Dubai Jewish community happy with normalization deal with Israel

A new chapter in the history of the Middle East opens with the agreements to normalize relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

REUTERS / Christopher Pike

Text by: RFI Follow

3 min

The Abraham Accord, which seals the normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, will be signed on September 14 in Washington.

US President Donald Trump has already announced that he will chair the signing ceremony in the presence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyane.

In the United Arab Emirates, this ceremony will be closely watched, especially among members of the country's Jewish community.


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From our correspondent in Dubai


Nicolas Keraudren

In his office perched atop a skyscraper in Dubai, Alex Peterfreund recites the Torah.

This Belgian national moved to the United Arab Emirates in 2014. With a friend of South African nationality, he co-founded the country's Jewish community.


We started, him and I, to pray in his villa every Saturday morning,” he


And then two, became three and so on.

This is how the community grew.

Today, this community is made up of around a few hundred people.

We are already much better organized than before.


The agreement to normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates should further formalize the existence of this already organized community.

The daily life of Jews in the country should also be made easier.


We've always struggled to get kosher food, especially meat

,” he explains.

Now there won't be that problem anymore because it will be imported from Israel.

I also believe that the community will grow.

That there will also be education.

People will be able to learn Hebrew.

We will also open a community center where there will be a lot of cultural activities.

Not just religious.


According to Alex Peterfreund, the Jewish community in the Emirates will also have to play a facilitating role in developing trade with Israel.

► See also: The United Arab Emirates repeals the law to boycott Israel


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  • United Arab Emirates

  • Bahrain

  • Israel

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