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Israeli Rabbi: Normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel is Just "A Matter of Time"

2022-05-21 - 12:04 am

Bahrain Mirror: Rabbi Steven Burg told the Israeli i24NEWS website that Saudis are fascinated by what is happening in Israel, highlighting that normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia is just "a matter of time".

Rabbi Burg, who recently visited Bahrain and Saudi Arabia with Jewish business leaders, called Saudi Arabia "amazing" and said that he saw a place that was moving forward with the business community wanting to move away from oil and to a better economic situation.

Rabbi Burg said that the people that he spoke with in Saudi Arabia said that it was "only a matter of time" for it to happen. "It may take a couple of years. It is a conservative society, and they need to move the country forward."

Burg stressed that "Iran is everyone's common issue. They are looking around and saying, 'Israel really is a place where we can get an economic benefit.'" 

He added that being openly Jewish and pro-Israel in the Kingdom was not a problem for the group.

A video of Jewish rabbi Jacob Herzog dancing next to members of a Saudi band performing the traditional "Al-Arda" dance at a heritage event in Saudi Arabia has sparked controversy on social media. Arab tweeters also circulated a video that they said "documents a tour Herzog made in October 2021 to a popular market in Riyadh."

According to the Times of Israel, Herzog has visited Saudi Arabia five times in an attempt to establish Jewish community centers including temples and religious schools.

The US-born rabbi hopes the Saudi crown prince will allow him to work in the kingdom, he told the Wall Street Journal. 

Israel has been for years rumored to have behind-the-scenes ties with Saudi Arabia, but the Saudis have vehemently denied those rumors.

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Saudi Crown Prince reportedly held a secret meeting last November in which they discussed the possibility of normalizing relations between their two countries.

Subsequent reports said the Crown Prince pulled back from a normalization deal with Israel largely because of the US election result. Riyadh denied the meeting had even taken place.

Saudi Arabian officials have repeatedly said that a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital is a prerequisite for Saudi Arabia normalizing ties with Israel.

Arabic Version