Peace in action: Dubai stores display Israeli flags and produce, while Emirati royal bids to buy Jerusalem’s Beitar soccer club

November 27, 2020

PEACE IN ACTION: DUBAI SUPERMARKETS DISPLAY ISRAELI PRODUCE AT THE FRONT OF THE STORE

[Notes by Tom Gross]

An increasing number of Gulf Arabs are in effect telling the anti-Israel BDS activists in Europe and North America to take a hike.

It is worth watching this video, which lasts less than two minutes, to see how rapidly the Middle East is changing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q5J2esAg60

I hope that the growing acceptance of Israel, Jews and Judaism in the Arab world will, at least in the longer term, lead to a reduction of antisemitism elsewhere.

 

AMBASSADORS OF UAE, BAHRAIN AND ISRAEL HOLD JOINT Q&A WITH THE PUBLIC

There are an increasing number of public events being held not just among ordinary Israeli and Gulf Arab citizens, but also on a diplomatic level too.

For example, on Wednesday ambassadors to the UK Mansoor Abulhoul (UAE), Sheikh Fawaz Al-Khalifa (Bahrain) and Tzipi Hotovely (Israel), came together to discuss the Abraham Accords and their vision for regional cooperation. (The online event was hosted by the Chair of the Anglo-Israel Association Lord Bew, and moderated by Danny Finkelstein, Associate Editor of The Times of London. Both of them are subscribers to this dispatch list.).

Tzipi Hotovely faced a barrage of opposition from left-wing Jewish activists in the UK for taking up the role as Israeli ambassador last month (on the grounds that she is a member of Likud and a close ally of Benjamin Netanyahu). But if you watch this video of the event, I think you will see that she does her job in a positive and friendly way:

https://youtu.be/6IKMMafnyjk

 

MEMBER OF EMIRATI ROYAL FAMILY MAKES BID TO BUY JERUSALEM’S BEITAR SOCCER CLUB

A member of the United Arab Emirates’ royal family, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, today announced that he is in talks to buy half of the Israeli soccer team Beitar Jerusalem. The other half would remain in the hands of its existing Israeli Jewish owner.

Al Nahyan is reportedly willing to invest about $100 million in the club, which previously had a reputation for anti-Arab racism among a small hardcore group of its fans but now has several Israeli Arab and Muslim players.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion called Al Nahyan today, telling him it was “a great moment” for the city because of the formal launching of talks to buy a stake in its most prominent sports team.

 

DAILY COMMERCIAL FLIGHTS LAUNCHED BETWEEN DUBAI AND TEL AVIV

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday welcomed the first commercial flight from Dubai to Tel Aviv. Fly Dubai plans two flights per day between the cities, and El Al will also fly several times per week.

In a speech during a welcoming ceremony for Fly Dubai at Tel Aviv airport, Netanyahu said “We are crumbling the Israeli-Arab conflict and turning it into Israeli-Arab cooperation, in order to produce not only a new future but also a new present, and we are doing so with dizzying speed. I think that the entire world is watching and understands that we are making history here, and we can all welcome this.”

Israeli airlines have also now started flying over Saudi Arabia, with Saudi consent.

 

ISRAEL RATED “BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS”

The 2020 “MasterCard Index of Women Entrepreneurs” has ranked Israel as the best country in the world for female entrepreneurs to succeed.

Second on the list was the US, followed by Switzerland, New Zealand, Poland, the UK, Canada, Sweden, Australia and Spain.

Israel’s first-place ranking was “largely driven by a focused institutional support”, according to the MIWE report, which gathers data from the ILO, GEM, World Bank, UNESCO, World Economic Forum, InterParliamentary Union and the OECD to examine the working environment for women.

https://mastercardcontentexchange.com/media/1ulpy5at/ma_miwe-report-2020.pdf

 

ISRAELIS AND JEWS WHO STUDIED IN ISRAEL, AT FOREFRONT OF CORONAVIRUS VACCINE BREAKTHROUGHS

One of the reasons that many Arab states want to make peace with Israel is that Israel has some of the best medical students and scientists in the world.

