Biased Guardian reporting on the Jerusalem Bridge

Guardian Mideast bias

How the Guardian reports on Israel

Here’s a shocka. The Guardian produces yet another hatchet job about Israel, this time regarding the rickety Mughrabi Bridge in the Old City of Jerusalem, which urgently needs replacing, and about which I posted just last week.

A quick fisking of their article:

Officials in Jerusalem are set to close a footbridge connecting the region’s most sensitive Jewish and Muslim sites, inflaming religious tensions.

The only religious tensions that are inflamed are Muslims, and they are doing it deliberately.

Engineers working for the city claim the Mughrabi bridge, a wooden walkway that climbs up the Western Wall to the Dome of the Rock and the Temple Mount, is structurally unsound and a fire hazard.

The Mughrabi Bridge

The rickety and dangerous Mughrabi Bridge

Note that word “claim” – as if the claim isn’t real or the danger is just a pretense.

<snip>…

The unilateral decision by the city’s authorities has angered Waqf, a body that represents the Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem. It said any decision about the bridge was its to make as the Temple Mount is a Muslim sanctuary under Palestinian control.

The decision was not “unilateral”. It was taken in conjunction with consultations with Jordan and Egypt, and – yes – the Waqf.  The Waqf itself does NOT represent the Palestinian Authority. It represents the Muslim edifices in Jerusalem’s Old City. Bad reporting.

Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, delayed the closure at the end of October after warnings from leaders in Jordan and Egypt that it could provoke anti-Israeli sentiment across the Muslim world.

Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo, has made the bridge’s fate a critical issue in the Egyptian elections. On Thursday he called on Jordan’s King Abdullah to convince Israel not to replace it.

A senior official within the Jerusalem municipality said the walkway’s closure was not a question of politics but health and safety. “The municipality is working first and foremost to prevent a major catastrophe happening at the most important place in the state of Israel,” he said.

On Thursday afternoon, the fragile wooden bridge was still carrying a stream of tourists and occasional groups of orthodox Jewish men to al-Aqsa compound. The area is visited by as many as 10 million people a year.

Stupid bad reporting. Orthodox Jews do not go to Al Aqsa. They are going to the Temple Mount. The Guardian doesn’t know or doesn’t care that there is Judaism’s holiest site up there.

Most Muslims reach the mosque through a separate gate from the Old City’s Muslim quarter. Some fear a newer, stronger bridge could be used by Israeli soldiers to enter the site.

What would change? IDF soldiers in any event access the Mount via the bridge. It will simply be a newer safer bridge.

Al-Aqsa mosque has been flashpoint for clashes between Palestinian protesters and the Israel Defence Force, often following Friday prayers. IDF riot shields are kept stacked along the inner walls of the current bridge.

No mention as to why it has become a flashpoint. No mention of the riots sparked by Muslims, stone-throwing by Palestinians onto the Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall below. As far as the Guardian is concerned, violence is only ever one way – from Israel towards the poor innocent Palestinians.

Isra, a 20-year-old Palestinian woman, said: “We don’t mind about the bridge itself. Muslims are concerned about the whole site and the mosque in particular. What we don’t want is for many Jewish people to come here.”

The truth will out. Nothing to do with Israel, the IDF or local politics. It’s simply pure antisemitism. Well, too bad young lady. The Jews will continue visiting their Temple Mount until the Messiah comes, when the Temple will be rebuilt.

The current bridge was built as a temporary replacement for the Mughrabi ramp, a stone walkway that was destroyed during a winter storm in 2004. In May this year the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, approved a building permit for the original ramp to be repaired.

This is probably the only bit of the story that is accurate. The rest is just a remix of previous reporting with a nasty side-serving of anti-Israel innuendo and a few falsehoods.

In other words, another typical day on the Guardian’s Middle East page. Shame on them.

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