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Wife of Sharjah ruler slams educational cooperation between UAE, Israel

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Sheikha Jawaher al-Qasimi, wife of the ruler of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (Photo by Khaleej Times)

The wife of the ruler of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has criticized educational cooperation between the Persian Gulf country and Israel, four months after the two sides agreed to normalize relations. 

Sheikha Jawaher al-Qasimi, the wife of Sheikh Sultan al-Qasimi, condemned a recent virtual meeting held between her country and Israel’s ministry of education, tweeting that the Israeli curriculum “advocates for the killing and raping of Arabs.”

The Sharjah royal retweeted a tour guide who described Israeli education minister Yoav Galant as one the "bloodiest generals in the history of Israel".

"He (Galant) participated in the killing of Hassan Salameh [Palestinian PLO member] in Beirut in 1979, the leader of the operation to storm the Jenin camp, which led to the killing of dozens of defenseless Palestinians, and the operation Grapes of Wrath against Lebanon [Qana massacre] in 1996."

Galant had served twice in the Israeli military before being appointed to his current post last year.

The tweets sparked widespread praise and many voiced their support for Qasimi's views.

“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.

Others also highlighted that the Israeli education minister was a former Israeli army commander and served in operations that targeted Palestinians.

The development comes as the Israeli education ministry has tightened restrictions on NGOs that are critical of the occupation of Palestinian land, and which have referred to Israel as an “apartheid state.”

Back on January 21, leading Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said Israel is not a democracy but an “apartheid regime” that systematically oppresses the Palestinians via military occupation and racist laws.

Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later annexed East Jerusalem al-Quds in a move not recognized by the international community.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

But Israel’s aggressive settlement expansion and annexation plans have dealt a serious blow to any prospects of peace.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed US-brokered normalization deals with the Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani during an official ceremony hosted by former US president Donald Trump at the White House on September 15, 2020.

The normalization deals have drawn widespread condemnation from Palestinians, who seek an independent state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

Palestinians denounced the “peace pacts” as act of treason and a stab in the back in their struggle against the Israeli occupation, saying the deals ignore their rights and do not serve the Palestinian cause.

Hamas reiterated its total rejection of agreements signed by the UAE and Bahrain at the White House to normalize diplomatic ties with Israel, denouncing the deals as “humiliating.”

“Netanyahu’s boast that the Israeli regime had the upper hand while signing the normalization agreements... underscores how humiliating such deals are,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem said in a statement at the time.

Israel officially opened its embassy in Abu Dhabi last week, while the UAE cabinet approved decision to establish an embassy in Tel Aviv.

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