The return of the missing mosques

 Almost five years ago, a reader alerted me to the banner on the website of Christians United for Israel. It featured a lovely photo of the Western Wall — but something was missing.

The mosques atop the wall.

David Brog, CUFI’s executive director, was at first incredulous — he thought I was mistaken, that the photo was simply taken from an angle that omitted the mosques.

The photo was purchased from an Israeli agency. Through the agency, I tracked down the photographer, who acknowledged to me that he had photoshopped out the mosques, because, well, he didn’t like them.

Brog fixed the website. Here’s the story, with comparative shots of the CUFI website before and after, and here’s a better formatted version from our archives, with no photo.

Now the photo — the exact same photo — crops up again, this time in a Chanukah presentation prepared by the IDF rabbinate.

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Haaretz (Hebrew edition) has the story. (For a blow-up, check out this report on 972 Magazine, which is where I first saw the story.)

It sounds from the story as if it was part of a Powerpoint presentation sent to officers to show to troops. This slide in particular is supposed to illustrate the war of the Maccabees.

The army’s initial response to Haaretz … well, here it is.

The reporter’s claim is tendentious and absurd, and one has no choice but to regret it. This is a matter of a presentation send to IDF soldiers ahead of Chanukah. The slide in question is an illustration of Jerusalem in the Second Temple period. As was explained to the reporter the Golden Dome did not exist in that period. There was no reason for it to appear in the photo.

Where to start? Churches also did not exist during the Second Temple period. Nor did electricity. Or Israeli flags. And Herod’s outer wall — the Western Wall — didn’t exist at the time of the Maccabees.

Yet each features in the photo:

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