VIDEO – Lebanese media outlets are gushing over one important question in recent days: How have Israeli-made products reached the Beirut Duty Free?
According to reports in the Arab country, a Lebanese company selling products at the Beirut International Airport is knowingly marketing goods and products originating in Israel, including lighters.
The al-Mayadeen satellite television channel, which is affiliated with the Hezbollah organization, prepared a special report on the subject, noting that Lebanese law bans any direct or indirect trade with the Jewish state.
Report about Israeli products on Hezbollah-affiliated channel
The report presented a form allegedly showing that certain goods arrived from Milan, but another form was discovered behind it. The second form stated that the goods had arrived in Milan from the Ben-Gurion Airport.
Hezbollah-affiliated newspaper al-Akhbar said that according to information it had obtained, 41 out of 70 parcels which left Israel to Milan had made it to Beirut.
'Normalization at Duty Free'
Al-Akbar published an article on the issue last week titled, "Normalization at the Duty Free." The story claimed that upon the arrival of the delivery from Milan, the company which runs the Beirut Duty Free removed the Hebrew captions on the cover. But one of the products, which reached the Duty Free's tobacco store, still had the Hebrew caption on it.
Discovery verified on Google search
'Cooperation with Israeli company.' Beirut Duty Free website
The al-Mayadeen channel presented one of the lighters offered for sale at the Beirut airport with a Hebrew caption on it, alongside the trademark used in Lebanon. A translation of the caption revealed that the product originated in the James Richardson company, which runs the chain of duty-free stores at Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport.
In order to verify the discovery, the channel's staff searched Google and confirmed that the product was indeed made in Israel.
Attorney Ahmad Marai, a Lebanese activist against normalization with Israel, said that bringing the Israeli goods into his country as part of a donation or trade did not change the fact that they were Israeli goods.
"The risk in marketing Israeli goods in Lebanon is not that it yields a financial profit to the enemy, but that it could lead to an agreement and recklessness in regards to the idea of normalization," he said.
The al-Akhbar newspaper noted that direct or indirect cooperation with an Israeli company entailed a punishment of three to 10 years of hard labor, as well as a fine.
"Will the relevant parties treat this matter seriously, or take it lightly as they did with the collaborators issue?" the Hezbollah-affiliated paper wondered.