Abdullah Al Khalifa Blandisher for Israel and Lacks Diplomacy: Was Mossad Spying on Bahraini Dissidents in Manama?
2022-03-17 - 3:29 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Bahrain Foreign Ministry Undersecretary, Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, made sure to appear during the seminar that lasted for one hour and 3 minutes, and which was held on the sidelines of Munich for Security Conference, as a cheeky Zionist, and made a clear effort to endear the audience to his new Zionist doctrine, which he believes will be the password to make the international society overlook human rights violations in Bahrain.
The Bahraini official went prepared to the seminar, which was moderated by Washington Post international security correspondent, Souad Mekhennet, a German of Moroccan origin. The seminar gathered Abdullah Al Khalifa, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who boasted during this seminar that he went to Bahrain on board the same plane which took Anwar Sadat to Al-Quds in the 1970s, and UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, who attended the seminar remotely.
Al Khalifa appeared at the seminar to have studied by heart the total number of agreements signed between Bahrain and Israel, as well as the dates of the Mossad chief visits to Bahrain. He flattered the Israeli Minister of Defense, praising the editorial written by the latter in the English-speaking Bahraini GDN newspaper, coinciding with his visit to Bahrain, for the purpose of "The Abraham Causeway", in an indication from the Israeli Minister to the acceleration of normalizing relations with Bahrain.
As the audience raised questions, a former member of the German parliament interjected, however, Abdullah Al Khalifa, also praised Germany, which, according to the Bahraini official, is scheduled to host a youth workshop bringing together Bahrainis, Israelis and Germans soon. Nonetheless, one question from the seminar director for Abdullah Al Khalifa was enough to prove one fact that this man has no diplomatic sense and that Zionist flattery will never make him a high-class diplomat.
The seminar began with an intervention from Gantz, who threatened Lebanon and Iran, and ended his speech amid applause from the audience, including the undersecretary of state of foreign affairs. Then it was Gargash's turn to speak; he began to explain why the UAE normalized relations with Israel, and then came the role of Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa.
Al Khalifa started his intervention by talking about peace that brings stability and well-being to the region, praising as expected King Hamad and his vision of peace, and then talked about the development of the relationship with Israel within 17 months, from the opening of embassies and the exchange of ambassadors, to the signing of 38 political, economic and social agreements, as well as inaugurating flights to Tel Aviv on board the national carrier, Gulf Air.
Al Khalifa went further by saying that Bahrain is working on a strategy to strengthen relations with Israel over the next 10 years, pointing to cooperation between the two countries in the fields of "technology, trade, investment, health, environment, sustainable energy, religious and cultural coexistence" and sharing of a common strategic vision.
Asked about Bahrain's selling out of the Palestinian cause after normalizing relations, Al Khalifa said the normalization of relations with Israel was welcomed by some, while some remained silent, describing those who opposed the agreement as "extremists".
Al Khalifa reiterated Bahrain's official statements about their so-called continued support for the Palestinian cause and not abandoning the issue of Palestine and the two-state solution, and boasted that during his visit to Bahrain, the Israeli Foreign Minister talked about Israel's approval of a two-state solution. But the journalist asked Israeli Minister Gantz, who refused to answer the question, saying only that Israel could not "deny the existence of the Palestinians, nor can they deny our existence," but described the talk about the 1967 borders as an "illusion", in a direct insult to anyone who talks about a two-state solution on the 67 borders. Al Khalifa, however, did not comment as if this doesn't mean him.
Moderator Souad Mekhennet moved to talk about the most important thing that concerns us in this seminar, which is related to the Pegasus spy program produced by the Israeli NSO company, which has been proven to be used by Bahrain and the UAE in the pursuit of activists and dissidents (The Ruler of Dubai Mohammed bin Rashid used the Pegasus program to spy on his ex-wife and other family members, according to international organizations).
The Israeli Defense Minister refused to comment, citing his inability to talk about "secret agreements between states," but he denied Israel's responsibility for spying on activists by saying that "export licenses were clear in how this software was used and what should be used."
When the director of the seminar moved to the Bahraini foreign minister, he seemed clearly confused, denied the accusations against Bahrain and went directly to talk about security cooperation with Israel, revealing the presence of Mossad and their work in Bahrain.
Souad Mekhennet did not believe what she heard and directly stopped him, wondering: "Are you saying this ironically or are you making a statement, I want to make sure that everyone understands what you said." The Bahraini diplomat tried to correct his mistake: "Let me continue please", Mekhennet replied: "Of course, go ahead". He continued "If security cooperation between Bahrain and Israel meant more stability and security, so be it, if it meant saving the lives of innocent civilians, so be it. That's why there were multiple visits of the Mossad chief in public. Bahrain's official news agency announced the visits; his first visit was in September and the second was in May 2021, where he was received by his Bahraini counterpart."
It was clear that the Washington Post reporter was not ignoring the question, and she wanted to get an answer from the Bahraini official, and asked him again, did you use Pegasus against the activists.
Abdullah Al Khalifa hesitated and said, "Can you repeat the question?" He replied that the company had officially announced that it had not made any agreement to sell the software to Bahrain.
During the interventions of the audience, a member of the European Parliament re-asked about the Pegasus program, and asked the Israeli Defense Minister about the list of 37 countries that had previously purchased the Pegasus program and which was published by the Israeli government in December 2021 and did not include the UAE and Bahrain, wondering if this list is still the same or has other countries joined. The Israeli minister declined to comment and generally replied on the subject, saying that Israel was reviewing the issue.
For the world, the Bahraini official's denial means nothing. The targeting of activists' phones in Bahrain using the Pegasus software has been proven, according to official notices obtained by some from the US giant phone company, Apple, leaving us with only two possibilities.
Either the Bahraini government owns this program and is spying directly on activists and journalists, or what Foreign undersecretary Abdullah Al Khalifa said means that Mossad employees work in Bahrain, and they are targeting the phones of Bahraini activists at Bahrain's request.