Bahrain’s move is open betrayal of Palestinians: Iran FM

October 2, 2021 - 18:27

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian late on Friday censured Bahrain for welcoming the Israeli foreign minister to Manama, saying the move amounts to a “blatant betrayal” of the oppressed Palestinian people.

“The Bahraini government’s welcoming of the foreign minister of the fake Zionist regime is a blatant betrayal of the oppressed and resilient Palestinian people’s cause,” Abdollahian said in a post on his official Twitter account in Arabic language.

Abdollahian added Iran only recognizes one country named Palestine with al-Quds as its capital, Press TV reported.

The top Iranian diplomat warned there is no doubt that the presence of the Zionist regime of Israel in the Persian Gulf region would result in nothing but insecurity for Bahrain and the entire region.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid visited Bahrain on Thursday to open the Israeli embassy in Manama and sign a number of cooperation deals with the tiny Arab country. He met Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. Lapid’s visit to Bahrain is aimed at advancing the U.S.-pushed normalization deals between Israel and a number of Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.

Lapid also toured the Bahrain headquarters of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet.

"Our opportunities are shared. Our threats are also shared, and they aren't far from here," Lapid told reporters, indirectly referring to Persian Gulf power Iran.

He added, "Our three countries (Israel, Bahrain and the UAE) work together because we have similar interests in the region."

In Gaza, Hamas criticized Bahrain for hosting Lapid. Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said this represented "an encouragement" of Israeli "crimes against our people".

Lapid has already opened the Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi and promised to establish the regime’s embassy in Rabat soon. However, Sudan’s foreign minister said over the weekend that her country has no plans to open an Israeli embassy in Khartoum.

In a statement on Friday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Bahrain’s “despicable” welcoming of the Israeli minister is at odds with the will of the Bahraini people, stressing that the visit left an “un-removable stain” on the reputation of the rulers of the Persian Gulf country.

Khatibzadeh expressed regret that the Bahraini rulers are ignoring the “daily crimes of the Zionist regime against the oppressed but resistant people of Palestine” and said such moves will not give legitimacy to the Zionist regime and have no effect on the move to liberate the holy Quds as the first qibla of Muslims in the world.

“Iran only recognizes one country named Palestine with al-Quds as its capital”

The spokesman added, “The people of the region will remain opposed to the process of normalizing relations with the Zionist regime.”

Bahraini protesters on Thursday staged nationwide rallies to express strong opposition to the visit. The demonstrators poured into the streets of the capital Manama to protest Lapid’s visit as they carried banners in condemnation of normalization with Tel Aviv, and set ablaze Israeli flags in rejection of the trip.

Over 240 Bahraini Muslim scholars blast Israeli FM’s visit to Manama, reject normalization

More than 240 Bahraini scholars have strongly denounced the first visit by Israel’s foreign minister to the Persian Gulf and expressed their solidarity with the Palestinians. 

“We denounce the presence of the foreign minister of the Zionist enemy in Bahrain, and renew our rejection of all forms of normalization with the usurping regime [of Israel], including the opening of an embassy and a trade office in Manama,” the scholars said in a joint statement published on Friday.

“We also reiterate our firm support for the Palestinian nation and every iota of the blessed Palestinian lands, which has been drenched in the blood of martyrs through years of resistance and steadfastness. The murderous invaders are now spilling the blood of Palestinians in al-Quds and Jenin.”

Also, on Friday, a group of young Palestinian men converged outside the diplomatic mission and raised national Palestinian flags to condemn the Al Khalifah regime’s decision to normalize relations with Israel, and voiced their support for the Palestinian people.

Also, dozens of people took to the streets in Samaheej village on the northern coast of Muharraq Island, waving Palestinian and Bahraini flags. Protesters staged similar rallies in the villages of Abu Saiba and Shakhura, where they carried banners in denunciation of the visit.

Elsewhere in Sitra Island, which lies 5 kilometers south of the capital Manama, Bahraini regime forces attacked demonstrators. The participants were chanting slogans against the inauguration of Israel’s embassy in Manama, when regime forces fired shots and tear gas canisters to disperse them.

“A shame”

Canadian author and journalist Eric Walberg denounced normalization with Israel as a “shame”, saying Bahrain was among the first regions to embrace Islam, but the ruling regime is acting against the interests of the Muslim world and in favor of Israel. 

