For Arab citizens of the Jewish state, the opening of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to travel and commerce brings a specific set of new opportunities, write Marc Sievers and Jonathan Ferziger:
The large number of Arab Israelis who also are eager to enjoy the sights and sounds of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Manama have largely been overlooked. Besides the ease of sharing language and culture, the fact is that they are able to circulate in Israel’s new Abraham Accords partner countries more freely than in, say, Egypt, where they are generally subjected to scrutiny and sometimes harassment. As for the evolving business connections, they should have a significant economic impact that may eventually even spread to the West Bank, given the many extended family ties between Israeli Arabs and West Bank Palestinians.
Israeli Arabs have an emerging professional class concentrated heavily in the medical sector. Arab-owned businesses, which figure prominently in Israel’s construction and trucking industries, are increasingly moving into the realm of technology start-ups, which have become the country’s calling card.
That’s what took Mayor Adel Badir from Kafr Qasim, a satellite town east of Tel Aviv, to the Cybertech Global conference in the UAE this month. . . . “As Arabs in Israel, we’ve always been a bridge to encourage peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” Badir said, fresh from his maiden venture into the Gulf. “We are happy to play that role now with Arab countries that have opened to us through the Gulf accords.”