Happening now! Aryeh Lightstone, Senior Adviser to @USAmbIsrael, addresses call of Israeli-Emirati Forum & @UAEIsraelBiz Feel very fortunate to be involved in establishing these 2 groups, which are laying the foundations for a true People-to-People peace!☮️#UAEIsrael pic.twitter.com/TYzppA6ubv— Asher Fredman אשר פרדמן (@fredman_a) September 10, 2020
It was that sense of togetherness that Jerusalem's Deputy Mayor and co-founder of the UIBC Fleur Hassan-Nachum invoked when she spoke on the work of the council. Business can be a conduit for bringing disparate groups together, she reminded the group, emphasizing that business builds trust. Israelis and Emiratis are excited not just to do business but to practice peace, she said, adding that she had recently been quoted as saying the two countries were dating. "In that case, this is a second date," she quipped. "We believe that real genuine peace comes from the bottom up and not just the top down," Hassan-Nachum told The Jerusalem Post following the meeting. "My co founder Dorian Barak and I set up the UAE-Israel Business council as soon as peace and normalization was announced in order to create a living and breathing platform that can connect businesses and business leaders from the UAE and Israel to add value to each other and foster opportunity and prosperity for the entire region. We believe our council can act as a laboratory for the first warm peace in the Middle East."The forum was set up as a people-to-people intiative, bringing together a diverse group of Israelis and Emiratis in dialogue and mutual co-operation in fields ranging from business to culture to the arts. The first zoom meeting was held shortly after the peace announcement. Chaired by Asher Fredman, a co-founder of the UIBC and columnist at the Jerusalem Post, the meeting also heard from Thani Al Shirawi, who spoke on 'What Israelis should know about UAE business culture,' Hillel Fuld on the Israeli start-up ecosystem, and Dany Farha on the UAE start-up ecosystem. Emphasizing the cultural connection fostered through business links, the meetings participants also heard from former Knesset member Dr Einat Wilf, who addressed the question: What is Zionism?“People-to-people connections are the foundation for a warm peace," Fredman said. "The good-will and desire to build bridges, displayed by both Emiratis and Israelis, has been truly inspiring.”Dorian Barak, Co-Founder of the UAE-Israel Business Council added: “The UIBC brings together Israel’s dynamic innovation ecosystem and the UAE’s unique strengths as a regional and global financial and commercial hub. Hundreds of Israeli and Emirati businesspeople have already reached out to be part of the Council.”The Zoom meeting comes ahead of the expecting formal signing of the Abraham Accords, due to take place at the White House on September 15.
Really excited & inspired to take part in tonight's #Israel - #UAE forum of civil leaders, building on the people-2-people connection following the historic peace agreement. Tonight we were also joined by @lightstonea from U.S. Admin, who gave truly fascinating insight! ️ pic.twitter.com/PKDMLig5GH— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) September 10, 2020