In another sign of rapprochement between Saudi Arabia, the State of Israel and the Jewish world, the Saudi newspaper Arab News recently appointed Rabbi Marc Schneier as a regular columnist. Rabbi Schneier is the first rabbi to write for any Saudi newspaper as a regular columnist.
Arab News is the leading English-language newspaper published in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. Schneier will write twice a week for the newspaper on a variety of topics, including: interfaith dialogue, Israel’s ties with the Gulf, cultural issues related to the Jewish and Muslim world, and more.
The first column he published called on Arab countries not to give up on President Biden in anything to do with American foreign policy in the Middle East. “This indicates a growing acceptance by the Saudis of Judaism and the State of Israel,” said Rabbi Schneier. “This is another expression of the change that the Middle East is undergoing towards Jews and Israel.”
It is not surprising that a Saudi newspaper is the first to employ a rabbi as a regular columnist. “Let us remember that the whole wave of bonds growing in the Gulf began with the former King of Saudi Arabia who in 2008 convened the first intercontinental conference,” noted the rabbi. ”He wanted Islam to reach out to other Western religions and especially Christianity and Judaism. I participated in this evolution as part of the warm acceptance of Abrahamic religious traditions. It is part of the whole process of change and transformation that is happening in the Gulf.”
Rabbi Marc Schneier is a well-known American rabbi who founded and heads the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. For the past 15 years, Rabbi Schneier has been warmly received in the palaces of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Rabbi Schneier was previously described by Newsweek magazine as one of the 50 most influential rabbis in the United States. He is the rabbi of the Hampton Synagogue in New York and one of his nicknames in the United States is “the celebs rabbi.” He serves as an adviser to the King of Bahrain and frequently visits the Gulf States.