Temple Mount Geography Confounds NY Times

editor Wednesday 17 May 2017 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email Printer friendly

By Ira Stoll.. A New York Times news article about preparations for President Donald Trump’s visit to Jerusalem included this sentence about the Western Wall: “The wall lies underneath the Al Aqsa Mosque, or Temple Mount, which is one of the holiest sites in Islam.” This is inaccurate in at least two ways. [Photo top right: The Western Wall and Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. Photo: Paul Arps via Wikimedia Commons.]  First, it gets the basic physical/spatial geography of the site wrong. The Western Wall is not “underneath the Al Aqsa Mosque.” Any aerial photograph of the city will confirm that, as would a visit there. The mosque hugs the southern end of the Temple Mount, while the Western Wall is a western retaining wall. There’s some considerable distance between the westernmost wall of the mosque and the top of the Western Wall.

Second, the reference to “the Al Aqsa Mosque, or Temple Mount.” The Al Aqsa Mosque and the Temple Mount are two different things. Muslims call the Temple Mount the Haram al-Sharif or Noble Sanctuary, which may have been what the Times was trying to say. Read the full story.



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