Delegation does not represent Bahraini people, says opposition group
Amid worldwide protests against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israeli capital, Bahrain chose to “send its message of peace” through 24 member delegation to Israel, while two countries do not maintain diplomatic ties so far.
According to The Times of Israel, the delegation calling itself “This is Bahrain” will stay in Israel for four days to “send a message of religious tolerance and coexistence”. Earlier Bahraini officials had suggested that stronger ties between the two countries will benefit in confronting their mutual rival Iran.
In 2011, Wiki-leaks had highlighted the existing contacts between Bahrain and Israel “at intelligence/security level” and revealed that Manama was “willing to move forward in other areas”.
Meanwhile, according to Lebanon based Al-Mayadeen TV network, main opposition group Al-Wefaq National Islamic society has, on Sunday, slammed Bahraini delegation’s visit to the Palestinian lands occupied by the Zionist regime of Israel. The statement issued by the political group claimed that the delegation do not represent Bahraini nation.
The Al-Wefaq statement further said, “Both Bahraini Shiite and Sunni people will remain loyal to the Palestinian cause. We support the Palestinian nation’s intifada and the protest movements in defense of Palestine in the Arab and Islamic Ummah and across the world.”
Moreover, there are reports that Palestinian people have prevented the Bahraini delegation’s visit to Al-Aqsa mosque, the third most revered religious site for Muslims.
In May this year, Al-Wefaq Society had decried the visit of an Israeli delegation to Manama saying that Bahraini people were against normalization of ties with Zionist regime, a common term for Israel used by Iranian media.
In September this year, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Aal-e-Khalifa, while speaking at an event hosted by pro-Israeli group Simon Weisenthal Center in Los Angeles, called for an end to the Arab boycott of Israel. Later he told Center’s director Rabbi Abraham Cooper that Bahraini citizens are free to visit Israel as they please.
Around that time The Times of Israel had quoted unnamed Israeli official source saying that Israel and Bahrain could normalize ties by next year.
Bahrain is witnessing widespread protests by opposition demanding their rights since 2011, the year when Arab spring began resulting into political uprisings in several countries in the region causing the fall of governments in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.
Manama alleges Iran for supporting its opposition Shia groups. Armies of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE have been supporting Bahraini forces in containing the opposition movement.