Skip to comments.Bahrain Sides With Israel Against Iran (This Arab Country Does Not Even Recognize Israel)
Posted on 05/11/2018 9:53:21 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Iran launched dozens of rockets at Israel yesterday, causing little damage thanks to Israel's missile defense system. In retaliation, Israel targeted Iran's ability to operate in Syria. While this military confrontation is huge news, a Twitter message from an Arab diplomat may prove comparably important.
On Thursday, Bahrain diplomat Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa declared that the state of Israel has a right to defend itself against the Islamic Republic of Iran. "As long as Iran has breached the status quo in the region and has evacuated its troops and missiles, any state in the region, including Israel, is entitled to defend itself by destroying the sources of danger," Al Khalifa tweeted.
This is extremely significant, because Bahrain is among the Arab countries that have never recognized Israel's right to exist. Now, not only did Al Khalif acknowledge Israel's existence, but he defended the Jewish state's right to defend itself against a Muslim country.
While officially Muslim and with a legal system based on sharia (Islamic law), Bahrain is a large tourist destination, and it has a large population of non-Muslims in the country (mostly foreigners). Shiites, the minority across the Muslim world, make up 66-70 percent of Bahraini Muslims. Even so, the ruling family is Sunni and quashes dissent with an iron hand.
Bahrain and Iran have a tortured history, as Bahraini Shiites attempted a coup in Iran after the Islamic Revolution. Iran has also laid claim to Bahrain in the past.
This Arab country has a representative parliament, with women being granted the right to vote. Even so, repression has increased since 2007, and Bahrain was heavily criticized for brutal crackdowns on protesters in the 2011 Arab Spring uprising. Media can be prosecuted for undermining the regime.
While Jews make up a tiny minority of Bahrain's population, their rights are respected although political cartoons around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have often mocked them.
While Israel came into existence in 1948, the first Israeli delegation did not visit Bahrain until September 1994. In October 2007, Al Khalifa himself held a meeting with the American Jewish Committee. Even in that event, he declared, "Palestinian refugees should return to Palestine," effectively denying Israel's existence. In the same month, he met with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, drawing criticism from the Bahraini parliament.
Amid the Arab Spring uprising, WikiLeaks published in Haaretz hidden relations between Bahraini and Israeli officials. In February 2005, Bahrain's king, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa bragged about having contact with Israel's national intelligence agency, Mossad. He also indicated that Bahrain may develop relations with the Jewish state in other fields as well.
I think reports on this need to be clear: this isn’t really supporting Israel so much as it is opposing Iran.
There is nothing in this statement, for example, that would recognize Israel’s right to defend itself from Egypt.
It is only because Iran is upsetting the Sunni Muslim status quo and Israel’s actions also indirectly benefit those same interest that this man’s statements have been made.
I’ll go out on a limb and say that most of these Arab countries are pretty sick and tired of the perpetual war that has been, for the past 60+ years. The constant aggression.
They have seen what the US did to Iraq and Afghanistan, and doing it with an enormous amount of restraint. They see what has been/continues to take place in Syria, Lybia, Egypt and Yemen. Just people dying for no reason. The wealthy and powerful can send their kids to the UK, France, Germany, even the US for their educations, far from the violence and unrest. Those kids come back knowing that there’s a whole new world out there.
And they see that Iran is doing it’s level best to drag all of them into their desire to eliminate Israel and take on the USA. I doubt any of these folks want any part of that.
1) Bahrain and other countries in the region are more threatened by Iran than Israel, and especially so recently.
2) Iran isn’t really an Arab nation. There has never been a feeling of brotherhood with Iran by other nations in the region.
The very act of stating Israel has a right to anything is radical in Islam. Having Bahrain state this is the opening of a very sacred door. Also, Iran is Shia.
Bahrain is 70% Shia Muslim and the ruling elites are Sunni, they are sitting on their own powder keg.
The article and you overlook the important point
First, president Trump received in Riyadh the red carpet treatment with all stops pulled and all the belles and whistles. There in front of all the Arab world he announced the fact that there was cooperation between America, the Arab Gulf States, Egypt and Jordan and Israel against the common existential enemy Iran. The visit was a magnitude 9 earth quake in the region
Although the alliance existed secretly for quite some time, Trump unequivocally made it public. When an official from Bahrain speaks, it is certain that he speaks for the GCC with the possible exception of total agreement from Qatar.
Also, you drag religion into it. In today’s Arab world there is another, perhaps more important factor. That is business, money. Iran covets the wealth and business and industrial ability and wealth in the GCC. Egypt sees the GCC as a source of both business and jobs. The Saudi Crown Prince has in effect cast of the primitive shackles of super fundamentalist Islam in favor of prosperity.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, Russia's Vladimir Putin and Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan meet in Sochi, Russia November 22, 2017. (photo credit: SPUTNIK/MIKHAIL METZEL/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS)
The Three Amigos
Bahrain and Iran have a tortured history, as Bahraini Shiites attempted a coup in Iran after the Islamic Revolution. Iran has also laid claim to Bahrain in the past. This Arab country has a representative parliament, with women being granted the right to vote.
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