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.”
Iraqi Shi’a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, May 17, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Alaa al-Marjani / File.
Shi’a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said on Saturday that Jews could return to Iraq if they “demonstrated loyalty,” the Hebrew news site Walla reported.
The 44-year-old Sadr heads the Saairun coalition, which won the most seats in the Iraqi parliamentary election last month.
His comment on Jews came in response to a question asked by a supporter, the Walla report said.
In the aftermath of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, Sadr’s Mahdi Army targeted American troops.
Iran’s base in southern Syria, as photographed by satellite imagery, in October 2017. (Screenshot)
An Arabic news source reported on the ongoing negotiations between Israel and Russia concerning the Iranian military presence in Syria, stating that Russia has agreed to “a green light” for Israeli military strikes against Iranian military target.
Israeli Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman is currently in negotiations with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Moscow concerning the Iranian military presence in Southern Syria. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin are also in telephone contact over the matter.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
“Paranoia predisposed him to believe in nefarious, hidden forces driving events,” the New York Times writes of Trump. “Political opportunism informed his promotion of conspiracy theories.”
But that could just as easily apply to the New York Times.
The Jewish community is in danger and so is the Free World as we know it. THE CONFLICT BEYOND ADVOCACY
The Jewish community is in danger and so is the Free World as we know it.
Reprinted from IsraelNationalNews.com.
Who would have believed that within certain communities, there could be more supporters of the radical Arab Palestinian agenda than supporters of the free, democratic and altruistic State of Israel. The relentless Arab Palestinian deceitful and well-organized propaganda, with the irrational support of many in the Western Media, may be a part of this transition.
The Democratic Party in the USA used to be a staunch supporter of the just cause of the State of Israel, but a recent Pew Research Center report showed a dangerous shift in this attitude. Within the more radical liberal branch of the Democratic party, about 38% will be anti-Israeli while the supporters of Israel will be only about 26%. When you look at the overall numbers as they relate to the Democratic party, you find that about 31% will be anti-Israeli and only 33% will be pro-Israel. On the other hand, within the Republican party, about 74% will be pro-Israel.
Yahya Sinwar, the leader of the Islamist Hamas movement in Gaza, speaks during a protest east of Khan Yunis, April 16, 2018.
Yahya Sinwar, Hamas’ leader in Gaza, recently gave interviews to Al Jazeera and Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen TV, which is close to Hezbollah, to boast about his movement’s achievements in the wake of the recent border fence demonstrations and the Great Return March. In the interviews, on May 16 and 21, respectively, Sinwar also threatened that if Hamas is forced into another round of fighting with Israel, its Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades will have a few surprises in store for the “Zionist enemy
“The Israeli nation had been constructed as a sort of gateway by which the sparks of purity would shine upon the whole of the human race the world over.” The Arvut, Baal HaSulam
The Trump-Kim summit generated a renewed sense of hope along with questions about the future. Will we witness a new and peaceful North Korea? Will Trump’s deal-making skills become instrumental in promoting world peace? And specifically among Israel analysts: Will Trump be able to make a deal to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
On May 22, Susanna Maria Feldman went missing. It was the day after the Jewish holiday of Shavuot which celebrates G-d’s revelation of the Ten Commandments to Moses and a nation of freed slaves.
The fifth commandment is, “Honor thy father and mother.” The sixth is, “Thou shalt not murder.”
And in the German city of Mainz, whose Jewish community dates back to Roman times, a worried mother waited for the worst. Susanna had gone off with her friends. They came home. And she didn’t.
What can one learn from the controversy? Basically, that it is safer to be a member of Hamas than to be gay. Palestinian leaders would much rather see young Palestinians trying to kill Israelis than talk about gays in their own society. In the world of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, there is no room for comedy or satire.
On June 8, an estimated 250,000 people attended the Gay Pride Parade in Tel Aviv. Tourists from all around the world came to Israel to watch and participate in the event. The theme of this year’s event is “The Community Makes History” — a reference to the LGBT community in Israel.
Fifty one years have passed since the Six Day War, fifty one years during which Israel has advanced on every front, in economics, technology, its society (it switched from a socialist to a nationalist regime) and, most significantly, in its geo-political situation: Two Arab countries bordering Israel, Jordan and Egypt, signed peace treaties with the Jewish State, and a number of Arab states have relations with Israel behind the scenes. Israel is an honored member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and its per capita GNP approaches $40,000 per annum.
The anti-Israel boycott is despicable. In the past, the Jews were boycotted by the unenlightened. Today, the unenlightened are not alone. They’re in a coalition with the pseudo-enlightened.
Jibril Rajoub, the man who announced that if he had an atom bomb he would drop it on Israel, won a huge victory, because the game against Argentina was supposed to be the jewel in the crown. It was supposed to join the Eurovision win in proving that Israel doesn’t have to give a damn about the rest of the world. But no, it does.
We must admit that Rajoub is not the only one who defeated Israel. Israel defeated itself. Because when you do things to spite other, you end up paying the price. And we’re paying it.