the edited picture was part of an “official release, which is why it’s problematic the army is distributing it.”

The IDF Spokesman’s Office said in the response that Haaretz’s description was “absurd and biased, a fact which we can only regret,” adding that the educational packet included a photo meant to illustrate Jerusalem during the period of the Second Temple.

“As was explained to the reporter, the Dome of the Rock did not exist at that time, so there was no need for it to appear in the picture,” the IDF said.

Speaking with Haaretz, the reserves officer said he expected “the Military Rabbinate to be more alert about the educational messages it passes on, especially considering the Temple Mount’s history,” adding: “A world war could break if someone would try to do something about that place, and I think they should be more cautious when approaching the subject.”

“It’s infuriating that the rabbinate isn’t more being more responsible about this,” the officer added.

Not much difference in intent - to stir up trouble rather than report facts.

972+'s Yossi Gurvitz at least goes investigative before going negative:

IDF makes the Dome of the Rock vanish from photo, and lies about it

...I don’t know how to put it to the IDF Spokesman, who was probably not all that awake during history classes, but during the Second Temple period there was a rather dominant building on Temple Mount which somehow fails to appear in this “illustration picture.” A hint: Its name contained the words “Second” and “Temple.”

An eagle-eyed reader, Sapir Peleg, noticed this is actually a photoshopped picture of the Waling Wall square as it is today, which fogged out the Dome of the Rock, a major Islamic holy site. An “illustration of Second Temple Jerusalem,” my foot. You can see the full-sized comparison here.

The image used by the IDF. Note erasure marks near the arrow. (Photo: Peleg Sapir)

It’s also worth mentioning that the IDF further claimed that the goal was “an illustration of the days of the Maccabees.” Alas, there was no wailing wall during that time; it was built by the Hasmoneans’ nemesis, Herod. Furthermore, even during the late Temple period, between the building of Herod’s temple (about 4 BC) and its destruction (70 AD), nobody paid it any attention. It only became important after the destruction of the Temple, as its sole relic. I am also told by military historians that the current Israeli flag wasn’t in common use at the time, yet it appears in the lower lefthand corner of the IDF Spokesman’s “illustration picture.”

So, what do we have here? Aside from the exposure of the Rabbinates’ secret wish for the eradication of the Dome of the Rock – no real surprise here – we see how the IDF Spokesman first response to any criticism is a lie. Even if the lie is clearly idiotic, even if the lie forces the Spokesman to deepen the hole it is already in. In a normal country, a spokesman – particularly one employed by the public – caught in such a colossal gaffe would be sent home. I wouldn’t hold my breath.

But let's not forget the basic fact that the Arab Muslims constructed the Dome of the Rock at the end of the 7th century, over 1700 years after the First Temple was built and 600 years after the Second Temple was destroyed.

And that's no historical lie.


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