Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia bars Qatar from participating in a meeting on coronavirus, and Jordanians continue protesting against ‘deal of the century’
Unprecedented event at Saudi royal palace
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received a delegation on Thursday from the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID Dialogue Centre) that included Israeli Rabbi David Rosen.
The announcement of the presence of an Israeli rabbi in the Saudi royal palace is an unprecedented event in the kingdom’s history.
Though the event was covered by the official Saudi Press Agency, participants’ names were not listed, with only pictures released.
The Israeli army’s “Israel in Arabic” Twitter account celebrated the move, saying it came within the framework of “good efforts to build bridges of tolerance between different religions”.
Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said last month that Israelis are now permitted to travel to Saudi Arabia for business and religious purposes.
The statement gave the green light for Israelis to go to Saudi Arabia overtly for the first time since the establishment of Israel.
Qatar barred from GCC coronavirus meeting
Saudi authorities barred Qatari Health Minister Hanan al-Kuwari from attending a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) meeting on coronavirus on Wednesday, according to the London-based newspaper al-Araby al-Jadeed.
It was the first time Qatar was unable to have any participation at a Gulf, Arab or international meeting held in countries that imposed a siege on Doha. Riyadh and its allies blockaded the emirate in 2017.
In a statement on Thursday, the Qatari foreign ministry expressed “its regret and denouncement of Saudi Arabia’s move not to grant the Qatari health minister an entry permit to attend the meeting that the General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council called for to deal with coronavirus, only after the start of the meeting.”
The ministry added that “Saudi Arabia has always claimed that the Gulf Cooperation Council system, especially the technical committees, is effective and not affected by the Gulf crisis, to be surprised later by the move. The Council has politicised a humanitarian sector that requires wisdom and the necessity to keep it away from political disputes”.
Jordanians still protesting ‘deal of the century’
Jordanian activists renewed their protests against Donald Trump’s Middle East plan, known as the “deal of the century,” demonstrating for the fourth consecutive Friday, according to the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad.
The protesters marched on the US embassy in Amman, where a sit-in was hosted by the National Alliance to Fight the Deal of the Century, which includes a number of Jordanian parties, unions and popular groups.
Several Jordanian cities also witnessed similar protests against the controversial US project to address the Israel-Palestine conflict, which Jordan and the Palestinian Authority rejected.
-Middle East Eye
For the first time in the history of Saudi Arabia … a Jewish rabbi inside the King Salman Palace
The steps of public normalization between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Israel have accelerated in the recent period, in light of the exchange of media visits, and the broadcast of numerous video reports from inside the Kingdom on Israeli television.
After talking about arrangements for a secret meeting that brings together Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Prime Minister of Israel, in another Arab country, King Salman surprised everyone by taking a clearer and frank step towards completing formal normalization with the occupying entity.
On Friday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry announced that the Saudi monarch, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, received for the first time in his palace in the capital Riyadh a multi-religious delegation that included an Israeli rabbi.
The ministry said, through its account on the website “Twitter”: “For the first time, King Salman of Saudi Arabia receives a multi-religious delegation in his palace today, including the Jewish Rabbi David Rosen, within the scope of good offices to build bridges of tolerance between different religions.”
And “Rosen” is a British-Israeli rabbi, who is currently visiting the Kingdom as part of a delegation for the “King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Center for Dialogue between Followers of Religions and Cultures”, where he is a member of the center’s board of directors.
The official Saudi news agency “SPA” confirmed that King Salman received the Secretary-General of the aforementioned center, Faisal bin Abdul Rahman bin Muammar, and the members of the center’s board of directors from various religious leaders in a number of countries. The agency did not specify the names of the visiting personalities.
She added that “King Salman” welcomed the members of the delegation, who held their first meeting in Riyadh, stressing “the importance of the center and its role in consolidating the principles of dialogue and coexistence between the followers of religions and cultures, promoting the values of moderation, moderation and tolerance, and combating all forms of extremism and terrorism.”
The meeting took place in the presence of a number of senior Saudi officials, including Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan.
Last Monday, Netanyahu announced that his country is establishing “secret” relations with Arab and Islamic countries, with the exception of only 3 of them.
“Netanyahu” said in a speech during the conference of heads of American Jewish organizations in West Jerusalem: “I develop relations with Arab and Islamic countries, and I can tell you that only one, two or three of them do not have relations with us that are constantly strengthened.”