AN olive tree symbolising peace and wisdom has been planted by the Victorian consulate of the United Arab Emirates and the Australian Jewish community to celebrate the Abraham Accords between the UAE and Israel.
Joining together for the planting ceremony were UAE consul-general Dr Nariman Al Mulla, Rabbinical Association of Australasia president Rabbi Yaakov Glasman and Executive Council of Australian Jewry immediate past president Anton Block.
The UAE delegation included Azza Alnuaimi, consular affairs and national services specialist, and Lieutenant-Colonel Mohammed Aljneibi, assistant police attache to Australia.
Dr Al Mulla said she was honoured “to seed together an olive tree which holds great meanings in our ethnicities. The olive tree is a symbol of many values, including wisdom and peace”.
As part of the continuous efforts to spread the values of tolerance between different peoples & religions, the UAE Consulate in Melbourne organized the Peace Tree Initiative. H.E. Dr. Nariman Al-Mulla- UAE Consul General, planted an olive tree in one of the largest synagogues pic.twitter.com/PvwaqVfiST
— UAE Con in Melbourne (@MelConsulate) November 2, 2020
She described the August 13 accords between the UAE and Israel as “a historic diplomatic breakthrough”. Both countries “will see an increase in tourism, trade, business”, she noted. “Our youth will flourish and exchange skills and ideas and will grow to love and value one another.”
The accords have already led to bilateral visits between Israel and the UAE, and agreements in fields including security, health care, aviation and tourism, the envoy stated. There will be visa-free travel between Israel and the UAE. Abu Dhabi’s hotels have received a government recommendation to serve kosher food, and Emirates’ catering service has established Kosher Arabia, a facility to produce kosher food on flights, she said.
“Let our relationship prosper as this olive tree flourishes,” she exclaimed, “and its fruits will be reflected in the entire region in order for future generations to gain from its returns and to bear witness to this remarkable act of courage.”
Rabbi Glasman noted the Abraham Accords are “named after our ancestor Abraham or Ibrahim, as known in the Islamic faith. Abraham exemplifies the traits of peace and kindness by forging meaningful and long-lasting relationships – so too have Israel and the UAE embarked on a deeply meaningful and what we are confident will be a long-lasting and fruitful relationship”.
Block added, “The signing of the Abraham Accords between the State of Israel and United Arab Emirates was a historic event for both nations, and dare I say it, for Jews and Muslims throughout the world.”
The olive tree, he said, “symbolises a unification of the old with the new. And as this tree grows, we hope and pray that so too will the relationships and connections between Israel and UAE, as well as Jews and Muslims around the world”.