Before the eyes of the world, the most contested site in the Middle East has quietly been rearranged by those who most benefit from a shifting of historical and religious narrative: Palestinian Arabs. The Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, two buildings that are at the center of furious international debate and spates of violence, have traded places in plain sight, and no one seems to have noticed.

The world is familiar with the image of the golden dome, which has turned into a symbol of Palestinian national identity through a fraud so seamless that it has gone virtually undetected. The recent wave of violence in Israel rallies behind cries of ‘al-Aqsa’ and images of the Dome of the Rock. In truth, however, the focus of all this fervor – the gold dome – is not al Aqsa at all. READ MORE