Bahraini FM Curries Favor with Netanyahu: Confronting Iran More Important than Palestine (Warsaw Summit)

2019-02-17 - 1:43 ص

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): If there was a star of the summit held in Warsaw on the Middle East other than the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, he would certainly be the Bahraini Foreign Minister, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa. Bahrain would "eventually establish diplomatic ties with the Jewish state," he said in unprecedented boldness and with no hesitation in response to an Israeli newspaper reporter at a press conference. Until recent years, his country, the Kingdom of Bahrain, used to consider its steps towards closer ties with Israel would take years, yet now it deems the journey days away.

The FM issues a friendly statement towards Israel every other day. He seems to be in such a hurry, more than any of his Gulf counterparts who are also interested in rapprochement with Israel, but not in this manner.

For instance, the beginning of Bahrain and Oman's relations with Israel date back to the start of 1994. Oman is simmering its relations slowly over low heat temperature, while Bahrain is rushing it to a great extent. Manama is launching a new and accelerating era of relations with Israel, free of any "taboos".

This is what makes the Bahraini foreign minister an exceptional star during the conference that was held this week in the Polish capital, Warsaw. All his Gulf counterparts performed the "normalization" dance at a steady pace while the Bahraini minister went all out, dancing to loud beats. "Confronting Tehran is more urgent than solving the Palestinian issue," he said. He carried on making his loud daring comments, and the only time he stopped is when he was asked whether he met with the Israeli prime minister. He responded with silence, hinting to a "yes".

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, did a good job describing the intimate moments that took place on the stage of the Warsaw conference, saying that they represented a "breaking of a taboo". The Israeli PM hailed the very fact that 10 Arab foreign ministers agreed to share a conference stage with an Israeli leader and said that the Arab delegates not walking out symbolized "the breaking of a taboo".

He further stated: "We have here Arab foreign ministers who say that Israelis have the right to defend themselves and do not say it secretly but on a platform with 60 other countries present (...) There is a change here (...) I don't want to call it a ‘New Middle East', but something amazing is happening here."

The Bahraini ruling family wiped out any inhibitors that may stand in its face, preventing it from going far in the process of normalizing relations with Israel, an issue that does not receive any popular approval. All the real leaders of public opinion are either locked up in prison or in exile. Civil society in Bahrain has been completely bulldozed, and a thick veil of intimidation has been hanged in the face of any critical voices. Thus, the emergence of any real opposition that could constitute an effective deterrent to the government's steps towards normalization is unlikely. Now, it is possible to expect more dancing performances by the Bahraini foreign minister in the coming days and weeks in honor of the Jewish state. These dances; however, will only take place over a huge pit of corpses.

Arabic Version

التعليقات المنشورة لا تعبر بالضرورة عن رأي الموقع

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