August 18, 2020

Israeli Food Companies Hope Israel-UAE Peace Deal Will Yield “Dividends”

Tel Aviv…Israel’s food manufacturers are hoping that the peace deal recently signed between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will finally open new markets for them in the Arab Gulf states. Kosher Today has learned that several Israeli companies have long maintained some form of relationship with the Arab countries and in fact exported products to the Gulf states through a third country, namely Cyprus and Greece. The fact that Israel produces foods that are kosher is a huge advantage to the Arab buyers. With the anticipated launch of air service between Israel and the UAE, including regular freight service, means that the Israelis will be able to sell directly to UAE importers.

Opening up trade with the Arab nations was once referred to as the “peace dividend” of the normalization of diplomatic and trade relations with the lucrative Arab markets in the Gulf. These raised expectations were very much in evidence in the aftermath of the Oslo accords and peace agreements with the Palestinians, Egypt and Jordan. But disappointingly, the Israelis never realized that dream as relations remained strained. Israel expects that the UAE agreement will lead to peace deals with Bahrain and Oman and hopefully to the ultimate prize, Saudi Arabia. The remaining Jews in Yemen are expected to be transferred to the UAE where the Jewish community is currently estimated at 1500. Some kosher food is currently available in the UAE within expectations that more will be imported.