In many Muslim countries, recognition of Israel is, to say the least, a sensitive topic.
And Bahrain is among one of the 31 countries that don’t officially recognize the Jewish state.
Yesterday, however, the Gulf Kingdom publicly acknowledged that it might be readier to cooperate with Israel than its official stance implies.
In a tweet on the possibilities for peace between Palestine and Israel yesterday, Bahrain’s foreign ministry detailed a vision of both states coexisting beside each other.
وزير الخارجية: إن من حقنا ومن أكبر تطلعاتنا أن يأتي اليوم الذي نرى فيه الدولة الفلسطينية المستقلة وهي تعيش بسلام وأمن إلى جانب دولة إسرائيل— وزارة الخارجية (@bahdiplomatic) 26 September 2016
Ministry of Exterior: From our rights and from our bigger aspirations the day comes that we see an independent palestinian state and it exists in peace and security next to an Israeli state.
The tweet didn’t cause a ripple: replies to it were far from outraged. But it shows us a lot about the confused relationship between Bahrain and Israel.
As detailed by a 2011 Mondoweiss report, the deal between the two is complicated. In 2009, the Crown Prince of Bahrain penned an op-ed in The Washington Post, calling for dialogue between Israelis and Arabs. The Times of Israel also recalls a controversial 2007 meeting between Bahrain’s Foreign Minister and his Israeli counterpart, Tzipi Livni, and even Bahrain’s King Hamad boasting of diplomatic ties.
But among the people the royals govern, the sentiments are not so friendly. Mondoweiss reports that public opinion thought it “unacceptable” to reach out to Israel.
It’s unlikely that a single tweet will change much in the links between the two countries. But the statement certainly suggests Bahrain is keeping its options open.
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