Three weeks ago, a Jewish Israeli journalist with American citizenship – who works for the Israeli TV channel 13 – managed to enter the city of Mecca.
The journalist, Gil Tamari, entered Mecca illegally. He pretended to be a Muslim.
Entry to Mecca is forbidden to all non-Muslims. That’s the law in Saudi Arabia – a truly apartheid and racist law. It’s actually blatant discrimination against non-Muslims. (Imagine what would happen if Israel were to ban Muslims from entering Jerusalem!)
In any case, the journalist managed to deceive the authorities. He entered Mecca, the holiest city for Muslims. Worse than that, while still in Mecca, the journalist published an article and released videos. He called it a journalistic “scoop”.
Official Israel was silent and did not condemn the journalist. Prime Minister Yair Lapid does not want to harm freedom of the press. However, Channel 13 and Gil Tamri DID apologise.
But the Saudis, who naturally come from a different ideological background, were very angry. The first thing they did, was to arrest the driver who transported him. Rumours speak of a heavy sentence of no less than 15 years in a Saudi prison.
As of yet the Saudi government has released no official announcement, but the Saudis are very angry. They feel betrayed by the Israelis. What’s more, the Palestinian and Iranian propaganda against Israel is working overtime.
These propaganda messages aimed at the Saudis are as follows:
- Look how the Israelis hurt you.
- You are not able to keep the city of Mecca undefiled.
- The Israelis damaged the Holy of Holies of the Muslims.
- The Jews and Israelis are the enemies of Islam, etc.
The Saudis expected and hoped for an official Israeli apology which did not come. Therefore they had to respond. The reaction came on Friday, July 30, when the preacher of Mecca defamed, attacked and cursed the Jews.
It was terrible. The Saudis, after making great strides against extremism, fell into the trap again. True, we knew some kind of reaction was coming, but they overreacted. The Muslim preacher slandered an entire people – the entire Jewish people, and the entire Jewish religion. It is not acceptable.
Before the current Saudi crown prince, there were always preachers in Mecca cursing the Christians and the Jews. Recently it had disappeared until the event of which we are speaking.
Cursing the Jews is a vile, primitive and repulsive act that has no place. This was an inflammatory speech inciting against Jews. We should note that there are hundreds of Jews from several nations, living and working throughout Saudi Arabia. How will they feel when they hear these curses? Saudi Arabia is no longer safe for Jews. This is the first serious mistake made by Saudi Arabia after the Khashoggi affair.
The strange thing is that there is no apology at all for the cursing of the preacher. On the contrary, in the social networks in Arabic, the Saudis supported the inciting sheikh preacher and his reputation is on the rise. We heard additional shocking expressions, and this time not just against Israel or the Israelis or the Zionists, but against all the Jews in general.
Unfortunately, now the Saudis have lost decades of progress.
Religion must not be used to take revenge for this or that act that a single random individual may do. This same sermon of Mecca is now being heard by millions of Muslim adherents around the world. What message are they spreading?
Why is the whole world silent? Why are American Jews silent? The same ones who in recent years have had a dialogue with the Saudis regarding coexistence and peace between religions. They held conferences. What did they not do to persuade everyone that religious strife between Islam and the Jews is over. And now everything has blown up in our faces!