To commemorate Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday honoring the forced circumcision of lapsed Jews 2,200 years ago by a religious zealot (among other things!), the Israeli Defense Forces issued a little pamphlet for the troops featuring a photograph of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism's holiest site. One pesky problem: Just a few hundred yards from the Wall, and visible in the photograph, sits the Dome of the Rock, one of the holiest sites in Islam. Enter Photoshop!
The close juxtaposition of the Dome and the Wall has always served as a handy geophysical summary of the Gordian Knot that is the Middle East—the intractably intertwined and often opposing interests and histories of the Jewish and Palestinian peoples, packed into the tiny land of Israel. Luckily though you can just Photoshop that shit out, which is exactly what the IDF did last month:
Israel's military rabbinate released an educational document ahead of the holiday of Hanukkah last month, featuring a photo of Jerusalem's Temple Mount without the Dome of the Rock, Haaretz learned on Thursday.
The IDF Spokesman's Office said in the response that Haaretz's description was "absurd and biased, a fact which we can only regret," adding that the educational packet included a photo meant to illustrate Jerusalem during the period of the Second Temple.
"As was explained to the reporter, the Dome of the Rock did not exist at that time, so there was no need for it to appear in the picture," the IDF said.
Look at that photo! It's like being carried back to the days of the Second Temple, when an actual temple—and not a single surviving wall—existed on that site. All the black-clad people walking around—that's what they wore in the days before Christ, black slacks and overcoats—and electric lights in the windows in the background really carry you back through the mists of time.
Here's what the Western Wall looks like when it's not Photoshopically cleansed of the fouls mosque's presence.