Israeli Far Right Puffed on WND (again)

WorldNetDaily‘s Jerusalem correspondent Aaron Klein puffs the Israeli far right with a sensational headline bannered on WND’s homepage:

10,000 Jews to ascend Temple Mount

Group seeks to reclaim Israeli control of holy site

Well, if that is actually the case, then I am rather alarmed. Small groups of Jewish activists have tried to enter the Temple Mount area (now the location of the Muslim Dome of the Rock and al-Asqa Mosque) in the past in order to establish a religious presence, but each time Israeli police have blocked their way. Those events passed off peacefully – but the protestors only ever numbered a couple of dozen or so “Temple Mount Faithful”; when Gershom Gorenberg reported on the subject back in 2000 (see here), he suggested that these protests were becoming smaller. Ten thousand Jews (all, one imagines, armed and seething at Ariel Sharon over Gaza) seeking to gain control of the Muslim holy site would be unprecedented, and another round of pointless bloodshed would be the most likely result.

But from whom did Klein get this information?

“The Temple Mount is the single holiest place in the world for Jews. It’s about time the Israeli government restores it to the Jewish people, where it belongs,” David Ha’ivri, chairman of Revava, the group orchestrating the gathering, told WND.

Klein, however, doesn’t feel the need to burden us with the information that David Ha’ivri is a follower of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane – an American-Israeli fanatic whose political extremism led to his political party being banned in Israel. Take a peek at Ha’ivri’s website at (I don’t hyperlink hate sites) – a mirror image of KKK-style hate and religious obscurantism. In Israel, these people are a lunatic fringe – although their obsession with the Temple Mount has made them beloved of American Christian fundamentalists who believe that a new Jewish Temple will bring about the events of the Last Days (hence Hal Lindsey’s WND pieces on the subject, like the one I discussed here).

Klein goes on to link to a previous article that he wrote about the Temple Mount, in which he complained that:

Judaism considers it the holiest place on earth. Muslims say it’s the third holiest. Christianity reveres the spot as being of great historic importance. But if someone prays there, if he or she is not Muslim, the worshiper will be immediately arrested…Visitors are banned from entering any of the mosques without direct Wafq [Muslim Custodian] permission.

Rules are enforced by Wafq agents, who watch tours closely and alert nearby Israeli police to any breaking of their guidelines.

The Israeli police co-operate with the Wafq as part of a status quo agreement worked out in 1967, after the Six-Day War. Jews praying on the site would upset the balance, and create fears among Palestinian Muslims (and the Muslim world generally) that Israel wished to encroach on the Muslim holy site – when in reality most Israelis are happy to settle for the outside Western Wall area, where there is a large plaza that leads into the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Like Ha’ivri, Klein objects to the Wafq’s restrictions, although in fact the Muslims would be within their rights if they simply banned non-Muslims from the site completely.

Let’s just hope Ha’ivri is no more than a self-aggrandising fool who has duped a stupid journalist about how much support he has. Klein and WND’s editor Joseph Farah are playing with fire: Klein has encouraged Ha’ivri and his followers in their delusions, and given them a massive free advert; WND readers have been encouraged to identify Israel with a bunch of religious fanatics rather than to understand the complexities of Israeli society. And everyone has been encouraged to put Messianic ethical nihilism before the human tragedy of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

(PS: anyone seriously interested in the topic MUST read Gershom Gorenberg’s The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount)

UPDATE: See today.

6 Responses

  1. […] 2005 by Richard Bartholomew Staying with the alleged “Holy City” of Jerusalem (see yesterday), the AP reports in Ha’aretz (link from The Revealer) on the upcoming WorldPride 2005 slated […]

  2. […] this is the same proposed action that WorldNetDaily advertised just a few days ago, although WND gave April as the date, while Ha’aretz and the BBC both suggest July. And while WND’s Jerusalem […]

  3. […] I have noted on this blog previously, there is a gaping hole at the heart of Klein’s reporting on this issue: the very obvious way he […]

  4. […] Mount being “reclaimed” from the Muslims who so unfairly have control of the site, I wrote: Let’s just hope Ha’ivri is no more than a self-aggrandising fool who has duped a […]

  5. […] may come as a bit of a shock for anyone whose view of the conflict is informed by Klein – from his reports, one would think that Ha’ivri is simply a pious Jew who wants to pray on the Temple Mount […]

  6. […] by Richard Bartholomew WorldNetDaily’s Jerusalem correspondent Aaron Klein is up to his usual business of puffing the fringe religious right in Israel, with an article about “International Temple […]

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