A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

well begun is half done: Israel’s excavations near the Haram al-Sharif

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on February 21, 2007

BBC News’ website has posted a series of photographs of the Haram al-Sharif & the Temple Mount, with explanatory captions.

The text accompanying the last photograph made me want to throw up my hands:

Just inside the gate Israeli excavations continue. Plans for the actual repair work have been put off as Israeli officials seek to convince Muslims around the world that no damage is being done to Islamic interest at the site.

There are a few farm-friendly expressions I would like to invoke in response:

Beginning excavating WITHOUT first mounting a PR campaign to explain their purpose and scope to the world’s (or at least Palestine’s) Muslims is like putting the cart before the horse.

Conversely, trying to convince the world’s Muslims that no damage is being done now, after the initial excavations sparked such fear and passion, is like closing the barn door after the horse is gone.

I imagine that the excavations are exactly as described, and that the men and women working on them have carefully and professionally considered ways to excavate and repair without harming the Haram al-Sharif.

What I do not understand is why the Israeli officials in charge did not mount a PR initiative at the outset.

As Mary Poppins said, Well begun is half done.

Poorly begun, on the other hand, is worse than not having done anything at all.

Meanwhile photograph six showed this image:

6.jpg

The caption reads (somehow with a straight face):

Muslim protesters gathered for a peaceful protest on 8 February 2007 at the Dung Gate. Goading them, the orthodox Jewish man on the left demonstrates his belly dancing skills.

That man does not look like he is goading anyone, except into laughter.

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2 Responses to “well begun is half done: Israel’s excavations near the Haram al-Sharif”

  1. M said

    I had the same thought when I saw that photo. First of all, I’ve NEVER seen any belly dancing moves that look like that. More importantly, no one is even looking at the guy.

  2. I know. This photo & its caption ought to have come from the Onion, rather than the BBC!

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