Newsweek’s False Notre Dame Fire/Al Aqsa Mosque Link

In a tasteless example of misleading clickbait, Newsweek published this headline, comparing a small and quickly extinguished fire near the Al Aqsa mosque to yesterday’s blaze at Notre Dame.

Complete with video of the blaze consuming Notre Dame cathedral, this article inspired dramatic reactions on social media, as readers had no idea of the truth, which you can find in today’s Jerusalem Post:

“The Fire broke out in the guard’s room outside the roof of the Marwani Prayer Hall,” according to the Wafa news agency. The fire was quickly put out by the Waqf with no injuries or interior damage reported.

This is what Newsweek saw fit to compare to the destructive inferno at Notre Dame?

Not only was the fire  a small one that caused no damage to people or property, but it was not even in the Al Aqsa Mosque. The fire was actually in the the Marwani Mosque which the Waqf (the Jordanian body that administers the site) constructed in 1996 by illegally bulldozing a protected archaeological site beneath the Temple Mount. Archaeologists believe the bulldozed soil to have been filled with ancient Jewish artifacts dating back as far as 3,000 years.

You can learn more about the site in our article, Jewish Ties to the Temple Mount.

The journalist, Tom O’Connor, mentioned none of this. He then went on to completely misstate modern history by claiming:

…President Donald Trump recognized the entirety of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017, dismissing competing Palestinian claims to the city and upsetting a broad international consensus.

In truth, the White House was intentionally vague about Jerusalem’s borders and sovereignty, explicitly keeping the option open for the parties themselves to negotiate borders and the city’s final status, as per the official White House statement:

In making these announcements, I also want to make one point very clear: This decision is not intended, in any way, to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement. We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians. We are not taking a position of any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved. 

You can read more about the details and legal effect of America’s recognition of Jerusalem in our previous article: Trump’s Embassy Move: Behind the Hysteria.

Long time HonestReporting readers will remember that Tom O’Connor has a history of irresponsible journalism, and we have on several occasions had his articles amended or removed. Here are two examples.

Source material can be found at this site.

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