A Moroccan poet also recently was sanctioned over her visit to Israel and stripped of an award.
Rabat – Lebanon has refused entry to Moroccan journalist Nora Fouari after an immigration official noticed her passport bore a sticker showing she had visited Israel before.
The journalist, who works for Assabah newspaper, took to her Facebook to express her anger over the situation.
Fouari wrote: “Security services at the Rafic Al Hariri airport in Beirut prevented me from entering Lebanese territory because of a previous visit to Israel. I spent the night in a cold room with a Palestinian … who has an Israeli visa printed on her passport.”
She added that the security services sent her to Istanbul after long hours of waiting and a “stupid investigation.”
Once in Istanbul, the journalist spent a night “held” in a room with “undocumented migrants” and people arrested for forgery before returning to Morocco.
According to the journalist, her passport had a sticker instead of a stamp or official visa from Israel because Israeli immigration is aware that it can prevent passport bearers from traveling in some Arab countrie.
“I forgot to remove a sticker that proves my journey in Israel from the back of the passport, and I had already entered another Arab country without any problems.”
She continued, “The securityman at Rafic El Hariri Airport did not like me … he thought that I was showing off and in love with myself, and he was searching for something until he found the sticker. I had to keep laughing with him because he is handsome, and because I am Moroccan.”
In another post, the journalist criticized Lebanese people who supported their country’s decision to refuse her entry.
The journalist addressed “those who consider the ‘peoples of the Arab Maghreb’ to have provided nothing in the war against the Zionist enemy …. we are proud of our identity, our culture, our civilization and our openness, and we thank God that we are far away from you geographically and intellectually.”
Criticizing the Lebanese government, Fouari said that Israel would not have found itself a home “without your treachery and conspiracies … We, here in Morocco, are happy to receive your citizens who live among us with dignity.”
Fouari’s case is not the first time a Moroccan has faced consequences for visiting Israel.
The majority of Moroccans criticize any move towards normalizing diplomatic ties with Israel.
Amid rumors that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was planning an official visit to Morocco, the Moroccan government received backlash from campaigners.
Journalists questioned Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi about the rumors, but he declined to comment.
Dozens of activists went to Parliament in Rabat to protest against any normalization of Moroccan relations with Israel in February.