A Saudi journalist expressed admiration for Jewish people and all of Israel’s citizens after visiting the Jewish state this week on a secret trip, i24News reported.
The reporter, cultural researcher and scholar of Jewish text, who spoke to Israel’s Army Radio on the condition of anonymity, made a trip to Israel after accepting an invitation by Israel’s foreign ministry, which also hosted Arab journalists last week from Kuwait and Iraq.
“My goal is to bring people here to get to know the real Israel—to see it firsthand, and not through television or social media—and see how Israel is unjustly slandered,” said Hassan Kaabia, Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman for the Arabic media who organized and accompanied the group, reported The Jerusalem Post.
In an interview that aired on Tuesday morning following his return to Saudi Arabia, the journalist talked about his experience walking around the streets of Israel, saying, “When people heard I am from Saudi Arabia, they were amazed. Not in a hostile manner, but by accepting who I was.”
“I love the Jewish people and all the citizens of Israel,” he added in broken Hebrew.
The journalist, who is a prominent figure in his home country, also said that there is “no escape from establishing normal relations with Israel,” and specified that the “normalized relations” must be different that the ones Israel has with Jordan or Egypt, which he claimed are merely connections between governments and not “real peace” agreements.
He also criticized Israel’s neighboring Arab states, arguing that their relations cultivate hate, which he said should be prosecuted, according to i24News