Dome-less Temple Mount Photo Resurfaces in IDF Rabbinate Document

From Haaretz:

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.

…The IDF Spokesman’s Office said… 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.

Here’s the image, as shown on Haaretz:

The photo was not, however, “released” by the Military Rabbinate – it was apparently taken in 2006 by a certain Mikhail Levit, as can be seen here and here. When compared with other photos taken from a similar angle (such as this stock image), it is surprising not to see the Dome, and a look at the full-size image (as noted by Elder of Ziyon) shows that the edge of the Dome of the Rock building is visible – the Dome itself is hidden by a very strange blob of mist which passes in front of the Dome but then behind the rest of the Temple Mount/Haram Ash-Sharif.

The same image was at the centre of a similar controversy back in 2007, when it was used as a banner logo by Christians United for Israel. CUFI revised the picture following complaints, as seen here: