In a sign of the already blossoming fruit of the Abraham Accords, Hanukkah candles were lit together by Jews and Muslims across the Gulf states and in Israel.
In Dubai, the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, was lit up to mark the Jewish holiday and a public candle lighting ceremony was held.
“The message behind Hanukkah is to spread light over darkness. And I see the UAE as the brightest light in this region,” said Rabbi Levi Duchman, who lives in the UAE, has been hosting Hanukkah in Dubai for the past six years.
Bahrain’s tiny Jewish community also celebrated candle lightings with government officials.
“The authorities here have welcomed us and said to the Jewish people who used to live here they are welcome to come back, if they choose. When they left for Israel they started their own lives,” Ebrahim Nonoo said.
In Israel, a delegation of influencers from both the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain joined in a candle lighting at the Western Wall.
“It is a Hanukah miracle to see the delegation from the UAE and Bahrain here with us participating in the Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony,” said Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, chief rabbi of the Western Wall. “Who would have believed that peace would come to our house in such a magnificent way?”
And in New York, Morocco’s Ambassador to the United Nations Omar Hilale planned to join his Israeli counterpart Gilad Erdan on Thursday to light the final Hanukkah candle, just a week after the two nations agreed to formalize relations. They would be joined virtually by several UN ambassadors, including from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain and moderated by Rabbi Yehuda Sarna of the Jewish Council of the Emirates.