On Monday, Ben Tzion, a Jewish journalist of Russian descent posted photos and videos on his Instagram account from the Mosque of the Prophet, Islam’s second holiest site. The posts prompted an angry social media response from many Muslim netizens.
During his visit to Saudi Arabia, Tzion met with several Saudi activists and journalists, with whom he took pictures in the holy mosque while wearing a Saudi traditional thobe.
“With my dear brother Nasser number 1 chief in Media. Jewish and Arab people share common history and blood lineage to Abraham. With love and mutual respect, peace would come to the entire Middle East,” wrote the Jewish journalist in one of his posts.
Another Instagram post captures the journalist with another Saudi national.
“Dear brother Abdulaziz, it is our generation that would re-build bridges between Jewish and Arab world once and for all […] Israel and Saudi Arabia have to promote peace in the greater middle east region, for all people inclusive.”
Many social media users took to their Facebook accounts in response, launching #zionist_in_the_prophet_mosque hashtag to condemn Tzion’s visit to the Islamic site.
“This is Ben Tzion (not sure if it’s his official name) author of The Times Of Israel, bringing his ‘jewishness’ to the the masjid of our prophet in Madinah. It’s a non-muslim go zone, but I don’t know how and why he was admitted by the Saudi regime,” wrote one of the Saudi Facebook users.
“Very proud of his jewish blasphemy, he points in his clutch bag’s embroidery, which says: son of zion,” he added.
“Israeli zionist in Masjid Nabawi. Why the Muslim World is still silent?” wrote another.
“Israeli Zionist in Masjid a-Nabawi for Saudi-Israel normalisation.”
After the onslaught of angry messages on his Instagram pictures, the journalist’s account was suspended on Tuesday.