Saudi blogger ducking from objects thrown at him in Jerusalem’s Old City after being turned away from al Aqsa. (Screenshot)
Palestinians attacked Saudi journalist @mohsaud08 and kicked him out of Al-Aqsa Mosque, calling him “trash, traitor Zionist”. Mohammad is a part of Arab journalists delegation visiting Israel this week. pic.twitter.com/abojmM6c6x
— Suleiman Maswadeh סולימאן מסוודה (@SuleimanMas1) July 22, 2019
Arab movement toward peace with Israel sometimes takes a step forward and then another backward. In an unprecedented advancement, a delegation of six journalists and bloggers from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Jordan visited Israel at the invitation of the Israeli foreign ministry and did the two-step peace dance.
The group is visiting Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Nazareth and meeting with Israeli academics and officials. Videos of the hostile reception on the Temple Mount (Haram el-Sharif) of one Saudi journalist, Mohammad Saud, have now gone viral.
Saudi journalist/blogger visiting Israel gets run off Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem as he’s spat on by kids. Later in Old City he had chairs & other objects thrown at him. pic.twitter.com/3fnWnM5vuy via @shimritmeir
— Neri Zilber (@NeriZilber) July 22, 2019
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate called on Arab journalists and media to blacklist the group. The syndicate denounced the visit as “part of a political effort in the context of Zionist-American schemes to liquidate the Palestinian cause.”
Who Failed to Protect the Muslim Visitor?
Israel’s police are responsible for public safety on the Temple Mount; it does not keep order inside Muslim holy site. The Arab Waqf, comprised of Jordanian and Palestinian representatives, provides its own guards to keep order in the holy sites and to prevent Jewish prayers on the holy plateau.
In the case of Mohammad Saud, however, the Waqf guards were not only present, but they openly ignored the attacks, spitting, and curses hurled at the Muslim visitor. The screenshots show Waqf guards in their blue shirts observing – often taking pictures – as Saud ran the gauntlet, a fact so far unreported by the general media.
Blogger Mohammad Saud makes no secret of his support for Israel and desire for peace between Saudi Arabia and Israel, and he is very public about it on his Twitter account, https://twitter.com/mohsaud08.
Beyond Palestinians’ animosity for the young Hebrew-speaking Saudi blogger, an inter-Arab skirmish may be playing out between Jordan and Saudi Arabia, as well. Jordan, responsible for the Waqf authority, is recognized as the “custodian of holy sites” in Jerusalem, while Saudi Arabia is seen as the “custodian of the two holy mosques” in Mecca and Medina. According to one analyst, “Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries perceive the Al-Aqsa mosque as a rival to the holy city of Mecca.”1 The century-old rivalries between the Hashemite and the Saudi tribes over the sites have never totally been resolved.
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