Jews of the Gulf states unite

Published: February 15, 2021

Rabbi Dr. Elie Abadie, the Rabbi of the new Association of Gulf Jewish Communities, speaks to Arutz Sheva about the new unifying initiative

Rabbi Eli Abadi of Dubai, the spiritual leader of the Association of Gulf Jewish Communities (AGJC), spoke with Arutz Sheva about the new Jewish Association.

The Jewish communities in the six Persian Gulf states launched this morning (Monday) the new union as another significant step in the renewal of Jewish life in Arab countries.

The new body will include representatives of the largest Jewish community in the UAE, and of the tiny communities in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait.

“The Jewish community is growing in the Gulf, so they thought it would be worthwhile to make such an association of all the Jewish communities,” Rabbi Abadi said in conversation with Arutz Sheva.

He said, “It is precisely the smaller communities that need more help than the larger communities, so we said it is worthwhile to unite all of us together and help each other and what one has, he will give to the other and that way everyone will be united.”

He stressed that the union’s goal is “to help all Jews, those who come to visit and those who come to do business in the Gulf.”

The Abraham Accords enhanced Jewish life in the Gulf states. “Many Jews have already begun to accept that they are Jews even in public,” said Rabbi Abadi. “But this is not a political connection. We are Jewish communities of people who are Jews and therefore want to be together and help every Jew who is in the Gulf.”

On the treatment of Jews in these countries, he said: “People welcome us with open arms. I didn’t feel anything against the Jews. Don’t forget that all these countries did not really have a war with Israel. The Jewish religion, certainly as a cousin of Islam – they welcome us.”

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