* The chief medical officer of the American drug company Moderna, which announced that it has developed a COVID-19 vaccine that is 94.5% effective, is Israeli scientist Tal Zaks. Dr Zaks (Sachs) earned both his MD and his doctorate at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in southern Israel.

Zaks has helped oversee Moderna’s unprecedentedly rapid development of a coronavirus vaccine. Zaks initially developed medical skills while doing his military service in the Israeli army.

* The head scientist of Pfizer, which is the other lead company to produce a vaccine, is Mikael Dolsten, who is from a Jewish family in Sweden. Dosten did his doctoral studies at the Weizmann Institute, south of Tel Aviv before moving to America.

“A lot of the great breakthroughs in America have come from people that immigrated,” he told media, citing the example of Albert Einstein and others. “There has been a strong Jewish tradition around contributing to humanity and a strong tradition within medicine.”

Dolsten’s father is a Swedish-born Jew and his Jewish mother miraculously managed to escape Austria at the start of World War II; many of her relatives died in the Holocaust.

Dolsten previously worked at Astra AB (which later became part of the British company AstraZeneca, which is in the process of developing its own COVID-19 vaccine).

* The Greek-born CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, is from a Jewish family and was born in Thessaloniki, Greece.

 

ANTISEMITIC GREEK PAPER COMPARES JEWISH CEO OF PFIZER TO MENGELE

The Greek antisemitic newspaper Makeleio has run a front-page attack on Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, who lost many relatives in the Holocaust.

The paper’s front page featured a photograph of Bourla next to the German SS officer Josef Mengele, who tortured Jewish adults and children in Auschwitz. The headline read: “Jewish veterinarian will stick a needle in us! Nightmarish forced admissions in ‘concentration camps’ like herds.”

The accompanying article identified Bourla as the “Greek Jew” working for the “Israeli Council” to poison gentiles.

Greece’s Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs condemned the article as the “most vile antisemitism reminiscent of the European Middle Ages.”

Makeleio was last week ordered to pay a $2,200 fine by a court in Athens after a previous antisemitic piece targeting another Greek Jew.

 

IN MIDST OF COVID PANDEMIC, UN’S WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION SPENDS FOUR HOURS SLANDERING ISRAEL

The Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO), instead of discussing the coronavirus pandemic that has killed 1.3 million people, held a four-hour session this month to defame Israel.

Representatives of 30 countries including Syria, North Korea, and Iran accused Israel of supposedly violating the health rights of Syrians, among others. (Syrian civilians are regularly bombed by the Iranian, Russian and Turkish governments.)

Amazingly, the countries voting in favor of the resolution condemning Israel included France, Ireland and Spain.

The US, Germany, the UK, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, and Hungary were among those standing with Israel and voting against the resolution.

In fact, thousands of Palestinians and Syrians have been granted world-class medical care free of charge at Israeli hospitals in recent years.

 

POLISH EMBASSY IN LONDON SLAMMED OVER CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE ANTISEMITIC POLITICIAN

Polish groups commemorating the Holocaust and fighting contemporary Polish racism have strongly criticized Poland’s embassy in London which is promoting Władysław Studnicki, an antisemitic politician who died in exile in the UK in 1953.

Rafal Pankowksi, the director of the “Never Again” organization, told Polish media “We are appalled by this case of glorification of an antisemitic, pro-Nazi collaborator by officials of today’s Polish state.”

Studnicki promoted Nazi-type antisemitic views and called for the “de-Judaization” of Poland.

According to Polish media reports, the campaign to restore Studnicki’s reputation is being carried out with the blessing of the Polish Embassy in London, one of whose employees Agata Supińska, is a leading member of the campaign to champion Studnicki. She wrote on Twitter that he was “one of the greatest Polish thinkers of the 20th century.”

 

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