Last week, a video surfaced showing Saudi Arabian blogger, Mohammad Saud, getting spit on, hit and sworn at by an angry mob on the Temple Mount. As he exited the mount, the same mob was seen throwing all sorts of items at him including chairs.
And while it may appear to be an isolated incident, Israeli-Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh revealed in an article for the Gatestone Institute that the attack stemmed from calls from the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS). The PJS is “dominated by loyalists of President Mahmoud Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction”.
According to the report, as soon as the PJS heard about the delegation of Arab influencers arriving in Israel, they scrambled to blast statements condemning the delegation and calling for Arabs and Muslims to blacklist them. They then accused the Saudi blogger of promoting normalization with Israel.
But Toameh adds that the ” main reason the Saudi blogger was assaulted and humiliated during his visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque was incitement. It came mainly from the PJS”. This is the same organization that warned other Arab journalists not to accept invitations to the White House. They also lambasted Bahrain for inviting Arab Palestinian journalists to their Peace Conference.
This organization has also called to boycott Israeli journalists but ironically does not condemn Abbas when he meets with them.
According to Toameh, another reason that the Palestinians felt threatened by Saud’s visit to the holy site is that they saw it as a threat to the Jordanian guardianship of the Temple Mount. Overseeing the Temple Mount gives the Hashemite Kingdom honor in the Arab world and they do not wish to see Saudi Arabia encroach on that.