With Hava Nagila, Emirati paper encourages Israelis to visit
As Jewish jingle plays, presenter says UAE citizens raised on values of tolerance and coexistance thanks to ‘wise rule’ of country’s late founder
An Emirati state newspaper released a promotional video welcoming the recent normalization deal struck between Israel and the UAE, with its presenters speaking in Hebrew and the Jewish Hava Nagila jingle playing in the background.
The one-and-a-half-minute video from al-Ittihad opens with a man who introduces himself as Khalifa Said al-Mahmoud and boasts of having been born and raised in a country run “under the wise rule of [the late founding president] Sheikh Zayed.
“Sheikh Zayed instilled in us the values of tolerance and coexistence,” a woman can subsequently be heard saying, adding that the “peace deal,” “is a window of hope” that will lead to the strengthening of economic and security ties between the two countries.
“The UAE believes… in the right of every country in the world to live in peace and security,” al-Mahmoud adds. “Welcome to UAE, the country of Sheikh Zayed. The country of generosity, humanity and mercy.”
رسالة سلام من شباب #الإمارات باللغة العبرية: الشيخ زايد رسخ بداخلنا التسامح والتعايش.. ودولتنا تؤمن بالإنسانية كمفهوم عالمي.. ونحن نرحب بالجميع في بلد العطاء والرحمة#نتصدر_المشهد#الإمارات_رسالة_سلام pic.twitter.com/WAtxGLc8FN
— صحيفة الاتحاد (@aletihadae) August 19, 2020
“We look forward to seeing you,” the woman can be heard concluding.
The video was posted on al-Ittihad’s website as well as on several of its social media accounts.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair Netanyahu responded to the tweeted video with emoji flags of Israel and the UAE, and a heart emoji in between.
Last week, the UAE said it would establish full diplomatic ties with Israel, which would make it just the third Arab nation to do so. The dramatic announcement set off a flurry of excitement in Israel, bringing years of covert business and security ties into the open and adding an appealing tourist destination for travel-happy Israelis.
The US-brokered deal has been billed as a diplomatic breakthrough that formalizes the burgeoning alliance against Iran. The UAE says it halted Israel’s contentious plans to annex up to a third of the West Bank — land sought by the Palestinians for a possible future state.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.