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The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, is preparing to host seven Arab ‎journalists living in Europe in an effort to open communication lines, Israel Hayom has ‎learned.

The journalists are Egyptian, Lebanese, Algerian and ‎Moroccan nationals employed by the i24 news ‎network, Egypt’s Al-Ahram Weekly, and other Arabic-‎language media outlets in France and Belgium.‎

They are scheduled to visit the Knesset as part of an initiative ‎promoted by the Israeli Embassy in Paris. ‎

Journalist Nader ‎Allouche, whose father is Lebanese and mother is ‎Algerian, explained why he decided to accept ‎the embassy’s invitation in a recent article in the Huffington ‎Post Maghreb, an online publication popular in ‎Morocco, Algeria and ‎Tunisia.

The piece was titled “Why I agreed to go to Israel: ‎The Arabs’ ‎revival will begin with the willing and ‎earnest ‎recognition of Israel.”

In it, Allouche wrote that ‎his education “did not allow me to consider Israel ‎as a fait accompli. It was like a thorn stuck in my ‎foot – something difficult to remove, but something ‎we have no doubt that we can remove because ‎demographics are in our favor.”‎

He said the geopolitical ‎situation in the Middle East required a review of ‎this position. ‎

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein welcomed the ‎initiative, saying, “We invite these journalists to see ‎firsthand the beating heart of the only true ‎democracy in the Middle East.‎ If this contributes to any change, as small as it may ‎be, in the way Arab media views Israel – that would ‎be enough.”

The delegation will be hosted by Knesset Labor, ‎Welfare and Health Committee Chairman MK Elie ‎Elalouf (Kulanu). The visitors will meet with ‎Regional Cooperation Minister Tzahi Hanegbi and other Israeli officials. ‎

The journalists are also slated to visit the Peres ‎Center for Peace and Innovation.‎

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