Saudi blogger spat on, cursed at during Temple Mount visit

Ron Cantor —  July 26, 2019 — Leave a comment

A Saudi blogger who is in Israel as a guest of the Foreign Ministry, was attacked by Arabs in the Old City when he tried to visit the Temple Mount to pray at al-Aqsa mosque.

A crowd of Arabs cursed, spat on Mahmoud Saud, threw plastic chairs at him and jeered, “go to a synagogue” while he was walking through the Muslim holy site. Video clips showed Saud peacefully walking on the Temple Mount while men and even young boys spit at him and shouted words such as “traitor,” “animal” and “normalizer.

Saud, a law student, is part of an unprecedented six-person media delegation from the Arab world at the invitation of Israel’s Foreign Ministry. But he is the only one of them who has gone public with his identity despite knowing the potential consequences. 

The journalists and media personalities are from Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. They have visited the Knesset and are meeting with the chairmen of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

“This visit to Israel is like touring a dreamland,” one member of the delegation told Knesset Member Avi Dichter. “If only we would be able to bring hundreds of people from our countries, so that when they go back they can tell what they saw and felt.”

The meeting was conducted in Arabic. Dichter told the media representatives that Israel is pursuing relations with contacts in the Arab world rather than “wait until the Palestinian Authority decides to fight terrorism.”

Shai Cohen, the Knesset’s diplomatic adviser, added that Israel separates “between progress on the peace process with the Palestinians and deepening our ties with the moderate Arab world.”

Saudi Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nizar Amer condemned “the cruel and immoral behavior of some Palestinians near the Al-Aqsa Mosque toward a Saudi media personality who came to Jerusalem to be a bridge to peace and understanding between peoples.” He said the attacks served to use the holy Muslim site as a “political tool.”