After accusations that the Mossad was behind the assassination of senior Hamas man Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, Dubai has closed its gates to Israelis – including Deputy Minister Gila Gamliel (Likud) who was to attend the World Economic Forum conference as Israel's representative.
Gamliel was elected as a "young leader" to the Forum of Young Global Leaders, whose objective is to create an international community of some 200 future leaders under the age of 40 from around the world. She received the invitation about two weeks ago and confirmed she would participate. However, all the organizers' efforts to obtain an entry permit came to naught – because of the assassination of al-Mabhouh.
"The invitation to Dubai was, from my point of view, an opportunity to make contacts with senior figures in the Emirates who represent a moderate voice in the Arab world," Gamliel told Ynet. "I believe that the best way to achieve peace is by forming economic connections and cooperation on the basis of common interests. Because the extremist regime in Iran is a common threat to them, I expected to find an attentive ear in Dubai, and a willingness to cooperate."
Gamliel was elected from among some 5,000 candidates for the role by a committee headed by Jordan's Queen Rania. Among the members of the prestigious forum are tennis player Roger Federer, Twitter CEO Even Williams and hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean.
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