by Richard H. Shulman

I previously showed that The New York Times is renaming Jerusalem's Temple Mount to make Jews seem like occupiers of Muslim places. (My previous article is reprinted below.) Now the Times is doing the same mischief even more egregiously for the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

The Cave of the Patriarchs is mentioned in the first chapter of the Hebrew Testament, Genesis 23:9. Genesis probably was written about 3,400 years ago, but the oral recording of the Bible preceded that. Islam is almost 1,400 years old. Therefore, "Cave of the Patriarchs" was the name in use for at least 2,000 years before Muslims could possibly have formulated an alternative name.

Israel controls Hebron now, and has a strong claim to the area. So whether your criterion for authority in a name is who originated it or who controls it now, the Jewish people possess that authority.

As with the Temple Mount, which King Herod the Great rebuilt in order to erect the Second Jewish Temple, the Times went from using the official name to giving equal billing to the two religions' names, using the Israeli name followed by the Muslim namel to using the Muslim name followed by the Israeli name. Lately I saw the Times calling the Cave the Ibrahimi Mosque, and only sometimes referring to its Jewish name.

Likewise, the Times falsely implies that the Hebrew names for the provinces of Judea and Samaria are just Biblical for West Bank, although "West Bank" was coined as late as the 1948 war, when Transjordan seized them from the Palestine Mandate. Their names never were officially changed.

The misuse of names is part of the Islamic-NY Times anti-Israel propaganda to boost the Islamic territorial claim and bash the Jewish territorial claim. It is a means of jihad. Accordingly, the Times now emphasizes its miscasting of Israel as occupiers of Judea-Samaria. Such pejorative wording erodes Israel's standing there. That is the purpose of such wording.

You might not think the Times means to facilitate jihad. However, just as the U.S. donates half a billion dollars a year to the murderous jihadists in the Palestinian Authority, jihadists having similar goals and methods to al-Qaeda, against whom our GIs fought, the Times constantly favors the PLO over Israel.

By eroding Israel's standing, the Times reinforces efforts not to make peace, which the P.A. does not want, but to make war to drive the Jews out from the whole country.

An honest, wise, and patriotic newspaper would want to adhere to the truth, so as not to aid and comfort the mutual enemies of the U.S. and Israel. After all, it is not clear that the West can or will defeat the contemporary drive for jihad.

By the way, you might have wondered at the folly of the U.S. spending billions of dollars on the P.A., which motivates its people to murder. Such folly is policy. Add to that the hundreds of billions of dollars the U.S. will be letting into the economy of Iran. Billions of that will be spent by Iran on reviving Russia's military industry. Yes, Pres. Obama sure reset relations with Russia.

President Obama may claim that he is refraining from getting into wars, but he is aiding the military forces of our aggressor enemies. They will be enabled to make serious wars. Then what will he do? Jihadist war will be his legacy. Saladin did not enable jihad as much as Pres. Obama will have done.

"Temple Mount" or "Noble Sanctuary?"
Richard H. Shulman

Awkward & Unfair: Pick up any current New York Times or Wall St. Journal article, and every one refers to the Temple Mount as, "what the Jews call the Temple Mount and what Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary." The parallel use is awkward and unfair.

Feigning Neutrality: Equating the two religions' names to the Mount sounds neutral. However, the references often also state the Arabic wording for Noble Sanctuary but not the Hebrew wording for Temple Mount. Apparently Islam is more equal than Judaism.

Insulting Christianity: P.A. head Abbas denies the prior existence of Jewish Temples on the Mount. That implies no Jewish Temple in Jerusalem from which, according to the Christian Testament, Jesus expelled money changers. The implications of this Islamic cold-shouldering of Christianity seems to be unrealized by Christians. Western media does not challenge Abbas on that. Apparently Islam is more equal than Christianity, too.

Imperialistic Re-Naming: Islam, like the equally imperialist Incas and Zulus of the past, destroys or converts to its own usage and renames, temples of conquered religions and tribes. The Turks did that with St. Sophia Church, on a par with St. Peter's, after they conquered Constantinople. Muslims did that in India, too.

Jews Built the Mount: The Temple Mount and Second Temple were expanded by King Herod the Great of Judea. Surely Jews had a name for that mount, I thought.

