Israel envoy to UAE says anti-Semitism is on the rise

Eitan Na'eh spoke as he opened a Holocaust exhibition in Dubai

Israeli's Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Eitan Na'eh, talks at an exhibition commemorating the Jewish Holocaust in Dubai. AP
Israeli's Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Eitan Na'eh, talks at an exhibition commemorating the Jewish Holocaust in Dubai. AP

Israel's ambassador to the UAE warned of rising anti-Semitism at a Holocaust memorial exhibition in Dubai on Wednesday.

Eitan Na'eh, installed as envoy after the two countries struck a historic normalisation deal last year, said it was remarkable that the exhibition was being held in the Arab world.

"Who would have dreamt 70 or 80 years ago that an Israeli ambassador and a German ambassador would sit here together, in an Arab country, visiting a Holocaust remembrance exhibition," he said.

But Mr Na'eh sounded an alarm over anti-Jewish attacks that erupted in the aftermath of recent hostilities between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip.

World leaders, including US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, condemned acts of aggression – on both sides – that followed the deadly violence that broke out this month.

"After Gaza, where are we? We are in the Kristallnacht moment where synagogues are attacked, Jews are violently attacked again on the streets of Europe," the Israeli envoy said.

Kristallnacht refers to the 1938 torching and ransacking of synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses across Germany by Nazi mobs.

"We see the ugly face of anti-Semitism rising again in the streets of Europe and elsewhere and then we come here, to an Arab country ... and we come to a Holocaust exhibition," he said, praising openness and tolerance in the UAE.

The exhibition, held at the private Crossroads of Civilisations Museum in Dubai, included stories of Arabs and Muslims who protected Jews during the Holocaust and saved them from death at the hands of the Nazis.

The UAE had called for a stop to the fighting during the 11-day Hamas-Israel conflict, and has since offered assistance to negotiate a lasting peace.

Updated: May 27, 2021 06:23 PM

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