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Saturday, July 23, 2022 

Jewish reporter enters Mecca, sparking Muslim outrage

This incident is, most unfortunately, an important sign that Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia have a long way to go before becoming fully accepting of Jews visiting the countries they live in and govern:
Gil Tamary, a reporter for Channel 13, sparked outrage from Muslims and Jews after he entered Mecca and filmed a report within the Muslim holy city as millions of Muslims from around the world conducted the Hajj (pilgrimage) to the city.

Tamary was in Saudi Arabia as he had received a special permit, along with two other Israeli reporters, to cover the regional conference attended by US President Joe Biden last week.

Non-Muslims are completely prohibited from entering the city of Mecca and are largely banned from the city of Medina
, although restrictions on access to Medina have reportedly been somewhat lightened in recent years. The ban is largely based on a verse in the Quran (Surah At-Tawbah 9:28) banning polytheists from approaching the Great Mosque in Mecca.

In the Channel 13 report published on Monday, Tamary notes that non-Muslims are not allowed into Mecca, but he proceeded to detail how he managed to enter the city and go up Mt. Arafat with a Muslim driver regardless.

The journalist stressed that the driver did not know that he was an Israeli journalist, as he took care to speak only in English.
Tragically, the following report suggests the driver was the one arrested by Arabian authorities:
A Saudi citizen who allegedly helped Israeli journalist Gil Tamary enter the Muslim holy city of Mecca has been arrested and will be prosecuted, Mecca police said Friday. Official Saudi media also indicated “procedures” would be instituted against Tamary.

Channel 13 on Monday aired a clip of Tamary sneaking into Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, in defiance of a ban on non-Muslims.

Mecca regional police have “referred a citizen” to prosecutors for alleged complicity in “transferring and facilitating the entry of a (non-Muslim) journalist,” a police spokesperson said in comments reported by the official Saudi Press Agency.

[...] To protect his companion’s identity, Tamary did not show his face and warped his voice in the one-minute video the news outlet’s Twitter posted on Monday, and Channel 13 aired a ten-minute report documenting his visit that night.
Yet it would seem as though the driver may have been the one they arrested, and if they're giving him hell on earth, that's obscene. The man should be released immediately. For now, this demonstrates that Arabia still isn't ready to be considered a civilized country, and shouldn't even be allowed to invest in overseas businesses, as a result.

But why does the Jerusalem Post say Jews were outraged? That's just simply ludicrous.

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