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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Saudis bar Israeli journalist in UN Secretary General's entourage

J O S H U A P U N D I T is reporting that Saudi Arabia has refused to admit an Israeli journalist who is traveling on a French passport as part of UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon's entourage. The journalist, Orly Azoulay, is the Washington bureau chief of Yediot Ahronot, known to Anglos as YNet. Curiously, YNet does not appear to be covering this story. Freedom Fighter notes:
When the Saudi consulate in New York returned the passports of the 11 news reporters and broadcasters to United Nations headquarters on Friday afternoon, only Ms. Azoulay’s bore no Saudi visa. Ms. Montas said this occurred despite repeated appeals to the Saudis during the week from Vijay Nambiar, Mr. Ban’s chief of staff.

According to her, the Saudi mission is not returning calls from United Nations officials, and it's fairly obvious that Ms. Azoulay will be not be allowed to accompany the UN to Riyadh.

In contrast, the `racist, apartheid' nation of Israel granted visas to all 11 news people, including at least 3 who are Arab- or Iranian-born and traveling on European passports.


Of course, the UN delegation and the other press personnel could react to this blatant racism by simply not going to Saudi Arabia, and issuing a statement as to why. That would be the moral and decent thing to do, to show that they have no tolerance or sympathy for it.

The UN's reaction?

Ban Ki-Moon, the UN delegation and the remaining press are expected to be in Riyadh on Monday, the 26th as planned.

And the Israelis are supposed to try and seek `normal relations' based on a plan developed by the Saudis, who won't even allow an Israeli in their country!
Even the Syrians weren't this bad. In 1995, US Secretary of State Warren Christopher traveled from Jerusalem to Damascus. One of the reporters who accompanied him was David Makovsky, then of the Jerusalem Post, traveling on an American passport. Or perhaps, the Syrians were just as bad but Warren Christopher was more willing to stand up for an (American) Jew than was Ban-Ki Moon.

If there's a press conference after Monday's meeting, let's hope one of the journalists has the guts to ask why Azoulay was barred.


At 10:21 PM, Blogger Lois Koenig said...

I may be hallucinating, but al-NYT almost sounded sympathetic. I had better re-read their article.

I guess that UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon was too busy bowing at Arafat's grave and paying kovet to him. Lovely floral tribute. BTW, Arafat is still dead.


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