Sunday, February 11, 2007

CNN: "Work on disputed holy site resumes"

There has been quite a bit of comment from Jewish bloggers on the sort of wording about the identity of the Temple Mount that we see in the following story:
Construction work resumed Sunday on a ramp leading to a disputed holy site in Jerusalem, despite objections from the Muslim world and two days of violent Palestinian protest.

Under heavy Israeli police guard, workmen returned to the site in the walled Old City after a break Saturday for the Jewish Sabbath.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld reported no fresh incidents Sunday morning and said the repair work on the walkway, on the edge of the hilltop known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount, was scheduled to proceed throughout the day.

He said police on duty in and around east Jerusalem would stay at an increased strength of around 2,000 officers and restrictions barring men under the age of 45 from praying at the sanctuary's Muslim holy sites would remain in force.

On Friday, about 200 riot police firing stun grenades and tear gas battled rock-throwing protesters among the 3,000 Muslim worshippers there, while on Saturday Palestinian teenagers stoned Israeli security forces, burned an Israeli flag and pelted a Canadian tour bus with rocks. Nobody in the bus was injured in the attack, on the Mount of Olives.

The Old City hilltop compound — a catalyst for earlier rounds of Israel-Palestinian fighting — houses the third holiest site in Islam and is believed to be the site where the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.

Jews venerate the compound as the site of their biblical temples, and one of its outer walls — known as the Western Wall — is the holiest site in Judaism. [...]
I would like to add an observation: What sort of cultural literacy is presumed on the part of the Western reader when the Temple Mount is referred to with the vague phrase "disputed holy site" and then identified as having one identity for Jews and one identity for Muslims in the third paragraph? If the reader is that ignorant, why even presume that he has heard of Jerusalem? Remember that Solomon guy, kids? I'm supposed to be offering Judeopunditry, not WesternCivopunditry, but the presumed (and perhaps displayed) ignorance here is staggering.

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