Consulted An Expert: I consulted Rabbi David Bleich of Temple B'nei Yehuda in Manhattan. He's an internationally consulted Halachist and scholar of the Mishna, the commentary on the Hebrew Bible. Rabbi Bleich told me that the Hebrew term for Temple Mount, "Har HaBeit," appears many times in the Mishna. The Mishna, he said, was completed in the first century C.E.

That is six centuries before the Muslims arrived. The term, "Temple Mount," to use the English translation, has been used for two thousand years. It doesn't matter what Muslims try to rename it. It was built by Jews and now is in the Jewish nation's capital.

Jihadist Terminology: Ostensibly neutral, Western terminology lends credence to Muslim Arab claims. Western newspapers should not lend themselves to jihadist land claims by means of vocabulary, referring to Muslim names. Likewise, they refer to Judea-Samaria as "Occupied West Bank," as if "Occupied" were part of the name. It is not occupied, because there never was an Arab country of Palestine. Rather, it is unallocated territory of the Palestine Mandate, established for Jewish statehood. Legally, the Jewish people have the best claim to it. But that is a topic for another time.

Here is a case of politically correct wording that complicates a life-or-death struggle, and does it on the side of the Islamic aggressors.

How the NY Times Misrepresents Jihad & Israel
Richard H. Shulman

1. Omit most news unfavorable to the Muslims

Not Reported In the Times: "... a small group of students from Yeshivat Beit Orot were attacked by an Arab mob on their way back...from evening prayers nearby on the Mount of Olives Ridge." "The Jewish residents of the eastern neighborhoods of Israel's capital have been conducting their normative lives for decades. For over five months now, Jews have been targeted incessantly by repeated attacks on their homes, schools, playgrounds and places of worship." ( via IMRA 11/23/14).

Not just one attack did the Times omit, but months of attacks. Suppose the Times had reported them. Readers would realize that Muslim attacks are frequent, unprovoked, and against innocent people merely for being Jews. This is terrorism, jihad, evil. This would give the Jihad-Israel conflict perspective. Times readers don't get perspective from their newspaper, because they are not informed.

Ignores Arab Attacks on Schools: The attacks occur at homes, schools, playgrounds, and places of worship, not arms depots and residences of terrorists. Schools, mosques, and hospitals are the very types of places that Hamas made military targets in Gaza, so that they would be attacked and then the UN would mindlessly blame Israel as if those places were not military targets. The lack of reporting on many Arab attacks in Jerusalem leaves unchallenged the hypocrisy of critics' false accusations against Israel.

2. Misleading terminology and mischaracterizing the conflict and the rivals' stances

Muslim Exclusivity: The P.A. is demanding that nobody use the name, Temple Mount, which, the Times states is the Jews' name for the place. No, it is the age-old name and remains the name. Same for the official names, Judea and Samaria, which the Times often refers to as the Biblical names. But Israel did not officially change the names to "West Bank." Jordan coined that term, but its attempt to annex those territories was illegal and rejected.

Competing Narratives' Effect: The "decades-old conflict is as much about competing narratives as it is about claiming territory." The next sentence contradicts that: "The real struggle over the site, however, is not over semantics but over sovereignty, between two people who seem unable to find a way to simply share."

If the real struggle is over semantics, why does the Times often use the jihadist term? Semantics and narrative are a basis for sovereignty, or the jihadists wouldn't work so hard at semantics and narrative. If the Israeli claim is thought to be deficient, then the EU would feel free to take more substantive action against Israel [which they seem to be planning].

A subtler use of false terminology is to shape people's thinking, such as depicting Israel as "occupier," a mistaken notion that the Times harps on. False terminology points fingers toward Israel and away from the real cause of the strife, jihad.

Jews Share Sites, Muslims Don't: Actually, Israel is willing to share. It proves that in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The Arab mayor of Hebron vows to bar Jewish worship there if Israel withdraws from there. P.A. Arabs destroyed Josephs' Tomb and attack Rachel's Tomb. The Muslims prove unwilling to share, because they insist on freezing out the legitimacy of rival religions. The Times equates the two sides as responsible for a problem that only the Muslim side should be blamed for. That is unfair.

