WATCH: Israeli song mocking UAE normalisation goes viral among Arabs

WATCH: Israeli song mocking UAE normalisation goes viral among Arabs
3 min read
18 January, 2022
The song 'Dubai, Dubai', performed in Arabic by Israeli comedienne and activist Noam Shuster-Eliassi, blasts the controversial normalisation deal between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi. It has proved to be a hit among Arabs.
The song 'Dubai, Dubai' was performed by Israeli comedienne and activist Noam Shuster-Eliassi [Getty]

A satirical song criticising Israeli-UAE normalisation has caused a stir in the Middle East this week, Israeli daily Haaretz has reported.

The song "Dubai, Dubai", performed in Arabic by Israeli comedienne and activist Noam Shuster-Eliassi, blasts the controversial normalisation deal between Israel and the UAE.

It was quickly picked up by Arab media outlets, including pan-Arab Al-Quds Al-Arabi and Al Jazeera, while many took to social media platforms to share the song after it aired last week on an Israeli TV station.

Shuster-Eliassi, who speaks Arabic fluently and often posts on social media in support of equal rights for Palestinians, performed the song during a comedy sketch in which she presented herself as "Haifa Wannabe" - an allusion to renowned Lebanese singer Haifa Wehbe.

The artist then goes on to say she's "going to sing an original song I wrote in Arabic in celebration of the peace treaty with Dubai, but in general - it's very important for me to send out a message of love and peace, particularly if it is found 4,000 kilometres away from here".

Her message appeared to be a criticism of Israel’s Arabic-language propaganda efforts, sending messages of peace and love to Arabs in the Gulf, while using force and violence against Palestinians in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

"At the end of the tunnel there is light, and if only all of the Arabs, like those who are in Dubai who have money, would love the people of Israel and not throw us into the sea," the song's lyrics said.

"There is nothing quite like Arabs who have millions, and who have forgotten the members of their people who underwent a Naqba, who have forgotten Palestine. In Dubai, they forgot the siege on Gaza, how nice would it be if only all the Arabs were from Dubai."

An Israeli ridiculing UAE normalisation

The song by "an Israeli who is mocking normalisation with the UAE" was widely shared online and picked up by Arab media.

Lebanese TV channel Al-Mayadeen described the comedienne as "an Israeli who ridiculed normalisation with the Emirates", while the Al-Quds news site described Shuster-Eliassi's song as one "that praises normalisation with the Emirates and is sparking a storm among the Arabs".

Many took to Twitter to express support for the views the song expressed.

"The song is a mix of Hebrew and Arabic, and speaks of cooperation between UAE and Israel against the Palestinians. It also speaks about how Arabs have forgotten about Palestine and the suffering of its people. […] We sincerely appreciate what [the singer] is doing," Ahmad Ghanim said on Twitter.

"Noam is not Palestinian nor an Arab. Noam is Israeli. I hope Arab singers won't get upset with her; the ones who love Dubai's skyscrapers and golden visas," Eyad Palestine tweeted.

"Shuster is a comedienne who has expressed her opinions at events in Sheikh Jarrah and has in the past tweeted ‘I am an Israeli Jew and my heart is with Sheikh Jarrah and the residents of Gaza. The solution is the end of the cruel occupation'," Dr. Othman Othman wrote on Twitter, referring to the plight of Palestinians living in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah who face eviction.

Israel and the UAE struck a normalisation deal in August 2020 with Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan following suit shortly after.

The accords sparked angry protests among pro-Palestine activists and the Arab public.

Since the establishment of the so-called Abraham Accords, the UAE has signed a number of military, economic and cultural agreements with Israel.