Wife of Sharjah ruler slams UAE-Israel education cooperation

Wife of Sharjah ruler slams educational cooperation between UAE, Israel
2 min read
29 January, 2021
Sheikha Jawaher al Qasami tweeted that the Israeli curriculum “advocates for the killing and raping of Arabs”.
The tweet was a rare instance of domestic criticism of UAE-Israel relations [Getty]
Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi, the wife of the Ruler of Sharjah Sultan Al Qasimi, tweeted that the Israeli curriculum "advocates for the killing and raping of Arabs" in a response to a tweet of a video conference between the Israeli and Emirati ministries of education.

Al Qasimi's comments were a rare expression of domestic opposition towards Abu Dhabi's normalisation with Tel Aviv, after Emirati authorities have sought to monitor and track residents critical of the agreement.

Her tweet was met with mixed reactions, with many voicing their support for Al-Qasimi's views.

"Much respect to you Sheikha Jawaher, for your great stance that has touched the hearts of Arab people and represents them," Jordanian singer Makadi Salem al-Nahhas said in a tweet.

Another social media user said it is not only Israel's curriculum that incites hatred against Arabs, but that it targets wider parts of society.

"I hope God protects the Emirati and Arab society from the overt infiltration of the Zionist entity into their social, cultural and economic fabric of society," Hadeel al-Farra said.

Meanwhile, some Emirati tweeters defended the cooperation.

Rashid Abdullah bin Mukhtar wrote: "We must be frank with ourselves, and not forget that in our curricula and other platforms there has been incitement against non-Muslims. Curricula and ideas may be changed by dialogue and openness."

Others highlighted that the Israeli education minister, Yoav Galant, was a former Israeli army commander and served in operations that targeted Palestinians.

Israel's education ministry tightened restrictions on NGOs that are critical of the occupation of Palestinian land and which have referred to Israel as an "apartheid state".

Earlier this month, Israeli rights group B'Tselem released a report calling Israel an "apartheid state" that "promotes and perpetuates Jewish supremacy between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River".

The UAE was the third Arab country, after Egypt and Jordan, to normalise relations with Israel in a US-brokered deal in August 2020.

On Monday, Israel officially opened its embassy in Abu Dhabi, while the UAE cabinet approved opening an embassy in Tel Aviv.

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