Strengthening Relations with the UAE

NYU’s Abu Dhabi campus was a factor that helped Israel achieve deal

Strengthening Relations with the UAEIn 2008, when word got out that NYU was establishing a full-fledged campus in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with support of the government of Abu Dhabi, all kinds of questions were raised by members of the Jewish community and supporters of Israel.

In an April 30, 2008 article in the New York Jewish Week (”Washington Square on the Persian Gulf,” by Stewart Ain) I, then serving as Chair of NYU’s Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, explained that NYU, at the very first meeting, had made clear that this campus could only be established if Jews and Israelis would be welcome in the country.

I further explained that in order that the Abu Dhabi representatives would understand NYU’s commitments, NYU President John Sexton had appointed an Orthodox Jewish colleague to NYU’s negotiating committee and that Sexton had made sure to introduce me to the visiting Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, a crown prince of the UAE who was very involved in the setting up of NYU Abu Dhabi. To test the waters, NYU even sent a senior administrator to Abu Dhabi on an Israeli passport early in the process of opening the campus.

Read the rest of this article from the Jewish World.

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