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Temple Mount tourists unwittingly featured in Palestinian propaganda

reposted from Israel Hayom
Tuesday January 20, 2015

"Not for one moment did any of my friends or myself show any hostility towards anyone there. However, this extremist website claims we stormed the mount and that we attempted to fly a drone over the mosque twice," writes tourist Geoffrey Zalter.

by Yori Yalon

An innocent photo of a group of young Canadians and Americans visiting the Temple Mount was used in a false accusatory article on a Palestinian website, indicating that the visitors had stormed Al-Aqsa mosque.

Geoffrey Zalter, 23, came to Israel on a MASA teaching fellows program (a joint project of the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency that brings young Jews to Israel) to teach English for a year.

He went to the Temple Mount last week and was photographed there with a group of his friends from the program by several Palestinians. He was later shocked to see a photograph of the group on a Palestinian website that distributes false propaganda against Israel.

The picture appeared on the website "Palestinian Information Center" alongside an article containing a slew of false information, including that a group of Jews had stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque and tried to fly a drone over it twice.

"I visited the Temple Mount with some friends, so that I can see the Al-Aqsa mosque from close up, and so that I could appreciate the history of this part of the world in more depth," Zalter wrote in a Facebook post about the incident. "Palestinian men and women were praising Allah (directed at us, with the intent to make us feel uncomfortable), yelling at us and taking pictures."

Zalter explained that he didn't understand why the Palestinians were taking pictures, and his group leader suggested that they would likely post the photos on one of their websites, claiming a group of Jews had stormed the mosque.

"Well, that is exactly what happened," Zalter wrote. "Not for one moment did any of my friends or myself show any hostility towards anyone there. However, this extremist website claims we stormed the mount and that we attempted to fly a drone over the mosque twice."

He went on to write, "I'm sharing this because I feel it is important for people to see that these doctored photos and false reporting is real. There was an utter hatred towards me from so many people there, and no one knew anything about me."

Speaking to Israel Hayom, Zalter said, "I was in complete shock from the behavior of the people on the Temple Mount and from the false report. I had heard about false reports against Israel and Jewish people in the Palestinian media before, and now I see they really exist."

 

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