Posted by: azizabusarah | September 27, 2009

Conflicting Reports on the Unrest in Jerusalem

MediaLogos If journalism is the first rough draft of history, which one of the following articles do we want writing our history? The following three articles are from AP, Al-Jazeera and AFP (Agence France-Presse). Each was published within two hours of a disturbance on the Temple Mount, which occurred Sept. 27th. Each one reports from a different angle and point of view about the event. A Palestinian would rather read Al-Jazeera article. An Israeli would prefer the AP report.

In the first few hours after an event, not all of the facts have been established. It is these hours the media has the most flexibility in what to report. Of course any mistakes will be revised later as more information becomes available. But it is in those first hours that most people will read what is happening and form an opinion, a conclusion, and sometimes even a decision to act.

Malcolm X was right when he said that “the media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power.”

Lewis H. Lapham also categorized the problem well when he said “People may expect too much of journalism. Not only do they expect it to be entertaining, they expect it to be true.”

I do commend the AFP for their report. It stood out for me because it did not claim to have it all figured out. They reported the different narratives circulating around the story, allowing the reader to understand the complexity of the situation. They might revise the report later, but it is important that in the heat of the moment they were seen to have tried to objectively report all sides of the story.

AP JERUSALEM — Israeli police used stun grenades Sunday to disperse Palestinian rioters at a volatile Jerusalem site holy to Jews and Muslims, police said.The incident took place during a visit by a Jewish group to the compound in Jerusalem’s Old City known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. Deadly violence has erupted there several times in the past.

Police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said around 150 Palestinians threw stones at the Jews visiting the site, which is open to non-Muslims at certain hours.

Rabah Bkirat, an official with the Muslim religious body in charge of managing the site, said some of the protesters had come because of rumors of an “invasion” by Jewish settlers. When a group of some 15 Jews entered the grounds accompanied by police, the protesters began chanting slogans and only threw stones after police used force, he said.

Eleven Palestinians sustained minor injuries in the clashes, Bkirat said. To Read More Click HERE

Aljazeera Four Palestinians have been injured and another seven detained after Israeli police stormed the al-Aqsa mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem.Israeli security forces on Sunday fired rubber bullets and stun grenades at Palestinians who attempted to prevent a Zionist rally from entering the al-Haram al-Sharif courtyard within the compound on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.

Jivara al-Budairi, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Jerusalem, said that a large number of Israeli security units have been seen by residents entering East Jerusalem, where the mosque is located. “Special forces are still deployed inside the Haram compound yard, but are no longer clashing with the worshippers [Palestinians] inside”, estimated to be around a thousand, our correspondent said.

Micky Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesman, said two Israeli policemen were also injured in the confrontation.

Also called Day of Atonement,  Jews mark Yom Kippur by fasting and holding prayers. To Read More Click HERE

AFP Police and witnesses said the unrest erupted after a group of tourists entered the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, known to Muslims as Al-Haram Al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) and to Jews as the Temple Mount.Initially the police said the group was made up of Jewish worshippers, but later said they were French tourists. “The group attacked by stones at the mosque compound was in fact a group of non-Jewish French tourists who visited it as part of their trip,” said Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben Ruby.

The visitors were probably mistaken for Jewish worshippers because a group of some 200 mostly religious and right-wing Jews had gathered in the early morning at the gate through which police allow tourists access to the holy site.

“There was a large group of Jewish settlers who gathered outside Al-Aqsa and tried to break in,” said a Palestinian witness who would give his name only as Abu Raed. “Some of them entered and went all the way to the heart of the compound, where there were people praying … They were Jewish settlers dressed as tourists,” he said.

After entering the sprawling compound, the group was confronted by more than 100 Muslim faithful who chanted and eventually threw rocks, at which point the police pulled the tourists out and closed the gate, police and witnesses said.

“The policemen came out and said to us ‘this is your fault, if you wouldn’t come here, the Arabs wouldn’t throw stones’,” said Yehuda Glick, 43, a religious Jew who was waiting outside. To Read More Click HERE



  1. Have Dr. Kenneth RIng’s book ‘LESSONS FROM THE LIGHT’ translated into both Arabic and Hebrew. Dr. Ring is an expert on the NDE experience, and the book shows how when anyone perpetrates harm, either physical of emotional upon another, they eventually will suffer the identical pains they inflicted themselves. LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF is not a meaningless dictum. Whatever is sent out, will return. When both sides recognize this, peace will reign.

  2. The question of the tourists – was this ever clarified? I suppose it isn’t important at this point, but I’ve been wondering. I feel that knowing this detail would help focus questions of whether the Israeli police were heavy-handed, whether or not the worshippers were over-reactive.

  3. […] 13, 2009 by adamjamesgray Here’s a post discussing the recent Al Aqsa riots, that shows the confusion of the event as well as the bias […]

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