Influencers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Morocco met in Israel last month for a tour of the country in a bid to celebrate last year’s Abraham Accords.
Dubbed “Leaders of Tomorrow mission to Israel”, the tour was organised by Eyal Biram, founder of Israel-Is, a nonprofit set-up four years ago to enhance Israel’s relationship with other countries through personal interactions.
“If we want to start and build our shared future, we have to understand that we are coming from a shared past,” claimed Biram.According to the Times of Israel, he added that the trip aims to highlight youth leadership, and is hopeful that participants will return to their home countries and advocate for new normalisation support groups and expand the Abraham Accords, which were orchestrated by the Trump administration in conjunction with former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.
Twenty-year-old Bahraini, Yousif Mohamed, told the Media Line: “I am young, but you’re never too young to want to try and change the world.”
“I faced a bit of pressure and criticism online probably due to being one of the first Bahrainis to visit Israel, but I think it’s expected that people need some time to open their minds.”
“Ignorance can sometimes hinder us and it was because of this that I decided to visit and see things for myself, and I’m really happy that I’ve taken that step,” he added.
Last year’s normalisation deals signed by the UAE and Bahrain, followed by Sudan and Morocco, were denounced by Palestinians who claimed the states had abandoned a unified position under which Arab countries would make peace only after a two-state solution, negotiations for which have been deadlocked for years.
Abu Dhabi said the deal was an effort to stave off Tel Aviv’s planned annexation of the occupied West Bank, however, opponents believe normalisation efforts have been in the offing for many years as Israeli officials have made official visits to the UAE and attended conferences in the country which had no diplomatic or other ties with the occupation state.
Several bilateral agreements on investment, tourism, direct flights, security, and telecommunications were signed following the peace deal.