BEIRUT: The Israeli Military Rabbinite released a photo of the Temple Mount with the iconic Dome of the Rock mosque edited out, Haaretz reported Thursday.
The photo was distributed last month as part of an educational document for the Israeli army ahead of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. The Military Rabbinite oversees religious affairs within the army.
A spokesman for the Israeli army defended the picture, saying that it was meant to depict the Jewish revolt against Hellenistic rule, a period before Islam existed.
One reserves officer, who didn’t give his name, told Haaretz that when he “received the materials from the battalion rabbi something seemed strange about that picture.”
He added that the edited picture was part of an “official release, which is why it’s problematic the army is distributing it.”
The Israeli army’s official public relations office told Haaretz that “the Dome of the Rock did not exist at that time, so there was no need for it to appear in the picture.”
But the officer didn’t appear to be satisfied with the rabbinite’s response, saying that “the Military Rabbinate [needs] to be more alert about the educational messages it passes on, especially considering the Temple Mount’s history... It’s infuriating that the rabbinate isn’t being more responsible about this.”