Temple Mount 101

Time for some Temple Mount 101.

The Temple Mount — the site of the first and second Jewish Temples — is Judaism’s holiest site. Full stop.

The Western Wall, a retaining wall built around the mountain, is the closest spot to the site of the Temple that Jews can approach without raising A) religious issues of ritual purity or B) political issues of sharing the site with Muslims.

Archeologists discovered coins in a ritual bath under the base of the Western Wall indicating that the wall wasn’t built by Herod, as commonly believed.

So The Daily Mail illustrated its story with images of the coins and the wall, but in a sloppy display of inconsistency, inaccurately described the wall as “Judaism’s holiest site” in two of the captions, while describing it as “Judaism’s holiest prayer site” in a third caption. (I’m not going to pick a fight over “holiest prayer site.”)

At best, this is very poor copy editing that plays into the Palestinian denial of Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.