With the signing of the Abraham Accords normalization agreements between Israel and several Muslim nations in 2020, the deputy mayor of Jerusalem sensed an opportunity to build a peace that would last – relationships between individuals.
“Our problem with peace with Egypt and Jordan has been that it always stayed on the leadership level and never trickled down to people. And I was very conscious that if we want this peace to be a different peace, a lasting peace, a warm peace, then civil society has to lead,” Fleur Hassan-Nahoum said in an exclusive interview.
Hassan-Nahoum spoke with ALL ISRAEL NEWS News Editor Nicole Jansezian about her involvement in foreign relations with Gulf nations and the importance of women in leadership.
The co-founder and founding member of the UAE-Israel Business Council and Gulf Israel Women's Forum was featured on the ALL ISRAEL NEWS “Top 22 in 2022” list of the most powerful, provocative and popular Israelis to watch this year.
“We basically created a community of businesspeople there. And here we have the largest platform for that – 5,000 people and we continue to grow. And we've created a lot of value for a lot of businesses in this country and the UAE, and with the Gulf Israel Women's Forum,” she said.
“I truly believe that if we want peace to be warm and sustainable, women have to lead. And so I created this sisterhood of female leaders from across the Gulf. We have women from Saudi. We haven't even made peace with Saudi. We have women from Egypt who say to me, why wasn't anything like that created when Israel and Egypt made peace? And so it's really very inclusive group of women who believe that we want a better future for our children and we have to get together in order to make sure that that happens.”
Hassan-Nahoum is in charge of foreign relations, international economic development and tourism portfolios of the Jerusalem Municipality. During the interview, at the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast, Hassan-Nahoum also said it is “extremely special” to welcome back Christian tourists after nearly two years of COVID restrictions that prevented foreigners from visiting the Jewish state.
“To have people back and to feel really their presence here and their love and blessings is very special and we're very, very happy that everyone's back
“Israel, as most people know, is a country which is constantly vilified for whatever we do. We can't win from any country in the world. There's always a lot of detractors,” Hassan-Nahoum said.
“And for me, the light at the end of the tunnel is always the incredible, unconditional Christian support that Israel gets, because they just understand it. They get it. They get why we're here. And on a political level or on a psychological level, on an emotional level, it's extremely significant.”
Click below to watch the full ALL ISRAEL NEWS interview with Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan-Nahoum.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.