False Covenant of Peace and Safety: Journalists from Saudi Arabia Tour Israel for Five (5) days, in an attempt to chip away at Israel-hatred in the Middle East.
By HERB KEINON NOVEMBER 26, 2019 Jerusalem Post.
The Foreign Ministry hosted a delegation of Arab journalists last week – including from countries with which Israel has no diplomatic relations – in an attempt to chip away at Israel-hatred in the Middle East.
“My goal is to bring people here to get to know the real Israel, to see it first hand, and not through television or social media, and see how Israel is unjustly slandered,” said Hassan Kaabia, the Foreign Ministry’s spokesman for the Arabic media who organized and accompanied the group.
This is the second such delegation in four months.
The delegation, which toured the country for five (5) days, included senior journalists from Saud Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and Egypt, as well as two musicians from Iraq.
Israel has no ties with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Iraq, and Kaabia said he did not know whether the governments of those countries knew about the visits.
“I deal with people, not governments,” he said, adding that he knows the members of the delegation from interactions he has had with them on social media. The Foreign Ministry has an active Arabic Facebook and Twitter pages.
Unlike the six (6) person delegation that came in July, where one member – Saudi blogger Mahmoud Saud – was willing to be identified and go public, none of the members of the current delegation would identify themselves. Saud was cursed, jeered and spat upon by Palestinians when he visited the Muslim shrines on the Temple Mount during his visit here. He frequently posts pro-Netanyahu items on social media.
The Saudi journalist in the most recent group, whom Kaabia said was very well known in his home country, said in reference to the Palestinians in an interview with Army Radio’s Jacky Hugi that he did not understand why there had to be problems with Israel because of a “small minority” who had refused the opportunity to create a state in 1947 because they were busy asking why Jews should have an independent state.
Faced with a sea of hatred toward Israel in the Arab world, Kaabia said that these delegations – though small – can have a major impact. He said that the members of the current delegation are well known in their countries – with a YouTube release of one of the Iraqi musicians songs garnering 24 (6+6+6+6) million views – and that they will all write about their visit, as well as talk about it with their family and friends.
The delegation met for two hours with Foreign Minister Israel Katz, as well as other Foreign Ministry officials and Knesset members from across the political spectrum. They also toured Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other parts of the country.
As to why they were not willing to go public, Kaabia said that their reply was that the Arab street is not yet ready for open ties with Israel, “So let’s do it slowly.” (But the Crown Prince is ready for open ties with Israel). The delegation’s visit came the same week that an organization called the Arab Council for Regional Integration held an ‘inaugural meeting’ in London and supported engagement with Israel.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday posted a link to a New York Times story on the conference, and wrote: “It’s time for Arab countries to abandon boycotts and engage #Israel.” Pompeo added that “Arab thinkers who risk their lives to bravely advocate a regional vision of peace and coexistence shouldn’t face retribution. We need dialogue.”
Categories: Israel and Jewish Prophecy