A professor from King Saud University in Riyadh published an article in Hebrew in an Israeli academic journal, which is unprecedented, according to Tel Aviv University.Prof. Mohammed Ibrahim Alghbban, Head of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization and Hebrew Studies at King Saud University wrote the article in Kesher, the journal of the Shalom Rosenfeld Institute for Research of Jewish Media and Communication at Tel Aviv University.Prof. Raanan Rein, head of Shalom Rosenfeld Institute, said it is unprecedented for a Saudi researcher to choose to publish his article in an Israeli academic journal, in order to bring the two nations closer. “I hope that this academic cooperation is another step towards economic and political cooperation,” Rein stated.Kesher’s editor Prof. Gideon Kouts has met Alghbban at academic Hebrew Studies conferences and on a visit to Riyadh in 2015. The Hebrew Studies program Alghbban heads is taught only to male students, and its curriculum includes works by Yosef Haim Brenner, Shmuel Yosef Agnon and Etgar Keret.Alghbban’s paper comes amid increasing calls in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States for greater cooperation with Jews and Israel to achieve peace. Israel and Gulf States have grown closer in recent years, despite not having diplomatic relations, as they face a common enemy: Iran. But the increased ties have led to partnerships in other fields, such as companies in Israeli and the United Arab Emirates working together on treating coronavirus.The article is titled “Contribution to Prophet Muhammad’s Image Improvement in the Eyes of the Israeli Public: Muhammad’s Alliances and Mail Exchanges with Jews from the Arabian Peninsula,” in which Alghbban argues that the prophet had good relations with Jews and his clashes with them were political, not religious.The Saudi professor said he wrote the article to improve Muhammad’s image among Israelis, which he said is currently based on “erroneous assumptions about the origins of Islam proposed by Oriental Studies researchers, " which "led to a distorted understanding of manuscripts, wrong methodology and negative influences on Hebrew-speaking Middle Eastern Studies researchers.” As such, he translated letters written by Muhammad into Hebrew in his article.