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In the new Dubai playground, Israelis look for gatherings, Jewish ceremonies

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AP)-This was an unimaginable scene a few months ago. When looking at Emiratis in a white robe and headgear, the Israeli bride and groom were lifted on the shoulders of the best man wearing a beanie and lifted to the dance floor. Dozens of people cheered in Hebrew.

Noemie Azerad and Simon Simon Benhamou not only raged the wedding in a pandemic, the pandemic has shut down their country and destroyed the entire world. They are intoxicated in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Like most of the Arab world, Israeli passport holders have been barred from entering for decades.

The couple are among thousands of Israelis who flocked to the UAE in December after the United States passed a groundbreaking brokerage agreement to normalize relations between the two countries.

Israel’s latest lockdown caused by the virus that began earlier this week has temporarily eased the travel fever. However, the Israelis who planned to take a vacation in Israel are now staying at home. They hope that the vaccination campaign will contain the outbreak and make it possible for Dubai to travel again soon.

Facts have proved that Dubai is a skyscraper in the United Arab Emirates, with commercial centers all over the beach and marble shopping malls, alluring Dubai.Dozens of Israeli tourists sought carnivals and detoxification to protect themselves from months-long virus restrictions and were not resisted by the government’s warnings of possible attacks on Iran In the area, people celebrate the eight-day Jewish holiday of weddings, coming-of-age and Hanukkah, and large gatherings at home are prohibited.

Aserad, a 25-year-old Israeli bride from the hotel banquet hall, said: “I hope to feel very uncomfortable here.”

; But all her favorite wedding destinations have announced strict party restrictions to check the spread of the virus. The party limit in Dubai is 200.

Unwilling to postpone the wedding, the choice is obvious.

“I think it’s Tel Aviv,” Aserad said of Dubai. “I hear Hebrew everywhere.”

Her French father Igal Azerad (Igal Azerad) said that he always hides his cap in his pocket to avoid being attacked on the streets of Paris. But in Dubai, his japa scenery made him “Emiratis come and tell me Shalom,” he said.

The dizzying pace of normalization shocked even skeptics. Despite the long-term secret ties between the two countries, the UAE still regards Israel as the political darling of decades of Israeli-Palestinian conflict.The humble foreign Jewish community in a federation of seven emirates kept a low profile and prayed in an unmarked villa.

However, according to travel agency estimates, there were 15 direct flights every day in December and 70,000 Israeli tourists arrived, which changed everything. A 12-foot (3.5-meter) Hanukkah menorah appeared under the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, where Jews gathered to light candles and take selfies, while festive Hebrew songs burned in huge fountains in the city.

The sneaky Friday night Shabbat meal in the Jewish community has been turned into a celebration in two sponge ballrooms, with overflow seats for Israeli tourists. “Made in Israel” signs have appeared in Dubai’s chain grocery stores and liquor stores, which now sell wine from the Golan Heights affiliated to Israel. A Dubai-based commodities company stated that wine, honey and tahini from Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank will be on the shelves in the next few weeks and be marked as Israeli products.

On social media, the trip to the UAE has become a status symbol for Israelis showing their photos in Dubai. More than a dozen hotels across the city said they had booked thousands of Israeli travelers and hosted a series of Israeli business meetings, holiday parties and one-day weddings. The Israeli singers plan to hold a concert in the spring. Kosher companies from the UK and elsewhere have opened stores in the UAE. According to Rabbi Mendel Duchman, who manages the country’s Jewish community center, plans are currently underway to break ground to open the country’s first Jewish cemetery and ritual bath, called mikvah.

Mark Feldman, head of the Jerusalem-based Ziontours travel agency (Ziontours), said: “This is incredible. It is a tsunami.” He pointed out that Israel’s “cold peace with Egypt and Jordan” “A sharp contrast is formed. “During the pandemic, Dubai has become an oasis for Israelis.”

During the weeks in December, Rwanda and the Seychelles were the only other countries where Israelis could land without 14 days of home quarantine after returning. Dubai has always been open to business and travel, and there are almost no other restrictions except to stay away from social activities indoors and wear masks outside. Guests at weddings and other parties usually do not wear masks.

Even when Israelis warmly welcome their host and embrace the warm embrace, little is heard about the UAE’s 180-degree transformation from its 1 million citizens, who have received free housing, education, and health care, and tend to cooperate with their home country Huge foreigners isolate the population. The hereditary ruler of the emirate suppressed dissent. Even dramatic political decisions will be defaulted.

The director of the UAE Museum, Ahmed al-Mansoori, once welcomed dozens of Israeli tourists to his collection of ancient maps and manuscripts, including the fourth-century scrolls of the Torah. He admitted that “from the past There are some cultural misunderstandings among people who have not really contacted.” “

When asked about the policy reversal proposed by the Palestinians as a betrayal policy of seeking to establish a state on the land occupied by Israel, he said: “Every UAE has its own psychology.”

But he pointed out that Dubai is a city made up of millions of workers from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and it is easy to absorb waves of immigrants, including from countries that are struggling with each other.

Although initially worried about the threat of Iran and the diplomatic influence caused by misconduct, the travel agency said that this is just a small ic. Yaniv Stainberg, owner of Privilege Tourism, said that some Israeli tourists were trapped in the dunes while riding quad bikes, which prompted government helicopters to carry out an elaborate rescue mission. He added that some people were arrested for taking pictures in the mosque. Others have been scolded for kissing in public and should be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment under the Islamic legal system of the United Arab Emirates.

However, as the virus surged in Israel, the noisy and exposed party photos in Dubai spread on social media. According to reports, the Israeli Ministry of Health and Foreign Affairs is arguing whether to classify the UAE as a high infection zone. Need to be isolated after reaching Israel and Israel. Perhaps it has destroyed the country’s new courtship.

Within a few days, the problem was gone. Israel entered its third blockade on Sunday. By then, the newlyweds, Aserad and Ben Hammer, had returned home.

Eliav Benjamin, an official of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, referred to other recent normalization agreements between Israel and Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco. He said: “The COVID has really hindered us. This is our hope to meet all new friends in the region. Unfortunately.” “But the vaccine will change the rules of the game.”

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