NYT: Arabs & Jews Celebrate Hanukkah Together in Bahrain

 الوفد اليهودي الذي زار البحرين
الوفد اليهودي الذي زار البحرين

2016-12-30 - 6:42 م

Bahrain Mirror- Exclusive: The New York Times newspaper said in an article it published that "Orthodox Jews in black coats and skullcaps danced with Arabs in flowing robes and checkered kaffiyehs at a Hanukkah celebration over the weekend in Bahrain."

The newspaper indicated to the video of the celebration, which included a Jewish delegation giving a large silver menorah to Arab dignitaries and members of both groups dancing together, appeared on Monday on YouTube, where many commenters lauded the multicultural celebration.

The article the newspaper published on its Facebook page received more than 5000 Likes, 761 shares and more than 2900 comments. Some of them supported the celebration and others condemned it. Among the comments was "Meanwhile UK built its military base in Bahrain and the Saudi police together with the Bahraini police have been cracking down on peaceful protests since 2011, which are still ongoing. Massive incarceration, torture and the revoking of the citizenship of native Bahrainis that dare to oppose the king. God bless the American-Saudi democracy."

On the other hand, one of the commenters said "The monarchy in that country is Sunni which is a small minority in that nation of mostly Shia. There have been uprisings and demonstrations which resulted in Saudi troops intervening to keep this despot propped up in power. He needs all the friends he can get because they're certainly aren't among his own people."

However, another commenter believed that "This is a perfect example of how religion is used by the powerful to distract the masses from how they are getting royally screwed by the elite. In this manner the corporate media such as the NYT is doing exactly what it's purpose has become, lull the public into a state of catharsis."  

"Jews and Muslims lived in a peaceful coexistence for centuries. Then came the western powers who decided it was best to create division and destabilize the region," another one said.

The event drew the ire of Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, which called the celebration a "humiliating and disgraceful display" in a statement.

"The positive energy that there was tonight needs to be spread around," an unidentified Jewish man tells the group in American-accented English before handing over the menorah, which he called symbolic. "The symbol is that hopefully through this night we can bring infinite light to the world."

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that Bahraini officials hosted the Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony on Saturday, the first night of the eight-day holiday, and that it was attended by members of the country's small Jewish population, foreign businessmen and "other local Bahrainis."

In 2015, King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain invited European Jewish leaders to conduct a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony in the capital, Manama, the first such ritual performed in the country since 1948, according to the Conference of European Rabbis.

"Here in Bahrain members of all the religions live with no fear, and we will continue to allow Jews to live peacefully and quietly, maintaining their lifestyle, their customs and the commandments of their religion without any fear," the king said at the time.

There are fewer than 50 Jews living in Bahrain, but the king has embraced them, adding Jews to his Shura Council, which advises him, and appointing a Jewish woman, Houda Ezra Ebrahim Nonoo, as ambassador to the United States in 2008. She is the first Jewish ambassador posted abroad by any Arab country.

Arabic Version

التعليقات المنشورة لا تعبر بالضرورة عن رأي الموقع

comments powered by Disqus