Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
Dome of the Rock, JerusalemIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Does CNN think the Messiah is coming?

Devout Jews believe that one day, soon, the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt on the Temple Mount, ushering in the Messianic era. How this will happen is a matter of controversy, but as it stands, due to Muslim pressure, Jews are not even allowed to pray on the Mount, much less approach the mosques.

Yet CNN appears to think otherwise.

A slideshow on CNN's website depicts 25 buildings that are “on the verge of extinction” and beckons to readers:

“Go see them now, before it’s too late: threatened by neglect, the elements, changing architectural trends or ruthless developers, these outstanding buildings are all fighting a hard battle for survival.”

The first in the series of photos of doomed structures is none other than that of the Dome of the Rock. The sole human being in the photo is a Jew in haredi garb, walking toward the Dome.

CNN does not say that the Dome of the Rock is in danger specifically, but states more generally that this is true of the Old City of Jerusalem, noting that it is on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage Sites in Danger.

“Political tension has hardened relations between Israel and UNESCO, preventing any preservation plans from moving forward,” it says.

The implication, however, is clear to people who have been listening to Islamist propaganda.

Islamist inciters have been saying for decades that Israel is seeking to physically undermine the Muslim structures on the Temple Mount by digging tunnels underneath them. It now appears that CNN has joined the conspiracy theorists,

CNN's claim echoes the Islamist inciters' catchphrase, "Al Aqsa is in danger." In fact, Sheikh Raed Salah has been holding an annual mass rally in Umm El-Fahm for the last 20 years, under that slogan. The accusation has been used to stir up bloody attacks on Jews at least since 1929, when a similar claim sparked horrific attacks on Jews in Hevron and elsewhere.

Watchdog site HonestReporting noted that “CNN was under no obligation to buy into this outrageous nonsense, particularly as the Old City is probably the most protected heritage site in the Middle East. All religious sites are protected by law and freedom of religion. Even the most disputed of those, the Temple Mount, is under the control of the Muslim Waqf under an agreement to maintain the status quo.”

“In fact,” it added, “the biggest threat to the heritage of the Old City is from the Palestinians themselves who have carried out unsupervised excavations on the Temple Mount, destroying many priceless antiquities in the process.”