Al-Jazeera presenter suggests Jews ‘return’ to Saudi Arabia, stirs controversy
Al-Jazeera presenter Ghada Oueiss stirred controversy on Friday when she tweeted a video of a village in western Saudi Arabia, which had a predominantly Jewish population 1,391 years ago, and questioned whether Jews should return there instead of returning to Palestinian lands.
“Aerial footage of the Fort of Marhab in Khaybar, Saudi Arabia, which was a Jewish stronghold! Shouldn’t they return there instead of Palestine?” the tweet which was written in Arabic reads.
تصوير جوي لحصن مرحب في خيبر في السعودية .. وكان مقرا لليهود! الا ينبغي أن يعودوا الى هناك بدل فلسطين؟ pic.twitter.com/ufTzfGdgIW— Ghada Oueiss غادة عويس (@ghadaoueiss) August 22, 2019
Most replies were from infuriated Twitter users.
Writer Abdulrahman bin Musa’ad criticized the tweet saying: “The Deal of Ghada Oueiss’ Century: Replacing the occupation of Jerusalem and al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site, with the occupation of Medina, the second holiest site.”
While academic Loay al-Shareef explained the history behind the Jews’ return to Palestine.
He tweeted saying: “Jews, whom Jesus of Nazareth was one of, have a home called ‘the Land of Israel’ in their holy book. Jesus, for example, was an Israeli who was born in the Jewish Bethlehem, as mentioned in the Bible. The Jewish presence in the Arabian Peninsula wasn’t voluntary after Romans kicked them out of their land. These are the facts which won’t be fabricated by politics.”
The Qatari media network has been accused in the past of being anti-Semitic. Last May, al-Jazeera’s online platform AJ+ published a video which questioned the Holocaust’s historical facts, only to take it down after social media backlash.