Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sorry, it's not newsworthy.

Today has been a tumultuous day in Jerusalem. Following the rededication ceremony of the newly rebuilt Hurva synagogue in the Old City, Arabs across the Middle East have been protesting this latest act of "aggression" by the Israelis. Of course, the fact that this synagogue has been rebuilt after being twice destroyed, once by the Jordanian army in 1948, certainly can be seen as a sign of defiance, but let's not get carried away. It's not a statement of intent or a declaration that we are about to ethnically cleanse all of historical Eretz Yisrael.

Last Thursday, the Elder of Ziyon blog explained that "ever since Ha'aretz reported a (pretty much unfounded) rumor that the Vilna Gaon had predicted that the Third Temple would be built on March 16, 2010, they have been convinced that Israel has evil plans". Disturbed by such Israeli insolence, no doubt, the Wakf, the Islamic authority that controls the Temple Mount, declared that today, the day after the rededication ceremony, will be a "Day of Rage".

Needless to say, nobody argues with the Islamic Authorities, whether they have reason to act and order as they do or not. And so today has proved to be a rather stressful one for the Israeli police, to put it mildly. Take a look at the Muqata Blog's excellent documentation of the ongoing violence. His notes start at 10:20am, and have been updated at least once every hour since.*

Elder of Ziyon has already noted how the headlines in the media have been primarily anti-Israel, framing the events in such a way as to suggest that the rioting was almost passive. (Click here to see this entry.) But there is something else that bothers me; our old friends at the BBC have decided thus far that the issue is unworthy of reporting. I refer you to the screengrab of its main Middle East page:

Spot the non-story.

As clear an example of burying the lead as you will find. The top item states that George Mitchell, the US envoy, will not be coming to the region, as was originally planned. Underneath the headline, a cursory and vague reference to "clashes" is made. Not a hint as to the fact that Arab riots are going on in Jerusalem. Certainly nothing to say that said riots are entirely unprovoked.

I should make clear at this point that if you think that I am being overly-sensitive, we should all remember how the last intifada started; over perceived provocations by Israel regarding the Temple Mount. Provocations that were fictitious but acted on, vigorously, by a willing Arab mob that had been stirred up by its own leadership. And what does the BBC have to say about the matter? Nothing.

*At time of posting, which is 7:25pm.

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