What do you get when you combine a medieval culture, a Wahhabist educational system, and some good old-fashioned anti-semitism?

Magical things, my friends.

“Beware of Israeli melons infected with AIDS arriving in Saudi Arabia!” is the latest rumor being spread throughout Saudi Arabia like a wildfire.

An SMS message being sent around the country this week said, “The Saudi Interior Ministry warns its citizens of a truck loaded with AIDS infected melons that Israel brought into the country via a ‘ground corridor.'”

The Interior Minister’s spokesman General Mansour al Turki responded to news of the message and made it clear to a-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper that the Ministry “did not issue any such announcement. This is just a rumor.”…

The rumor, despite being denied several times, has gained so much steam in the Arab world that it made it to the front page of one of the most important Arabi language newspapers.

Sales of yellow melons are down roughly 90% in one Jeddah market.

Tags: Israel