Bahrain and Normalization with Israel: Tricks people into thinking it won't Happen, then surprises them (Entrepreneurship Conference Ploy)
2020-09-09 - 3:22 ص
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Following US Secretary of State Pompeo's visit to Manama (August 25, 2020), Bahrain gave the impression that it would not accelerate the signing of a peace agreement with Israel and that it is committed to the Arab initiative, a two-state solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state. Doing so, it seemed to follow Saudi Arabia's dominant decision, which confirmed through its Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan that it would not follow the UAE's lead in normalizing relations with Israel, as long as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not resolved.
However, this is nothing but a false impression that it wanted to pass to avoid popular rejection and contain its impact as much as possible. This reminds us of its cunning policy in dealing with the "Entrepreneurship" conference held in Manama on April 16, 2019. The truth is that Bahrain is following the UAE's footsteps, not Saudi Arabia's.
Let us recall what happened in this conference specifically since its organizer "Tamkeen Fund" announced that at least three Israelis would participate in the Conference as main speakers and about 45 others as regular participants.
Popular and civil society groups were quick to launch a package of large-scale lobbying activities against this participation once they knew about it, which eventually led to the withdrawal of many from the conference, especially the Bahraini and Gulf participants. This forced the organizers to cancel many scheduled seminars on its agenda. Lawyers also filed a lawsuit at the Emergency Court to prevent the issuance of visas to the delegation, which was rejected by the court. However, the effects of all this led the Israeli delegation to announce canceling its visit. This was generally welcomed due to the success of the popular rejection movement.
Then there was the surprise!
All members of the Israeli delegation were in Manama. Many Israeli figures outnumbered the announced numbers, led by Economy Minister Eli Cohen and former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. The Israeli participants were not only wandering in the conference halls, but in Manama and its neighboring areas. They even took many provocative photographs, such as those taken by an Israeli journalist in front of the Bahrain Anti-Normalization Society, showing his Israeli passport, which provoked many reactions.
On the media level, Bahrain is now playing the game of covering up what is being prepared behind the scenes regarding the Bahrain-Israel peace agreement. After strong confirmations in the Israeli media and by Israeli officials that it would be the Arab No. 2 state that would sign a peace agreement with Israel after the UAE, it rushed to make its cunning move. It issued a statement following US Secretary of State Pompeo's visit to Manama last week, renewing its position on the Arab Peace Initiative, the two-state solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state. It was understood that Bahrain was not in a hurry to normalize formally and publicly with Israel, at least for the time being. Some supporting persons applauded it for this initial position. But this was just an exercise of the same previous trick: Let the media lie to the people, numb the people, and then do what you want through a quick and sudden shock, i.e. don't let the people have any time to even criticize or express their rejection.
Bahrain hastily took three decisions last week which shows its true intentions for the upcoming stage: opening its airspace to Israeli flights to and from the UAE, blocking the Palestinian request to discuss the UAE-Israeli peace agreement at the Arab League, and finally the strange decree issued by the King of Bahrain prohibiting criticism, blame or accusation against the government in the House of Representatives.
The truth is that the party is ready and it seems to be a loud one. Israel's Kann TV quoted an official as saying that the official normalization with Bahrain will take place immediately after the signing of the agreement between Israel and the UAE in Washington, D.C., on September 13. Until then, we will hear a lot of misleading propaganda to distract attention and suggest that this will not happen.