It has been over 40 years since an Arab nation has signed a peace agreement with Israel. Some are hoping that Abu Dhabi may be the next and are encouraging dialogue between the two nations. Now, Israeli-American author Joel Rosenberg has written an open letter to the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan (MBZ), inviting him to visit Israel this year.
In the letter, first published in The Jerusalem Post, and entitled “In the UAE’s year of tolerance, please come to Jerusalem,” Rosenberg commends the sheiks and people of the UAE for declaring 2019 as the ‘Year of Tolerance.’
MBZ, he said, “sought to demonstrate in both symbolic and practical ways that Muslims, Christians and Jews can live together in peace and mutual respect for one another, even while holding different (and deeply held) theological and political views on a range of significant issues.”
Rosenberg admitted he has no governmental or other authority from the US or Israel to extend the invitation but nevertheless he invites the crown prince to make the trip.
“Come visit al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, locations of tremendous importance to your faith. Come visit the Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, and the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum and memorial, locations that hold such tremendous importance to our faith.
“Come, as well, to walk where Jesus – revered by us both – walked, from the Mount of Olives and the shores of the Sea of Galilee, to Bethlehem and Nazareth, to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Garden Tomb,” he wrote.
He also invited him to meet with Israeli and Palestinian government and business leaders and youth.
In recent years, Rosenberg has led delegations of Christian leaders that met with the leaders of Arab countries including Egypt’s President al-Sisi and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Rosenberg’s novel The First Hostage, paved the way for an invitation and meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah, who was a character in Rosenberg’s fictional story about a devastating attack by ISIS.
Several months ago, MBZ invited Rosenberg to lead a delegation of Evangelical Christians to Abu Dhabi. CBN News was there to cover the event.
Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment on Rosenberg’s invitation but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an historic visit to Oman, another Gulf State, in October last year.
In an earlier interview, Dr. Dore Gold from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs said that Israel has quiet relations with several Arab States.
“Israel has relations with a number of Arab states under the table because we’re both affected by the same dangers,” Gold told CBN News.
“Iran back in the 1990s was training Saudi Shiites to blow up an air force barracks in eastern Saudi Arabia. So the Iranians have had their fingers in Saudi Arabia for a number of years and the Saudis know that.
“Israel can be a very important ally, as I said before, under the table. I know that in the West we like to have big festivals of countries that are former adversaries meeting on the White House lawn and drinking orange juice together – they don’t drink alcohol – but I think quiet diplomacy is what’s in order in the Middle East today and not big festivals,” Gold said.
Even that quiet diplomacy could be getting a bit louder this week as Israel and 10 Arab states come together for a US-Polish sponsored summit in Warsaw.
Rosenberg ended his letter with a hope and a prayer: “I have every reason to believe you would be welcomed warmly by the people of both sides. Indeed, I pray that God would use your visit to help bring a fresh breeze of healing and hope to a land much in need of both.”