Bahrain Reaffirms Support for Palestinians

Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, right, waves next to Bahrain’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, left, upon their arrival to attend the closing session of the “Bahrain Forum for Dialogue: East and west for Human Coexistence,” Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

By Hamodia Staff

YERUSHALAYIM — Amid the pleasantries about peace and mutual cooperation, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa reiterated his support for the “legitimate rights of the Palestinian people” with Israel’s President Isaac Herzog standing alongside him. 

Herzog departed for Bahrain Sunday morning for the first official visit to the Gulf country by an Israeli head of state.

Speaking in Arabic, King Hamad stressed Bahrain’s “firm position in support of achieving a just, comprehensive and sustainable peace that guarantees the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and that will lead to stability, development and prosperity for both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples, as well as all peoples of the region.”

The Bahraini leader did not, however, speak of the need to establish a Palestinian state. Iran was also not on the script at their public meetings on Sunday.

Herzog’s 2-day visit has not been welcomed by everyone. On Friday, protesters in Bahrain chanted “death to Israel.” 

Some carried signs with Herzog’s image that said “criminal” and “you are not welcome in Bahrain.”

Local authorities allowed the protests to take place, but will not permit similar events during Herzog’s visit.

Israel increased security for the president and his wife, along with a delegation of business leaders, in light of the opposition.

Meanwhile on Sunday, Herzog met with members of Bahrain’s Jewish community in Manama, where he received a siddur with an Arabic translation, a book about the history of the indigenous Jewish community, and a copy of the 1931 permit to open the synagogue.

The attendees included community head Ebrahim Nonoo, former ambassador to the U.S. Houda Nonoo, and Bahrain Shura Council member Nancy Khedouri.

The community, which now numbers less than 50 people, was able to form a minyan for Shabbos with the help of two visiting Chabad rabbis and members of the U.S. Fifth Fleet stationed in the island kingdom, according to The Times of Israel.

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