Our colleague Adam Levick at UK Media Watch has noted a recent claim from the ‘Times’ columnist Janice Turner.
“The first sentence in the paragraph we highlighted, where she claims to have watched “ultra-orthodox settlers enter the Al-Aqsa mosque” to “pray”, would strike anyone familiar with regulations at the holy site as (at the very least) extraordinarily unlikely. Jews are not allowed in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and are not allowed to pray anywhere on the Temple Mount. In fact, Jews even suspected of silently praying on the Temple Mount are often arrested. Further, we confirmed with Israeli Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld in a phone call this morning that – as we suspected – no Jews have entered the mosque and there have been no ‘incidents’ of illegal Jewish prayer.”
Turner later clarified on Twitter that she was in fact referring to the Temple Mount compound rather than the mosque itself.
But where would a British journalist have got the idea that Temple Mount – known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif – is called “the Al-Aqsa mosque”? Could it be from the self-declared “provider of news that you can trust”?
Back in 2016 we documented changes in the terminology used by the BBC to describe Temple Mount which coincided with the publication of a ‘media advisory document’ for foreign journalists by the PLO.
After a brief return to the use of the location’s titles as specified in the BBC’s style guide, the employment of PLO approved terminology resurfaced again in BBC coverage in the summer of 2017.
While we of course do not know where Turner picked up her erroneous terminology, it is obvious that the leading UK broadcaster’s repeated use of PLO approved nomenclature does not help members of the British public to be aware of the political motivations that lie behind its promotion.