Monday , March 27 2023

Former Ambassador Friedman wants to show the tolerant Israel to the Arab world


Former US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said on the eve of the opening of the Friedman Peace Center on Monday that if the Muslim world sees how tolerant and hospitable Israel is, new opportunities for peace and cooperation will open up.

Like many former US officials involved in the Ibrahim Agreement, Friedman sought a way to continue his efforts for Israeli-Arab peace outside the government. Instead of doing what Jared Kushner did for the Abraham Peace Institute and other organizations, Friedman found a different place.

“I want to build trust through religious tolerance and show how Israel respects the religious rights of all people, especially the Islamic world,” he said.

Friedman pointed to rumors and slander that Israel or the Jews wanted to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which caused violence from the 1929 Hebron massacre to the 2015 Intifada massacre.

“Only a small fraction of the world’s two billion Muslims are in Al-Aqsa,” he said. “They have limited information. The media in the Arab world is often unfair on this issue. “

During the holy month of Ramadan, Palestinians pray in front of the Rock Dome in Ancient Qadr, in the Old City of Jerusalem, in the building of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, known to Muslims as the Noble Holy Mosque and the Temple Mount to Jews.  May 8, 2021. (credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)Palestinians pray during the holy month of Ramadan in front of the Rock Dome in Qadr Qadr, in the Old City of Jerusalem, in the building where the Noble Holy Mosque to Muslims and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, known to Jews as Mount Temple, are located. May 8, 2021. (credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)

In fact, he said, “Although not perfect, Israel is doing a really great job of making it easier for Muslims to pray in Al-Aqsa and other holy places.” “I want the Muslim world to see it.”

With direct flights from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco, which signed the Ibrahim agreements, to Israel, and new flights from Egypt, Friedman sees an opportunity for Muslim tourism in Israel.

“I think Israel has a story to tell here,” he said. “I think it’s important, because then he will manage everything. When there is trust between people, you can do everything.”

“We hope to develop tourism by Muslim leaders, students and businessmen who can dispel long-standing doubts about the unfair treatment of Muslims in the third holy place of Islam. We can radically and radically change perception for the better.”

In practice, this means having a Friedman Center that works with the Israeli government and other organizations to create a welcoming atmosphere for Muslim visitors to the Jewish state, including facilitating the construction of new hotels, restaurants and other workplaces.

This, in turn, can help provide jobs and encourage entrepreneurship among Arabs living in Jerusalem and in the tourism industry.

“We can create opportunities in Jerusalem and perhaps in all of Judea and Samaria,” Friedman said. “Creating jobs and good intentions at the same time – when you put them together, I think politics is doing its job.”

Friedman hopes to be able to use the connections the Friedman Center has established and the experience he has gained during his four years as ambassador to succeed in promoting peace and cooperation.

“As a result, it’s about bringing people together under the right conditions, putting politics aside and creating a hospitable, uplifting and optimistic environment that moves everything,” he said.

The world premiere of the Friedman Force Peace Center’s gala dinner on Monday will take place Abraham Agreements, A five-part documentary on peace and normalization deals produced by Friedman with the TBN Network.

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