Arab man (Saudi) reading a newspaper 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Susan Baaghil )
BERLIN – Saudi Arabia’s government appears to have denied access to the website
of The Jerusalem Post since early May.
The conservative British based news
and opinion website The Commentator first drew attention to the disruption on
Tuesday in a report headlined: “Has Saudi Arabia blocked The Jerusalem Post? The
article wrote: A lecturer from Saudi Arabia has claimed that the country is
blocking access to The Jerusalem Post website.? The prominent Saudi blogger and
journalist Ahmed Al- Omran confirmed on his Twitter feed that the Post website
“is blocked,” while Haaretz and Ynet are both accessible.
The writer of
the Commentator article Ahmed Abdel- Raheem is an Egyptian artist and a PhD
student who works as a lecturer at Al-Lith College for Girls, at Saudi Arabia,’s
Um Al-Qura University, according to his byline on the Commentator’s
He wrote, “Over the past week I have tried to access the website
of the newspaper The Jerusalem Post
, but every time I click the link of the
paper, I have received the message: ‘Sorry, the requested page is unavailable.’”
Jpost.com’s managing editor Sara Miller said that, “Since the start of May,
there has been an almost 100-percent drop in the number of visits to jpost.com
from Saudi Arabia.
“Up until April 30,” she said, “we were getting
hundreds of visits from Saudi Arabia every day, and now it is less than 10.
There is clearly a demand for news from The Jerusalem Post
, and it is a shame
that the Saudi regime is proving yet again that it is determined to stifle
freedom of thought and expression among its own population.”
Post from London by telephone, Raheem Kassam, the executive editor of
The Commentator, said the “Saudis might have kept their eye on the Post for a
while and it reached a tipping point.”
He added there have been a lot of
stories critical of Saudi Arabia, including reports about the coronavirus
affecting the Saudi population.
Kassam said the Jpost stories are “more
in depth” about Saudi human rights abuses and the virus and that might be an
element to the Saudis interest in blocking access to the Post’s
“The Gulf countries want to control reporting” about the
coronavirus and cannot do that with non- Saudi publications in the Middle East,
Phone calls and emails from the Post
to the Saudi Embassy in
Berlin and Washington DC were not immediately returned.
Abdel-Raheem, author of the Commentator article, added that “Thinking that there
would be a problem with my network or laptop, I tried to surf the news outlet
from other networks and laptops, but there was no hope.
In the end, I
became very sure that the website had been blocked.”
executive editor of The Commentator, said Abdel-Raheem has written for the
website “from afar” in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.