Decision comes as Israel announces embassy opening in Abu Dhabi months after controversial normalisation of ties.
The wife of the ruler of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has criticised a virtual meeting held between her country and Israel’s Ministry of Education in a rare public critique.
The meeting, which was held via video conference on Monday, discussed cooperation on several fronts, including student exchange delegation and joint academic studies in the wake of the UAE decision to normalise ties with Israel in August last year.
Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi, the wife of Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi, tweeted that the Israeli curriculum “advocates for the killing and raping of Arabs”.
مناهجهم. توصي بقتل العربي و اغتصاب
ارض العربي pic.twitter.com/yFJuKf7xD0
— Jawaher M Alqasimi. (@jawaheralqasimi) January 26, 2021
The tweet sparked widespread responses between supporters and opponents.
“Much respect to you Sheikha Jawaher, for your great stance that has touched the hearts of Arab people and represents them,” Jordanian singer Makadi Salem al-Nahhas said.
Another social media user said it is not just Israel’s curriculum that incites hatred against Arabs, but a complete ideology.
“I hope God protects the Emirati and Arab society from the overt infiltration of the Zionist entity into their social, cultural and economic fabric of society,” Hadeel al-Farra said.
On the other hand, a number of Emirati tweeters defended this cooperation, believing that the UAE authorities are more aware of the country’s interest.
Rashid Abdullah bin Mukhtar wrote: “We must be frank with ourselves, and not forget that in our curricula and other platforms there has been incitement against non-Muslims. Curricula and ideas may be changed by dialogue and openness.”
However, others pointed out the Israeli education minister, Yoav Galant, was a former commander in the Israeli army and served in operations that targeted Palestinians.
The UAE became the third Arab country, after Egypt and Jordan, to normalise relations with Israel in a US-brokered deal in August 2020.
On Monday, Israel officially opened its embassy in Abu Dhabi, with the presence of Israeli envoy Eitan Na’eh.