Jewish delegation meets Barhain diplomats (Photo by Foundation for Ethnic Understanding)
A delegation of 17 North American Jews from the Hampton Synagogue on Long Island made history last week when they embarked on the first ever Jewish delegation to the Gulf state of Bahrain.
The delegation was led by Rabbi Marc Schneier, head of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding – a foundation that in the past worked to strengthen Black-Jewish ties in the United States, and is currently working to build Jewish-Muslim ties worldwide.
“I’ve enjoyed a very close and personal relationship with the king of Bahrain, His Majesty Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. I was the first rabbi ever invited to the palace,” Schneier told Tazpit Press Service during an interview in Jerusalem, where the delegation headed after its trip to the Gulf.
In recent years, Bahrain has been working to establish a reputation as a hub for tolerance and interfaith dialogue in the Middle East. “The King was the first leader among the Gulf states to denounce Iran as an extremist terrorist state, and Bahrain was the first Gulf state to legislate against Hezbollah as a terrorist organization,” said Schneier, who firmly believes that the rise of Iran’s nuclear aspirations will serve as a catalyst to strengthening ties between the region’s more moderate players.
The delegation left for Bahrain on February 25th, where they met with members of the local Jewish community, which used to number nearly 1,500 Jews, but is now down to 37. They met with Huda Nonoo, a Bahraini Jew who currently serves as a member of the country’s parliament and has previously served as Bahrain’s Ambassador to the United States. Nonoo was the first Jew and the third woman to serve as an ambassador for Bahrain.
“Visiting Bahrain was eye-opening, a Muslim country where Christians, Jews, Hindus and others share neighborhoods and worship openly,” delegation member Sari Agatston told TPS. “This was followed by a trip to Akko, Israel where Muslims and Jews live in harmony. Both are an example of what could be.”
The delegation also met with Bahrain’s minister of tourism Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani. Schneir told TPS that Al Zayani encouraged similar future Jewish delegations to visit the country. “One of the objectives of our mission is to inspire other synagogues and other Jewish organizations around the world to come to Bahrain and visit the Jewish community and say thank you to the king for being so progressive, promoting inter-religious dialogue and cooperation,” Schneir said.
While Bahrain has made serious strides towards tolerance and interfaith dialogue, strides that are virtually unprecedented in the Arab world, the matter of relations with Israel is still a thorny issue. However, Schneier firmly believes that all of that is going to change, claiming firmly that it will be Bahrain and not Saudi Arabia who will be the first to break the embargo on Israel-Gulf relations.
According to Schneier, King Hamad has denounced the BDS movement and has called for more practical methods of dealing with the conflict. “If I were a betting man,” Schneier said, “I would bet on Bahrain’s horse to be the first among the Gulf state to win the race to relations with Israel.”
When asked how long he thinks it would take for such relations to come about, Schneir quickly responded, “within two years. I have no doubt.”
The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration — which seeks to criminalize criticism of migration — is nothing more or less than a dangerous effort to weaken national borders, to normalize mass migration, to blur the line between legal and illegal immigration, and to bolster the idea that people claiming to be refugees enjoy a panoply of rights in countries where they have never before set foot.
One thing about the agreement, in any event, is irrefutable: almost nobody in the Western world has been clamoring for this. It is, quite simply, a project of the globalist elites. It is a UN power-grab.
The waterfront in the Chilean city of Valdivia. Photo: Arvid Puschnig via Wikimedia Commons.
Top Jewish groups have welcomed a Chilean government decision made earlier this week to ban municipalities across the country from boycotting Israel.
The ruling — issued by the Comptroller General of Chile – stemmed from a complaint filed by the Chilean Jewish community over a move of the Valdivia municipality to ban the city from signing contracts with Israel-linked companies.
New immigrants to Israel arrive at Ben-Gurion International Airport, Aug. 17, 2016. Photo: Reuters / Baz Ratner.
A top Israeli minister called on the government on Sunday to craft a “comprehensive plan” to encourage the aliyah of French Jews.
In Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett’s view, there has been a “historic missed opportunity” in recent years to bring more French Jews to Israel as immigrants.
“There are 200,000 French Jews who want to come here, and the state bureaucracies simply aren’t prepared for it,” Bennett, who also serves as education minister and head of the right-wing HaBayit HaYehudi party, claimed at a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. “These are ethical people, Zionists, lovers of the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, and it is our moral obligation to help them.”
Israel has started uncovering and destroying Hezbollah’s attack tunnels under the Lebanese border, but destroying the group’s ambitious precision missile project will be much more difficult.
The Israel Defense Forces placed a camera into Hezbollah’s secret cross-border attack tunnel before sunrise on Dec. 4. They pushed it into the Lebanese side, under the Blue Line that separates the two countries. At dawn, two Hezbollah operatives reached the spot on their morning rounds. In the video disseminated by the IDF on Tuesday evening, one of the operatives is seen approaching the camera with suspicion. He stuck his nose in its direction and started to sniff around until something exploded in his face and he ran back the way he’d comVisibilitye.
The timing of Operation Northern Shield, to destroy Hezbollah tunnels leading from Lebanon into Israel, suggests that considerations other than security were behind the decision to launch it.
An Israeli commando from Yahalom, an engineering unit, takes part in a tunnel-hunting drill near Tel Aviv, March 7, 2012.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech to Likud activists on Dec. 2 that was both defensive and combative toward law enforcement authorities. He complained about the supposedly suspicious timing of the police announcement recommending his indictment for taking bribes in Case 4000, coming as it did one day before Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh concluded his term in office.
This week, for the first time, Israel made public its discovery of the tunnel constructed by Hezbollah and reaching into Israel’s sovereign territory. This brought to an end a long period during which a large number of Israelis living in communities adjacent to the Lebanese border reported hearing sounds of digging as well as feeling tremors in the walls of their homes.
Attack tunnels are intended to allow for significant numbers of armed infantry bearing weapons, artillery and supplies, to traverse them within a minimal time span, avoiding Israeli lookouts and thereby gaining the element of surprise.
Last Saturday, Iran’s “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani called Israel “a cancerous tumor” in a speech at the regime’s annual Islamic Unity Conference.
Rouhani’s fellow speakers included deputy Hezbollah chief Naim Qassem and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh. Both terror bosses called for the destruction of the “cancerous tumor.”
With the predictability of a Swiss clock, the Europeans rushed to condemn Rouhani. The EU in Brussels condemned Rouhani. The German Foreign Ministry condemned Rouhani. And so on and so forth.
We could have done without their statements.
It was clear that with the onset of Operation Northern Shield—meant to neutralize terror tunnels Hezbollah has constructed along the Israel-Lebanon border—some would call it a public relations stunt by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Those who believe the timing of the police’s recommendations in Case 4000—announced on the last day of Roni Alsheikh’s tenure as the police commissioner—was reasonable, somehow complain about the timing of the operation.
On Sunday evening, December 2, the people of Sderot, Israel – a town located a mere kilometer from the Gaza border – gathered to light the first candle of the town’s menorah to commemorate the first day of Hanukkah. Jews around the world celebrate this holiday, which marks the time some two millennia ago when the Jews regained control of Jerusalem and rededicated the Second Temple.
What makes the candle lighting in Sderot worth mentioning is the fact that it is particularly symbolic of how the Jewish spirit looks for ways to turn tragedy into triumph.
This is obviously a short-lived honeymoon that will end the day after the UN General Assembly vote on the anti-Hamas resolution. The morning after the vote, Abbas will wake up to the realization that Hamas was a strange bedfellow indeed.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s hatred of Hamas is far from secret. But Abbas is now defending Hamas because he despises the Trump administration, which has sponsored a UN draft resolution that condemns Hamas. Pictured: Abbas (right) meets with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on May 30, 2007 in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Abu Askar/PPO via Getty Images)