Bahrain, Qatar, or Oman will be the next to normalise relations with Israel

"The first step in the process is a much greater understanding of the Jewish faith and that the Muslim population of Indonesia needs to appreciate that for the Jewish people, " said Rabbi Schneier.

02 September 2020 19:23

Rabbi March Schneier is among Jewish figures who is very excited to see the peace deal reached between the United of Arab Emirates (UAE) with Israel on August 13. The President of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. said this historic moment will have a domino effect.

He has a close relationship with the Gulf countries leaders, include the King of Sheikh Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifah. He believes that there will be another Arab country will take the UAE's path to normalise its relations with Israel by the end of this year.

"I believe that it will be either Bahrain or Qatar or Oman," said Rabbi Marc Schneier in an exclusive interview with Faisal Assegaf from Albalad.co via WhatsApp yesterday.


How important the official relationship between Israel and UAE towards Israel approach to other Arab and muslim countries?

It’s a wonderful beginning and I believe that it will lead to a domino effect throughout the rest of the Gulf and the greater muslim world as well. There are tremendous economic opportunities for Israel and the UAE through this partnership and I believe that other countries will want access to that same success.

Have you met with Saudi and Indonesia high ranking officials? If so, where, when, and what did you discuss?

I have met with senior Saudi officials, as recently as this past January in Riyadh and we discussed how much progress has been made since the late King Abdullah’s interfaith initiative launched more than a decade ago. I have also met with senior Indonesian officials back in November 2014 when I was there with Imam Shamsi Ali to celebrate the publication of our book, “Sons of Abraham,” which was being translated into Indonesian. We spoke about the need for greater cooperation between the Jewish and Muslim faith communities.

You have a close personal relationship with the King of Bahrain, do you think he will follow the UAE path in the near future or wait until Saudi did it?

I know that King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa is committed to establishing relations with Israel, and he would like to show that respect to the Saudis. As he shared with Jared Kushner today, stability in the Gulf region relies on Saudi Arabia in all situations. His Majesty would like to see a reconciliation between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Do you believe that another one or two Arab countries will have a diplomatic relationship with Israel by the end of this year? If so, what country?

Yes, I do. I believe that it will be either Bahrain or Qatar or Oman.

Regarding current developments, do you think Arab and muslim countries leaders are alienating the Palestine cause? Or during this time, they are hypocrite?

Arab leaders across the board have stated and re-stated their commitment to the Palestinians. Even the UAE has said that their establishing relations with Israel is good for the Palestinian people as it saves the two-state solution.

How about the chance of Indonesia to establish a diplomatic relationship with Israel?

The first step in the process is a much greater understanding of the Jewish faith and that the Muslim population of Indonesia needs to appreciate that for the Jewish people, Israel is a religious issue, not a political issue. If we follow that same trajectory that has been followed successfully in the Gulf, then we will see the establishment of relations.

Do you believe that Palestine is an illusion state?

I think Palestine can be its own state and kudos to the Emirates for rescuing the two-state solution

Is there any Jewish communities in Saudi Arabia? If so where do they live? Are they indigenous Jews or expatriates?

There isn’t a Jewish community in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia but there are Jews who work and live in the kingdom. They are expatriates.





Mantan Perdana Menteri dan Presiden Israel Shimon Peres dengan latar kapal berpeluru kendali. (IDF Archives)

I arranged and prepared the visit of Shimon Peres to Indonesia

Gus Dur and Shimon Peres had a breakfast meeting at Halim airbase in August 2000. During his visit to Jakarta, Peres also came to Taman Mini.

Pangeran Ahmad bin Abdul Aziz dari Arab Saudi. (houseofsaud.com)

The Saudi authorities should allow us to meet and speak with two Saudi princes are being detained

After the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the arrest of women's rights activists, the Saudi's reputation for compliance with human rights standards has been seriously damaged.

Steve Stein, pengusaha Israel menjadi fasilitator bagi program pelatihan dan beasiswa bagi orang-orang Indonesia ke Israel. (Steve Stein buat Albalad.co)

Jusuf Kalla was the catalyst and a visionary in the relationship between Indonesia and Israel

Steve Stein has been dealing with at least a hundred businessmen from Indonesia. He suggests Indonesian government to ease restrictions to restart direct private trade with Israel.

Sinagoge di Ibu Kota Manama, Bahrain, satu-satunya rumah ibadah Yahudi di negara Arab Teluk tersebut. (Al-Arabiya)

Bahraini Jews are very well integrated in the society

Though there are only about 50 Jews currently living in Bahrain, they have a representative in the Shoura Council and also have one seat in the parliament.

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