Rabat – The spokesperson of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Emmanuel Nahshon, has responded to the backlash over the Arab journalists’ visit to Tel Aviv, that included five Moroccan reporters.
Nothing can stop the freedom of journalists to visit #Israel . The world is becoming increasingly free and open to all . Closing their eyes is no longer an option for those who seek the truth. We invite all journalists from the Arab world to visit us!?? https://t.co/s7d6evwNjP
— Emmanuel Nahshon (@EmmanuelNahshon) February 11, 2018
Nahshon took to his Twitter to react to the condemnation that the Arab journalist received on social media after their visit to Tel Aviv.
“Nothing can stop the freedom of journalist to visit Israel,” said the Israeli official. To reinforce his argument, Nahshon said that “the world is becoming increasingly free and open to all. Closing their eyes is no longer an option for those who seek the truth.”
The Moroccan delegation, along with four other journalists from Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen traveled to Israel earlier this month for a six-day visit. The journalists’ delegations visited Israel “to help open a window on Israel and its people for readers across the Arab world”, according to General Director of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Yuval Rotem.
Social media users, including Moroccans, have denounced the visit, accusing Arab visitors to Israel as polishing Israel’s image in Morocco.
Public controversies around the visit did not stop the Israeli spokesman to invite Arab journalists for other visits.
“We invite all journalists from the Arab world to visit us!” added Nahshon.
The journalists’ visit was also denounced by the Moroccan Minister of Culture and Communication, Mohamed Laaraj.
“The ministry condemns actions of the five Moroccan who traveled to Israel. They have gone against the popular opinion in regard of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” Minister of Culture and Communication Mohamed Laaraj said.
The Palestinian Authority called on the Arab Journalists Union to take “punitive and deterring measures” against the journalists and their outlets.
According to a journalist from Ynet, the online outlet for the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronot, “I was extremely afraid of coming. We are under pressure from the Arab media, religious people and propaganda about the Palestinian issue.”
Such visits are often accompanied by controversies and backlash from Arabs, especially the Moroccan public who accuse a number of Moroccans of being at the forefront of improving or supporting the image of Israel in Morocco.