How Will the "Progressive Bloc" Deal with Conference Attended by Israeli Knesset?

2023-03-10 - 5:20 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): During the 2022 elections, the Progressive Democratic Tribune (Al-Minbar) issued a political document, along with 3 loyal political societies, in which it said that it would "support candidates who oppose normalization in the next parliament." It did the same in several statements it issued later, as it consistently rejected normalization, became part of the "Bahraini Initiative Against Normalization with the Zionist Enemy" and signed all its statements warning people of the evils of normalization.

The Progressive Democratic Tribune succeeded in making 3 MPs reach the parliament who formed what is known as the "Progressive Bloc" today, noting that one of them became deputy speaker of the House of Representatives. Bahrain's hosting of the 146th General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Manama from 11 to 15 March is an opportunity to test all the "progressive" stances rejecting normalization that it has been urging people to uphold. 

How would the "Progressive Bloc" deal with the participation of an official delegation from the Israeli Knesset headed by Danny Danon in the meetings of this conference?

Danny Danon told the "Israel Hayom" newspaper: "We are traveling there [Bahrain] to represent Israel and to promote the issues that are important to Israel," revealing that "The delegation's central challenge will be convincing additional nations [Bahrain] to join the sanctions on Iran," and "respond to anti-Israel attacks by the Palestinian representatives." He stressed, "we can bring significant achievements for the state of Israel through the IPU," noting that "the delegation will call on the international community to condemn terrorism," i.e. the Palestinian resistance operations, and "condemn the Palestinian authority's support of attacks."

Abdulnabi Salman, head of the "Progressive Bloc", also spoke during a recent seminar held by the Bahrain Institute for Political Development (BIPD) about what he called "the importance of holding the conference on Bahraini soil" and how "it will be a good opportunity to introduce all the Kingdom's achievements at various levels." But now it seems that Salman is facing a new challenge other than "introducing all the Kingdom's achievements at various levels," which is to introduce people to his real project with the bloc to which he belongs, which is dealing with a conference attended by an Israeli delegation. 

Will the "Progressive Bloc" MPs attend the conference like any ordinary conference, where they appear contradictory to the calls they have been making and urging the people to reject normalization and boycott all normalization activities? Or will they boycott the conference, or at least withdraw from the sessions attended by the Israeli delegation, or confront it fiercely as the former Speaker of the Kuwaiti Parliament, Marzouq Al-Ghanim, does, thus staying true to their words, history, and statements affirming the Palestinian right and the necessity of being aware of the normalization tricks mentioned in the statements they sign? 

There are many questions about the positions of the Progressive Tribune and its "Progressive" parliamentary bloc. The meetings of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Manama will be an opportunity for them to answer them with their actions, not words, and convince people that they have not changed. It is the most important test for them to prove whether they support the Palestinian right by word and deed or normalization.

Arabic Version