2023 Portfolios: Menorah Settlement in South, Land Plot for Jewish Temple in Manama

Derari island spans 1.5 square kilometers and is shaped like a menorah, a significant and sacred religious symbol for the Jews
Derari island spans 1.5 square kilometers and is shaped like a menorah, a significant and sacred religious symbol for the Jews

2024-02-23 - 12:01 ص

Bahrain Mirror (2023 Portfolios): The issue of "Judaization of Manama" came to the forefront in 2022, when reports surfaced in August about a government plan to establish a "Jewish neighborhood" in the capital, Manama, as part of the rapid normalization agreements.

By the end of 2022, information at the time indicated that a substantial portion (40%) of the historic city's neighborhoods, stretching from Bab Al-Bahrain through Al-Mutanabbi Street to the Jewish Synagogue, was earmarked for transformation into Jewish buildings and symbols, as shown by a newly unveiled tourist map.

However, this issue didn't end with 2022, as it continued into 2023 with the revelation of an artificial island spanning approximately 10,000 square meters in the capital's waters, sold for 9 million dinars to a Jewish company affiliated with the Jewish National Fund, tasked with acquiring land for Jewish settlements worldwide, both within and beyond Palestine.

The story of the island on the waterfront was just the beginning. In February 2023, Bahrainis learned about a larger island designed in the shape of a Jewish menorah, named Derari Island. This island, intended to be another settlement for Jews, was crafted by the Mohammed Gharib Engineering office and reclaimed within the Durrat Al Bahrain project in southern Bahrain.

Financed by Al Salam Bank to the tune of at least $30 million, the candelabrum-shaped island spans 1.5 square kilometers (one million and 500 thousand square meters) within the 5-kilometer expanse of Durrat Al Bahrain.

The Durrat Al Bahrain project, owned by the King of Bahrain, hosts prominent figures such as the Minister of Interior and the Attorney General, the Head of the Court of Cassation, the Vice President of the Supreme Judicial Council, among others.

In April 2023, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning issued a decision, which raised concerns about plans to construct a new Jewish synagogue near Bab Al Bahrain. This move, part of a broader project to Judaize Manama's neighborhoods, involved reclassifying real estate in the city center as "religious services," with scant clarification on the nature of these services.

The decision was based on a presentation made by the CEO of the Urban Planning Authority, which he introduced as social, urban and planning studies. The property is located in the complex surrounding the Bab Al Bahrain area, which is considered the main front of the capital, Manama.

Amidst these developments, doubts have intensified regarding the government's persistent efforts to alter the identity of Manama, by expanding Jewish presence to encompass up to 40% of the city's historic quarters.

Arabic Version