A former Moroccan minister said he hopes MEPs will take an interest in the Pegasus case which revealed that 12 member countries of the European Union are using Israeli spyware to spy on each other. The Minister is surprised by the silence of the Western media in the face of this information, when they had accused Morocco without proof.
In a column published on the Spanish media Atalayar, the former Minister of Tourism, Lahcen Haddad, wondered if the media Le Monde, El Pais as well as the organization Forbidden Stories will they apologize to Morocco for their slanderous accusations from the previous year.
In 2021, a consortium of 17 media outlets and organizations made a huge media fuss to accuse Morocco of being one of the clients of NSO, the Israeli company that created the Pegasus spy software. Without providing evidence of their accusations, the media had campaigned fiercely on the matter to say that the kingdom was spying on foreign and domestic figures.
A year later, a parliamentary inquiry went to Israel to find out who Pegasus’ customers were, meeting with the manufacturers. Their discovery was shocking, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz which revealed the matter, since they discovered that 12 of the 27 European countries were customers and some had bought the spy software several times to serve different organizations in the same country. .
In total, the company works with 22 security and law enforcement organizations in the EU. “The revelation surprised the Committee, whose intention may have been to check whether non-European countries were using Pegasus to spy on European politicians and journalists”said Lahcen Haddad.
Above all, they discovered that “the supposed victim (the European democracies) is far from innocent and the supposed malevolent enemy (Morocco) has been unjustly attacked” by the media consortium which has kept silent on this affair which embarrasses.
The media in question had knowingly chosen to specifically attack Morocco as a headliner, and added African and other countries to demonstrate that supposedly they are “oppressive regimes (who) use Pegasus to spy on politicians and journalists in European democracies”.
To emphasize what they put forward as a ” investigation “the media claimed that Morocco was spying on the French head of state Emmanuel Macron or that the Moroccan intelligence services were spying on King Mohammed VI.
“What is even more disconcerting is the silence of media such as Le Monde, El País and many others who had accused Morocco (as well as other non-European countries) in July 2021. (…) Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International, the organizations behind the infamous revelations, look the other way. The silence is not only telling, but the political motives behind the infamous revelations are also stark.”Haddad said.
The explosive news, as reported by Haaretz, did not attract the attention of Le Monde or El País. Amnesty didn’t even mention it and Forbidden Stories didn’t update its news feed on its website, he added.
“MEPs will return from vacation to face a bomb”indicated the former minister, expressing the wish that “the same MEPs are calling the European media to account for accusing countries like Morocco of spying on Europe without the slightest proof”.
Moreover, Morocco was not cited by the NSO as the recipient of its Pegasus spy program, “but the democracies that are under attack, according to articles in Le Monde and El País, use it on a large scale”.
For Lahcen Haddad, among the reasons for the silence of these media is the loss“in prestige and credibility” given that they preferred to highlight Morocco without proof and voluntarily hide the name of the European countries which, they turn out to be real customers of NSO.
“These media and organizations have taken refuge in the summer silence, waiting for the storm to calm down. Not only that, but if they cover the story, it may be further proof that they have no evidence against Morocco’s use of spyware.”Haddad added, also pointing out that the story ultimately deconstructs the anti-Moroccan editorial line of El Pais and Le Monde
“Its purpose is less professionally journalistic than politically motivated. It’s a line that, as Moroccans, we have become accustomed to over the years.concluded the former minister.