Israeli media boss visits Dubai urges press to ‘kill prejudice’ for Middle East peace

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Frank Melloul, CEO of i24NEWS, during his interaction with Gulf News in Dubai.
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan / Gulf News

Dubai: Media in Israel and UAE jointly take special responsibility to ‘kill prejudice’ and change the world’s perception of peace in the Middle East, says CEO of Israeli TV station ‘i24NEWS’ Gulf News in Dubai on Monday.

During a trip to Dubai, Frank Melloul, in a wide interaction with Gulf News, the UAE’s leading English-language newspaper, said, “We have a huge opportunity now” – following the “Abraham Accords Peace Accord” between the UAE and Israel in 2020 to normalize relationships – to remove any bias. “

In the UAE, i24NEWS began airing on UAE’s leading telecommunications provider etisalat earlier this year, becoming the first channel broadcast from Israel to be available in the UAE.

‘Peace is already possible’

Melloul, speaking at the Gulf News office in Dubai, said: “I think that if today most people on the planet think that peace is not possible in the Middle East, it is because of the media, because of the perception that you have in the media. And I am very proud that we have succeeded in showing on i24News – with the channel’s French, Arab and English-speaking networks – that peace is already possible.

He added, “So I invite all networks, all partners here in UAE to join i24News in this incredible mission of promoting the reality of a new Middle East, educating the new generation and killing the people. prejudices. “

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Frank Melloul at the Gulf News office in Dubai.
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan / Gulf News

In December 2020, i24NEWS signed a deal with Abu Dhabi Media, the UAE’s leading public service broadcaster, to see media companies from the two countries collaborate in several areas, including reporting shared through correspondents in the Arab Emirates. united and in Israel.

Opening an office in UAE?

Asked about the possibility of further deals with UAE media or opening an i24NEWS broadcast or editorial office in the UAE, Melloul said, “Our vision here is to show that we are open. to many things … to show the reality of a New Middle East. “

Take the UAE-Israeli “ reality ” to the world

He added that i24NEWS (part of the Altice group owned by businessman Patrick Drahi) also signed an agreement with Dubai Tourism “to show the reality of the UAE to Israelis, Europeans, Americans and Africans. [audiences]. So it’s not just about connecting Israel to the UAE, or connecting the UAE to Israel, but connecting this new reality of the Middle East to the rest of the world ”. The Israeli network broadcasts in Arabic, English and French from studios in the port of Jaffa, in the United States and in Europe.

Business opportunity

Melloul said such partnerships are also “a huge opportunity in terms of business, to promote Israeli brands on Arab platforms and to promote Arab brands on Israeli platforms.”

But do advertisers still see the potential of satellite TV in the age of digital and social media and OTT (over the top) content being broadcast over the internet? Yes, said Melloul.

According to the CEO, i24NEWS reaches “one billion homes worldwide through satellite and cable networks”. And to follow OTT, he added, the company will launch “a show on a new OTT platform every two months”, especially in the United States, where it has 20 million households.

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