Israel is using unknown Arab journalists to create a rift in the region and back up its claim that it is normalising relations with Gulf states, among others, social media users have said.
This came as six Arab journalists took part in a tour of Israel following an invitation from Tel Aviv. In footage circulating on social media, one of the journalists, Saudi blogger Mohammed Saud, was spat at and called a “traitor” by Palestinians as he toured Al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of Israeli occupation forces.
Arab journalists syndicates issued numerous statements condemning such visits and warned their members not to take part in such tours.
Chief Editor of Arabi21 news site Firas Abu-Hilal said that the people who visited Israel were unknown journalists or just bloggers, stressing that their visit represents the “ugly” face of normalisation, which has been escalating faster than ever.
“This kind of normalisation is the most dangerous because Israel, through it, is trying to penetrate the Arab nation and reflect an image that it is popular,” Abu-Hilal said, noting that Israel is seeking to achieve this kind of normalisation more than achieving normalisation with Arab regimes.
Abu-Hilal said that this visit is a result of promoting the idea that the Arab-Israeli conflict is less important that the Arab-Iranian conflict. Adding that this is based on the idea that distancing oneself from Iran means getting closer to Israel.
The Palestinian journalists, who is based in London, revealed that all of the claimed journalists were not members of any of the official journalist bodies in their countries.