A Tunisian celebrity was forced to defend himself against accusations that he willingly posed for a photograph with an Israeli officer on the Israeli-Jordanian border.

Tunisian superstar Saber Rebai, one of the Arab world’s most popular singers, was barraged with attacks on social media when seen in a photograph with an Israeli officer of the Civil Administration for Judea and Samaria.

Scheduled to perform in the upscale Palestinian city of Rawabi in Samaria last Friday, he posed for a photo at the Allenby Crossing with the officer, Israeli Arab Hadi Khatib.

IDF Major-General Yoav Mordechai, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), reportedly put the photo up on Facebook, commenting, “We are pleased with the strengthening of celebrations and artistic performances, and welcome the arrival of every artist. We happily coordinate the passage of Saber Rebaï through Allenby Crossing,” a bridge that connects Israel with Jordan.

Many fans were furious. “Why did you do it, Saber? You have caused us embarrassment,” one Facebook user wrote.

“So soooooooo disappointing, SHAME ON YOU,” tweeted another.

No Good Words for the Israelis

Rebai offered no good words for the Israelis. In his own defense, he wrote that the officer “spoke to me in Arabic, and I didn’t know that he was a member of Israeli security. I thought he was a Palestinian commander who wanted to take a photo. The Palestinian organizers of the concert didn’t inform me of it and didn’t explain that he was a member of Israeli security, and even they treated him like normal.”

Albawaba, an Amman-based Jordanian website, in an article titled “Sleeping with the Enemy,” quoted the singer as saying that Khatib “was the middle man who organized Saber and his team’s visit from Jordan to ‘Palestine’, in order to not have to deal with any Israelis in the process.”

With that clarification, Albawaba wrote, “You can all breathe a sigh of relief now.”

By: United with Israel Staff
(With files from Arutz-7)