Rabbi Marc Schneier:
'Gulf states look to Israel to be their defender and protector'

Gulf advisor: 'These normalization ties will also bring wonderful opportunities for the Palestinians, particularly in the economic sphere.'

Yoni Kempinski ,

Rabbi Marc Schneier
Rabbi Marc Schneier
Yoni Kempinski

Foundation for Ethnic Understanding President and Advisor to Gulf leaders Rabbi Marc Schneier spoke to Arutz Sheva about the Abraham Accords, Judea/Samaria annexation, current trends in the Gulf, and what he says is not only economic but rather also a true closeness between Islam and Israel.

Rabbi Schneier says the King of Bahrain told him "repeatedly" that "our only guarantee for a strong, moderate Arab presence in the Gulf would be a strong Israel."

"Let's remember it was the King of Bahrain who, in 2015, led the GCC in legislating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. So if there's anyone who is deserving of that recognition, it's the King of Bahrain, and to have the Prime Minister of Israel with the two foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain, was truly an historic and extraordinary experience."

He attributed the ripeness of the hour to finalize the Accords to the confluence of "contributing factors": "Battling COVID-19 needs a regional approach where both Israel and the Gulf can both benefit from each other; second, many of the Gulf states were concerned about Israel's possible move in annexation, either a part or the entire West Bank area, and the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain with the normalization ties believe that they have rescued the two-state solution for the Palestinians, and they had many economic challenges and transformations going on in the Gulf, and how many Gulf leaders over the years have said to me 'Rabbi, with our resources and wealth, and Israel's brain trust and technology, we could develop the most powerful economic region in the world.

"And fourth, you have this ongoing, continuing, existential threat coming from Iran, which both Israel and the Gulf share in common, and I believe that the Gulf states are now looking to Israel to be their defender and protector, and to rely less on the United States. When you have such a great economic and military power right in your back yard, in your neighborhood, why do you have to go thousands of miles away?"

Regarding Israeli hopes of applying sovereignty over their historic homeland, Rabbi Schneier does not indulge in Likud rhetoric: "I believe it's been cancelled...These normalization ties will also bring wonderful opportunities for the Palestinians, particularly in the economic sphere and realm."

"I've been reading different pundits saying 'the Arab states, they no longer care about the Palestinian People,' - I'm telling you - anyone who suggests that is simply dead wrong."

He said peace with Saudi Arabia depends on a "generational" issue and that the Crown Prince would "like to".

"I think it's much more than economic partnerships and investments. Let's remember that no two other faiths in the world have more in common than Judaism and Islam; we are the Children of Abraham... I feel that Muslims and Jews are coming to a place of recognizing not only our common faith, but our common fate."