Susan D. Harris
Western media eliminating "Temple Mount"
By Susan D. Harris
August 6, 2017

There is a subtle repositioning in process by the mainstream media to influence the way people think – or don't think – about the Temple Mount. In short, we are to think of it primarily as a sacred Islamic Jerusalem shrine that the Jews falsely lay claim to. In order to accomplish this, the term "Temple Mount" must be stealthily eradicated.

Drudge Report first caught my attention with the July 14th headline: "2 Israeli policemen killed in shooting near Jerusalem shrine." I wondered, "What Jerusalem shrine?" Surely if it were the Temple Mount it would say so. The headline linked to an AP story which told me in the first paragraph that it was a "major Jerusalem shrine," (at this point I wondered why they were hedging about the location.) The second paragraph told me it was a "sacred site" ... which in American lingo is starting to sound like an Indian burial ground somewhere in the Old West. The next thing I read is that it is known to Muslims as the "Noble Sanctuary." Huh. I guess that would the article tells me it's known to Jews as the "Temple Mount." There you have it! It took three paragraphs but the Associated Press finally connected this vague sacred site to the Jewish people – after first telling us it is revered by Muslims.

The same day, British daily The Guardian told us by their second paragraph that the attack occurred "in the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif complex." Before the paragraph is over however, Muslims again get first dibs as it's described as being "revered as a holy site by both Muslims and Jews."

Two days later, CNN took a more serious tone as they reported the Israeli policemen were killed "just outside one of the world's most important religious sites." In keeping with framing the Temple Mount as firstly a Muslim site and secondly a Jewish site, CNN falls in step saying the attack was "next to what Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary and Jews the Temple Mount."

July 21st Reuters followed suit. In their article titled, "Jerusalem on alert as religious tensions rise over holy site," the first paragraph dips its toe in the water referencing only a "sensitive holy site." By the second paragraph we've waded into the pool as we're told the "shrine" is the Muslim's "Noble Sanctuary," followed by a mention of the Jew's "Temple Mount" – as if they were second in line with squatter's rights. Now officially drowning in chaos, the London based news service decides to go with "Noble Sanctuary-Temple Mount compound."

Also July 21st, Fox News joined the club with a headline about the "holy shrine tension." Almost laughably, it tells it's apparently not too worldly-wise readers about a "long-contested shrine near the Lion's Gate in Jerusalem." Once again, Muslims are named first when discussing the "volatile Jerusalem shrine, revered by Muslims and Jews alike."

The same day, Britain's Telegraph chased its tail as it reported, "Palestinian gunmen ambushed and killed two Israeli police officers at the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem on Friday, bringing bloodshed and chaos to a religious site that is sacred to both Jews and Muslims."

VOA (Voice of America) News got the memo as well.

It seems obvious that the site formerly called the "Temple Mount" by Western media is not the preferred name of the "holy site," "sacred site," "holy place," "holy shrine," "Jerusalem shrine," that is known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

A search on an American/Canadian newspaper archive – holding nearly 40 million newspapers dating back to the 1800's – returned 1,933 "Temple Mount" results, and only 86 "Noble Sanctuary" results. The phrase "Temple Mount" spanned the years. However, while a few of the "Noble Sanctuary" results were from the late 19th Century, the rest were mostly from the year 2000 onward.

(And it wasn't just websites and newspapers. I heard numerous radio news reports referencing it as the Muslims' Noble Sanctuary before mentioning it was "also a Jewish holy site.")

While the United Nations has been pushing the narrative that the Jerusalem holy site is "Muslim, not Jewish" for years, it should be troubling to those who support Jewish claims to the site that even the most conservative Western media are now falling in lockstep with UN talking points.

Of course Israel is often its own worst enemy. Their left-leaning Haaretz newspaper declared, just days ago, that "The 'Temple Mount' belongs to the Muslims." In his multiple charges outlining how the Israeli government has damaged and continues "to do harm to the mosque," writer Abed L. Azab gets to the crux of the "Temple Mount" nomenclature:

The third and most serious aspect, which is indeed putting Al-Aqsa in danger, are the efforts by the Israeli rights to portray it as the "Temple Mount" – with all that entails.

"With all that entails" – and therein lies the crux of why we are being told again and again and again that it is a Muslim holy site first and foremost. Erase "Temple Mount" and you've erased the history of the Jewish people...with all that entails.

Susan D. Harris can be reached at

© Susan D. Harris


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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