After all, one side is a jihadist aggressor, and the other side is not. Equating the two sides lowers the Israeli side to the jihadist side's level.

What Is Extreme?: In describing riots, historian Yitzhak Reiter is quoted, "The extreme factions within both the Israeli and Palestinian communities realized that holy place is a symbolic asset so to speak, in consolidating support for their struggle." What are the factions, their extreme behavior, and their influence in their communities and governments? Not stated. The use of "extreme" is a pejorative that equates both sides.

The Times and the Israeli Left hurl "extremist" at those who disagree with them. It's a propaganda club. There are only a handful of genuine extremists among the Jews. Most Palestinian Arabs want to conquer Israel, and therefore, most are extremist. Jihad is extremist. Defense against jihad is rational. But the Times calls Jewish nationalists, who don't want to strengthen the jihadist P.A., "extremist" to denigrate them.

3. Elevating false Muslim propaganda to credibility

Rumor Unchallenged: "Now, as more and more Jews challenge Israel's prohibition on their [Jewish] prayer in the religion's most sacred space, many Palestinians fear that what they really want is to take over the entire compound and replace its Dome of the Rock with a third temple."

Only a few Jews intend to do that. If the Times took a poll, readers would realize there is no basis for the fear. The fear comes from jihadist propaganda, which the Arab masses more or less believe. Don't count on the Times for honest reporting that would take the wind out of jihadist propaganda sails.

Rumors Deliberate, But Times Does Not Reveal That: This propaganda aims to stir violence. And it does, as the article later attributes the motives of terrorists to fear of Jewish attack on the mosque. One could hardly tell from Times reporting that P.A. head Abbas assiduously engenders this unwarranted fear. After all, the Times portrays Abbas as a moderate to whom Israel should make concessions.

Muslim Riot, Foreigners Blame Jews: Foreigners tend to criticize, not violent Muslims, but Jewish victims who defend themselves from it. That unjust foreign reaction reflects a combination of ignorance and perversity. Their self-righteousness is unwarranted. The EU has all it can do to preserve its economy, population, national security, and civilization, but devotes itself more to a second half of the Final Solution.

4. Quoting Biased Sources

The Times regularly seeks comment from anti-Zionist sources and rarely seeks refutation from Zionist sources. They quote "Sari Nusseibeh, as philosophy professor at Al Quds University..." He's simply a jihadist with a smile. His university promotes jihad; it doesn't simply educate. But when a jihadist puts on a suit and smiles, the West mistakes him for a moderate. The Times ignores their records.

5. Rare Breakthrough of Truth, But Glossed Over

Usually, the Times omits from background statements history that upholds the Jewish case against the Muslim case. Thus it usually starts background with Israel having "seized" the Old City in 1967, not mentioning that Jordan had seized it in 1948 and lost it in 1967 by starting more aggression against Israel.

Rare Revelation: This time, a bit of historical truth broke through. Here it is admitted that Jordan "occupied" the Old City and barred Jewish access even to the Western Wall. [Now that is extremist!] Not stated is that Jordan expelled the 9,500 Jews and destroyed their synagogues. And Jordan complains about holy places?

Fail to Answer Muslim's False Complaints: Yes, Muslims complain about restricted access to al-Aqsa mosque. Unstated is that the restrictions prevent riots, in which Muslim worshippers frequently indulge and on the basis of their leaders' deliberately set rumors against the Jews. This is like the old tale of the brothers who murdered their parents and then sought sympathy as orphans.

The article also admits that Palestinian Arabs increasingly deny the existence of former Jewish Temples on the Mount. Then, "After Israel became a state in 1948, the Waqf removed from its guidebooks all references to King Solomon's Temple; whose location at the site it had previously said was "beyond dispute." (Jodi Rudoren, NY Times, 11/23/14, A22.)

This Waqf change is political. There were other changes, such as the former acknowledgment that Jerusalem is a Jewish city. The lesson is not to blindly believe Muslim claims. The reporter glosses over this conclusion. The article, not the worst in that newspaper, conceals more than it reveals.

Richard H. Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at This article was submitted November 27, 2016. The embedded article was submitted November 23, 2014.

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