Why Does Gov’t of Bahrain Love and Seek Normalization with Israel?

2019-05-19 - 3:07 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): "I do not know a country other than Bahrain carrying out a random naturalization process...we know what happened in Palestine, I don't know any other country," said imprisoned opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman while speaking about the catastrophic process of naturalization that Bahrain has been committed to.

Sheikh Ali Salman delivered this speech on August 21, 2014, i.e. four months before his arrest. Perhaps this is a conviction that he and many others now have, which is that the government of Bahrain does not only love Israel, but adores this state with its racial and discriminatory policies and attempts to follow Israel's footsteps in all aspects.

Detained human rights activist Nabeel Rajab said similar words when he announced that the ruling family in Bahrain adopts a strategy for demographic change similar to that previously adopted by the United Kingdom to establish the state of Israel.

with a simple search, one can find that there are more than 70 articles of various events that show the closeness of the Bahraini regime to Israel, and its love over a period of only 7 years (since 2012). Meanwhile the public relations between Bahrain and Israel date back to 1994 when the then Israeli environment minister visited Manama.

Hence, it is not strange to an observer of such events to see the Bahraini Minister of Foreign Affairs, Khalid Al Khalifa, sharing an article of an Israeli Ambassador on his official Twitter account in 2012. It is not strange also to an observer to read that the Bahraini Minister of Foreign Affairs condemned a Palestinian operation in Al-Quds, said that Iran is more dangerous than Israel or mourned the death of Shimon Peres whom he deemed a man of peace.

Since public statements are something and normalization is another, it is evident how Bahrain has always rushed to welcome Israelis. Bahrain invited Israeli jewelry merchants to visit the island kingdom in July 2013 and hosted Israelis in December 2016 who published a video of them singing at Bab Al-Bahrain "We will Build the Temple". Meanwhile, the Government of Israel officially attended the FIFA Congress meetings in May 2017 and an Israeli participated in a car race held in November 2017. The Government of Israel also took part in the World Heritage Committee conference organized by Bahrain in June 2018, noting that the Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad attended the opening of the conference. Should one say that the previous meetings were held under the pretext that these events were international thus it wasn't anyone's decision to prevent a certain party from attending, it could be said that the peak of normalization was reached when the Israeli Government was invited to attend an Entrepreneurship Congress organized by Tamkeen, a Bahraini governmental institution.  

But Bahrain's normalization with Israel has taken it to another level, as it has become an ally of Israel. The Israeli Prime minister started to publicly mention and defend Bahrain, as well as Israeli Defense Minister who began to declare that Iran is a threat to Bahrain.

The examples of normalization are countless. It seems that the Government of Bahrain wants to copy the Israeli experience. It sees Israel as a successful model in the replacement of indigenous people with settlers from other countries. It builds them housing areas as Israel builds settlements. It also competes with Israel in the rate of prisoners to the population and practices awful racial discrimination against its Shiite citizens exactly as Israel practices discrimination against Arab Palestinians.   

Bahrain sees- as Israel- that it can do whatever it wants despite international condemnations from the UN and human rights organizations so long as it is an ally to the rich and powerful countries. One can see Bahrain deploying checkpoints and setting up barriers in Shiite areas just as Israel does in Palestinian areas.

Bahrain still needs to build a segregation wall that separates Shiites and Sunnis in order to fully copy the Israeli experience. This would unlikely happen in the current period, but may happen in the coming years.


Arabic Version



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