Lebanese journalist slammed for appearing on Israeli TV
Israel’s state broadcaster has hosted controversial Lebanese writer and journalist Maria Maalouf on its Arabic-language service Kann News, in the first ever appearance of a Lebanese woman on Israeli TV.
In her interview, Maalouf - who is well-known for her strong anti-Hezbollah stance - said: “Hassan Nasrallah and Iran’s party in Lebanon have taken the state hostage and returned it to the stone age. The recent crisis with Saudi Arabia demonstrates that Hezbollah has alienated Lebanon from its Arab surroundings”.
“I’ve told Nasrallah that he is a murderer, that he has killed the children of Yemen, Syria, and Iraq... and our citizens in the port of Beirut”, she added.
Maalouf informed viewers that she plans to visit Israel, adding that she has had positive interactions with American Jews who she has found to be "loving towards others... unlike the Palestinians who are only interested in taking Arab money”.
The YouTube clip of Maria Maalouf’s interview has since been removed from Kann News’ official page, but recordings can still be found online.
In response to her comments, lawyer Ghassan al-Mawli - representing a number of former Lebanese prisoners who served sentences in Israeli jails - has filed a case against Maalouf in a Lebanese military court “for the crime of communicating and collaborating with the Israeli enemy”.
Maria Maalouf began her career as a host of mainstream political programmes on Lebanese television. In 2017, she made headlines for calling on Israel to assassinate Nasrallah, and again in 2020 after insisting “Palestine is not my struggle” in the wake of the UAE-Israel normalisation deal. Maalouf now resides in the United States, where she works for Hawas TV.
No peace agreement exists between Israel and Lebanon and media appearances by Lebanese citizens on Israeli TV, and vice-versa, are extremely rare.
In 2016, French-Lebanese writer Amin Maalouf [no relation], also caused controversy when he appeared on Israeli-French television station i24 to speak about his work at the French academy and the role of culture in promoting cross-cultural dialogue. In response, the Lebanese branch of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS) condemned him for “normalising relations with Israel”.