14 Days: Dubai visit

Israeli news highlights from the past two weeks.

 President Isaac Herzog meets UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Dubai, on January 30, 2022. (photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)
President Isaac Herzog meets UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Dubai, on January 30, 2022.
(photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)
Jerusalem Report logo small (credit: JPOST STAFF)Jerusalem Report logo small (credit: JPOST STAFF)

DUBAI VISIT 

President Isaac Herzog met in Dubai on January 30 with United Arab Emirates ruler Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in the first Israeli presidential visit to a Gulf state. “We are here together to find ways and means to bring full security to people who seek peace in our region,” said Herzog, while Sheikh Mohammed said Israel and the UAE share a “common view of the threats to regional stability and peace, particularly those posed by militias and terrorist forces.”  The UAE intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels during Herzog’s visit, the third such attack in recent weeks. Meanwhile, Defense Minister Benny Gantz signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding with the Kingdom of Bahrain on February 3, officially establishing security ties between the two Middle Eastern countries.

OLDEST SCRIPT 

The amulet discovered on Mount Ebal mentioned in the cover story of the last issue of The Jerusalem Report (February 7, 2022) may contain the oldest Hebrew script ever uncovered in the land of Israel, according to researcher Zvi Koenigsberg. “Because it was found among pottery that dates to the early Iron I period, it is very likely that the amulet belongs to the same period, i.e., around 1200 BCE”, says Koenigsberg. “No older Hebrew script has been uncovered in the Land of Israel to date. A more precise dating may be determined after completion of deciphering the amulet, which is currently in progress.””

 Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy breaking down at the Bundestag in Berlin during his speech on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, 2022.  (credit: BOAZ ARAD) Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy breaking down at the Bundestag in Berlin during his speech on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, 2022. (credit: BOAZ ARAD)
LEVY CRIES 

Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy burst into tears as he stood before the Bundestag on January 27 to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day and urged those gathered to educate future generations against hatred. “Eighty years and seven days ago, an attempt was made to wipe the Jewish people off the face of the Earth,” he said, referring to Nazi Germany’s Wannsee Conference. “Since then, we have been privileged to see the revival of our people and the rebuilding of our land, our historical homeland – the State of Israel. Today we are asking: Remember, always remember, and build a promising future together.” Speaking as a guest of honor, Holocaust survivor Inge Auerbacher, 87, said she still had “very clear memories of that dark time, a time of terror and hate,” when she was deported to Theresienstadt at age seven in 1942.

MANDELBLIT RETIRES 

Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit said in brief remarks at a farewell ceremony on February 1 that he had faced “unprecedented challenges” during his six-year term. “We worked to preserve the status of the attorney-general,” he said. “We faced unprecedented challenges. I am grateful to each and every one of the people in the office.” Mandelblit will be remembered for filing a public corruption case against Benjamin Netanyahu when he was a sitting prime minister, as well as cutting plea deals for Shas Party leader Arye Deri, former UTJ Party leader Ya’acov Litzman, and Likud MK and former minister Haim Katz. The ceremony at the Justice Ministry came a day after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid gave their backing to Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar’s recommendation of Gali Baharav-Miara as the next attorney-general.

 Ex-chief justice Miriam Naor (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM) Ex-chief justice Miriam Naor (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
RESPECTED JURIST 

Miriam Naor, who served as president of Israel’s Supreme Court from 2015 to 2017, died on January 24 at age 74. The Supreme Court issued a number of significant rulings under Naor, including a 2016 decision that Israel recognize conversions to Judaism performed outside of the rabbinate for the sake of citizenship. Considered a moderate judge, the Jerusalem-born Naor spent 38 years on the bench, 17 of them on the Supreme Court. She had also been heading the state commission of inquiry probing the Mount Meron crowd crush on Lag Ba’omer in 2021, in which 45 people were killed and 150 injured. She was married to Arye Naor, a former cabinet secretary to prime minister Menachem Begin. They had twin sons, Naftaly and Michael.