JERUSALEM (VINnews) — One of the corollaries of the peace treaty between Israel and the Emirates will hopefully be more tourism and investment in Israel by Arabs. So far Israelis have flocked to the Emirates but the traffic in the opposite direction has been less intensive, possibly due to the COVID-19 restrictions which have been in effect in Israel until recently.
Last week a delegation of Arabs from a number of countries including a Hebrew-speaking Egyptian who lives in the US landed in Israel and chose among other places to visit a yeshiva and experience firsthand the atmosphere of Torah study. The guests were duly impressed by the intensity of the debates taking place in the Ateres Shlomo yeshiva in Modiin Illit, one of a network headed by Rabbi Sholom Ber Sorotzkin. Saud Saker, an aeronautical engineer from the Emirates, noted that Shalom is both a greeting in Hebrew and a statement that the person has come in peace. Yousef Yousef, a Bahraini student, noted that his country was the only one where Jews are members of the Sura council, an important governing body.
The guests were brought by “Israelis” -an organization dedicated to improving Israel’s image in the world by encouraging social media interaction and meetings between Israelis and members of other countries.
Hussein, an Egyptian who lives in the US, said that it is difficult to erase in a moment “a hundred years of hatred” which are accompanied by “phobias, prejudices and unreal expectations” but expressed hope that things are changing in the Arab world.