What to Know about Second Most Important Figure in Israeli Embassy in Manama

Hiba Tareef
Hiba Tareef

2022-10-27 - 5:47 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Hiba Tareef is perhaps a name one doesn't think much of after hearing, since at first glance it seems like a local name belonging to a well-known Bahraini family. However, this is not true at all. Hiba Tareef is currently the second person in the Israeli embassy in Manama after the Israeli Ambassador Eitan Na'eh where she serves as deputy chief.

Hiba Tareef is an Arab Druze. She speaks Palestinian Arabic with impeccable fluency. She comes from a powerful Druze religious family that lives in Julis, western Galilee, in occupied Palestine.

"I am excited to begin my diplomatic mission as Israel's Deputy Chief of Mission to the Kingdom of Bahrain," she wrote via her Twitter account on September 7, 2022, announcing that she started taking up her duties in Manama. Since this date, she has quietly reserved a seat at local events and popular circles which she could reach. However, she rarely appeared in the embassy's "photos" and statements that were entrusted to only one person, the ambassador himself.

She is tasked with establishing relationships and her Arabic tongue and Druze origins help her.

The Israeli embassy has failed to achieve any significant infiltration of the public in terms of the insanely accelerated normalization steps. The opposition was able to mobilize public awareness by building a high mental wall that established viewing normalization as "betrayal", betrayal which the ruling family and a few opportunists are particularly good at.

The embassy has tried one way or another to gain access to popular opinion but failed. One of these ways was a miserable attempt to make links with Bahraini trade families and houses, among them the Kano and Fakhro families, for instance, as well as other families and houses in the trade business, in order to create partnerships and investment projects. However, this attempt was repelled and rejected.

It didn't work even when it hired U.S. investors and businessmen who have been flocking to the country recently in search of investment partnerships on the grounds that they are American Jews and not Israelis. A close source interviewed by Bahrain Mirror says that one sentence resonated in their faces in different forms: "We do not want to and we are not interested!"

When the embassy tried to hide behind the mask of Palestinian investors to open a normalizing restaurant on Budai Street, called "Rose Marine" on the grounds that they were "1948 Arabs" with Israeli citizenships by force, the fate of this other miserable attempt was the closure of the restaurant only a month after it was opened.

In an interview with Ebrahim Nonoo, the head of the Jewish Community in Bahrain and chairman of the Board of Trustees of The House of Ten Commandments synagogue, revealed - perhaps unintentionally-how this mission has so far been a failure. "Some Israeli traders have a desire to invest and create jobs in Bahrain [...] but we have not seen development on the ground [...] there is much talk and we have not seen projects or investments [...] there are many ideas for projects but the movement does not exist on the ground."

The wall one confronts with the Bahraini people is psychological and large, but it is also a tight cultural and ideological wall of one of the most politicized Gulf peoples. It seems that "Hiba Tareef" appears to have been brought in to overcome cultural hardships. There is no one better than an Israeli figure of Arab origin, who is fluent in the language of the people, speaks like them, and is aware of the symbols of their culture, and even belongs to a religious faith similar to theirs, to play this role.

There is no information about Hiba Tareef on the Internet before her joining the Israeli mission in Manama, even if you try to look up her name in Hebrew in search engines. There are no previous statements, no official missions announced by this name, and no photos or anything.

The only source available about her is her personal Twitter account, which was newly created, just last year in July 2021. It appears that it has been set up as part of her preparation for this task in Manama, where she showcases her keen interest in Bahrain.

"So excited to start this amazing journey!!" was her first tweet on August 5, 2011, with the Israeli Foreign Ministry hashtag, without mentioning the journey. Three days later she wrote, "I had the honor of meeting [Bahraini] Undersecretary for Political Affairs, H.E. Dr. Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa today, thank you for sharing with us fascinating stories and words of wisdom." On the 25th of the same month, she wrote "Soon I'll be going on my first mission. Try to guess where will it be??" This confirms that her account was established in preparation for her cultural mission in Bahrain one year before the decision to officially appoint her.

However, her account points to useful things about her, especially with regard to her family background, who reside in the Julis area of historic Palestine.

Historically, her family, Tareef, led the Druze community in Mandatory Palestine and now in occupied Palestine. One of the most prominent Sheikhs of her family who she always posts about in her account is "Sheikh Muwaffaq Tareef" who has strong ties with the occupying power and is currently considered the spiritual head of the Druze sect in "Israel" and the head of the Supreme Druze Religious Council, the judge of the sect and the head of the Druze Supreme Court of Appeals.

Her grandfather, Sheikh Amin Tareef, who received his religious education in Lebanon and died in 1993, was the judge of the sect and had a high symbolic status among the Druze community.

Hiba Tareef is of a cultural background suitable to carry out a soft infiltration mission, but the people of Bahrain are immune enough to make this mission impossible.

Arabic Version