Israel Opened its Pavilion at Dubai’s Expo 2020

On Thursday, Israel opened its gleaming pavilion rather ceremoniously in Dubai at the world’s fair, almost a year after it normalized ties with the UAE. This came during the global coronavirus pandemic that has managed to disrupt cultural and tourist exchanges that were promised by the accords between the two countries that were brokered by the United States. The arch of the pavilion comprised of some flashy videos that promoted the high-tech advances, windmills, and historic sights of Israel and they came to life at night. Patriotic balloons were floating, while Zany Hebrew music was also played, while the Palestinian pavilion was also nearby.

The doors of the Palestinian pavilion have not been officially opened at the Expo 2020, as employees are reportedly struggling to get their handicrafts out of the West Bank that’s under Israel’s control. The Israeli party had a prominent presence of protection officers, who were wearing earpieces and dark suits. Reporters were shepherded by security into a separate room through x ray body scanners. Such a great level of security was not given to any other panel. Yoel Razvozov, the Tourism Minister of Israel, cut the ribbon at the pavilion and then spoke to the crowd of revelers.

He invited them to visit Israel. This week, the ties between the UAE and Israeli were further cemented, when a long-awaited visa agreement was signed by Israeli officials in Dubai. The officials also took a walk through the mirrored pavilion and saw their reflections unfold. Wearing the traditional floor-length white dresses, the Emiratis gazed at the vertical screens to see panoramic views of the Old City of Jerusalem, while a pop version of Shalom Aleichem was playing. Skullcaps were worn by all Jewish attendees that boasted the UAE’s tourist logo. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Noam Katz said that it wasn’t just about the visitors’ center or the pavilion. 

Speaking about the Israeli pavilion at the Dubai Expo, Katz said that it was basically a power gathering. Next week, the Foreign Minister is taking a trip to Washington and said that they were extremely concerned about the nuclear advances that Iran was making, particularly in the wake of the nuclear deal between world powers and Tehran that was now left in tatters. He said that they were voicing their concerns with everyone. He added that Israel would do what is necessary for defending itself, but they wanted the international community to be part of the effort for dealing with the problems associated with Iran. 

Iran has maintained that it has only peaceful intentions where its nuclear program is concerned and they are only escalating to bring the United States back to the deal. Donald Trump, the former president of the US, had imposed economic sanctions on Iran after pulling out of the deal back in 2018. The director-general of the Tourism Ministry, Amir Halevi said that a greater number of tourists from Israel were expected to visit Expo 2020 in the next few months, as travel restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus were being eased. 

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