New York Times Tweaks Article Questioning Jewish Temples’ Existence on Temple Mount

The New York Times walked back an article that questioned whether two Jewish temples ever existed on the site of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The article, written by Rick Gladstone, a Times foreign editor, originally published on Oct. 8, read: “The question, which many books and scholarly treatises have never definitively answered, is whether the 37-acre site, home to Islam’s sacred Dome of the Rock shrine and Al Aqsa Mosque, was also the precise location of two ancient Jewish temples, one built on the remains of the other, and both long since gone.”

The article was amended the following day and a correction published in the newspaper.

The correction stated: “An earlier version of this article misstated the question that many books and scholarly treatises have never definitively answered concerning the two ancient Jewish temples. The question is where precisely on the 37-acre Temple Mount site the temples had once stood, not whether the temples had ever existed there.”

The tweaks to the article were shown in a post on the newsbusters.org website.

The corrected paragraph was edited to read: “The question, which many books and scholarly treatises have never definitively answered, is where on the 37-acre site, home to Islam’s sacred Dome of the Rock shrine and Al Aqsa Mosque, was the precise location of two ancient Jewish temples, one built on the remains of the other, and both long since gone.

The article points out that the Muslim Waqf, which maintains authority over the holy site, “has never permitted invasive archaeological work that could possibly yield proof.”

The article goes on to cite substantial evidence, including the historian Flavius Josephus and historical records of the Romans documenting the destruction, that the Second Temple stood on the site, likely in the immediate vicinity of the Dome of the Rock, the third holiest site for Muslims.

“The most direct physical evidence of the temple’s existence on the site is the Western Wall, an outer wall spared by Roman destruction,” the article said. “The wall has become a holy site in itself, drawing millions of Jews for prayer.”

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