Gideon Kouts, a Paris-based correspondent for Israeli radio and tv stations, presented his French passport but the Saudis refused to grant him a visa “because I am writing about Israel,” he told EJP.
Kouts, who also write articles for the Jewish magazine “L’Arche”, said that "this is setting a dangerous precedent which can affect any Jewish journalist who covers Israeli related news."
He noted that in the past there was no problem for him to receive a visa when he travelled with former President Jacques Chirac to Saudi Arabia.
"Also, I covered Sarkozy’s visit to Libya at the end of last year without encountering any difficulty."
Richard Prasquier, president of CRIF, the umbrella group of Jewish organisations in France, which intervened in favour of the journalist, deplored the Saudi refusal.
He cited the fact that an Israeli journalist covered the visit of US President George Bush in Riyadh on Monday.
The Union of Jewish communities of the Parisian region denounced the Saudi decision. "After Algeria’s refusal to receive French Jewish singer Enrico Macias (during president Sarkozy’s visit in December), we consider as discriminatory the measures taken by the Arab countries against French citizens because they are Jewish or close to Israel."
Gideon Kouts ist Journalist. Da er über den Besuch von Sarkozy in Saudi-Arabien berichten wollte, versuchte er in das Königreich einzureisen. Aber an der Grenze hieß es: "Nein!"