President Isaac Herzog and First Lady Michal Herzog met this evening with Jewish community representatives in the United Arab Emirates. Among the representatives were Rabbi Levi Duchman, a Chabad-Lubavitch emissary who has been working in Dubai since 2014 in various aspects of Jewish life, such as kosher meat provision and communal education institutions. Also participating were Rabbi Eli Abadi, a senior community rabbi; Daniel Seal, a Jewish community leader; and Jewish Agency representative Sarah Benchimol.

President Isaac Herzog told the community representatives about his earlier work as the Chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive to foster and advance the Jewish community in the region and said: “We are broadcasting a message of hope, of peace, of cooperation, of prosperity, together. Clearly, this message should resonate with families and individuals from the Middle East to show them that there is another way.”

The President added: “I want to give huge credit to those who brought about the Abraham Accords. I want to express my immense gratitude for the leadership of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and his government. He is a bold leader, an amazing leader with whom I spent a few hours today and from whom I drew immense inspiration. I want of course to commend Bahrain and the King of Bahrain, former U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration, and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government. They all made this peace treaty a reality, and we are all taking it from there. With the new Biden administration in the United States, the Government of Israel and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and your humble servant as the new President of Israel, we are all working together with so many others to make this reality something sustainable for the future, which will hopefully bring more and more nations to join in peace with Israel.”

“I also believe that the dialogue between Judaism and Islam is at a fascinating point, and I very much look forward to further dialogue with Islamic countries. As you know, we have relations with quite a few, and there are plans for other countries, and I hope this will bring about a new era in relations between Jews and Muslims in our region. And it all starts with the vision laid out here, which is a vision of inclusiveness, an amazing vision of inclusiveness.”

President Herzog concluded by saying: “So in conclusion, I hope to see all of you in Israel, with God’s help, and may you continue to go from strength to strength in building the institutions of the community, the education system, and of course synagogues and other institutions that every community has. Good luck to all of you, it is a great honour for me to be here.”