“It is just a very sad situation. I don’t see how this can contribute to any kind of the remotely peaceful settlement of the situation. It is just adding more fuel to the fire. There is going to be more protests and uprising in Bahrain followed by cruel suppression, and Israel is just waiting to start a war and leave the whole region in shambles,” Walberg told Press TV.

It is disgraceful and humiliating for those Arab states which have normalized ties with Israel or are possibly on the line to do. They have closed their eyes to Israel’s continuous theft of the Palestinian lands and its cruel behavior toward Palestinians.

Richard Falk, an international law and international relations scholar who taught at Princeton University for forty years, says “the lights have remained scandalously dim at the UN” with regard to the sufferings of the Palestinian people.

Wring an article in the Middle East Eye on May 18, 2021 while Israeli forces and extremist settlers attacked Palestinians in Jerusalem early that month, Professor Falk said Israel has already long lost the main legal and moral arguments and is in the process of losing the political argument.

Israeli police used rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades against Palestinian protesters in the compound of al-Aqsa mosque. More than 600 Palestinians were wounded and images of the police using force against the protesters at Islam’s third holiest site inflamed Arab anger.

As tensions escalated, Hamas stepped into the fray, firing rockets into Israel and demanding that Israeli settlers in the occupied East Jerusalem stop harassing Arab residents who were awaiting eviction orders from Israeli courts. Israel responded by launching its biggest military campaign against Hamas since its 2014 war.

“Western leaders pathetically call for calm on both sides (Israel and Palestinians) as if both sides shared equal blame, while perversely affirming the one-sidedness of "Israel’s right to defend itself", which supposes that Israel had been attacked out of the blue,” Falk said.

The West’s unquestioned and unjustified support for Israel has emboldened Israel’s cruel behavior toward the Palestinians.  Moves by certain Arab countries to normalize ties with Tel Aviv have made the Israel regime more arrogant.

“Is this but one more cycle of violence exhibiting the unresolvable clash between a native people overwhelmed by a colonial intruder emboldened by a unique religiously grounded settler sense of entitlement? Or are we witnessing the beginning of the end of the century-long struggle by the Palestinian people to defend their homeland against the unfolding Zionist project that stole their land, trampled on their dignity, and made Palestinians victimized strangers in what had been their national home for centuries?” asked Falk, who was also appointed by the UN to serve a six-year term as the Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights in 2008.

Falk believes that the Palestinians will never give in their right despite all griefs and hardships.

“Events have made clear that the Palestinians are withstanding prolonged oppression with their spirit of resistance intact, and refuse to be pacified regardless of the severity of the imposed hardships,” he commented.

Israel and its Western allies have been demonizing the Palestinian groups, such as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad Movement, which have been fighting to get rid of the Israeli occupation.

“For Israelis and much of the West, the core narrative continues to be the violence of a ‘terrorist’ organization, Hamas, challenging the peaceful state of Israel with destructive intent, making the Israeli response seem reasonable. It is thus framed as not only a response to Hamas' rockets but also as a harsh punitive lesson for the people of Gaza, designed to deter future attacks. The Israeli missiles and drones are deemed ‘defensive’ while the rockets are acts of ‘terrorism’, even though Israeli human targets are seldom hit, and despite the fact that it is Israeli weaponry that causes 95 percent of the widespread death and destruction among the over two million civilian Palestinians in Gaza,” the international law expert explained.

He adds, “Unlike South Africa, which never claimed to be a democracy, Israel legitimated itself by presenting itself as a constitutional democracy. This resolve to be a democracy came with a high price tag of deception and self-deception, necessitating to this day a continuing struggle to make apartheid work to secure Jewish supremacy while hiding Palestinian subjugation.”

The international law professor predicts that the Palestinians will finally win over Israel as the Blacks won over the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

He says the signs of Israel’s defeat in the face of Palestinians’ resistance are gradually becoming clear.

“Israel’s own sense of vulnerability to a South African scenario has been exposed by this growing tendency to brand supporters of BDS and harsh critics as "antisemites" which seems in the context of present development best described as "a geopolitical panic attack," Professor Falk remarked.

BDS is the acronym for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement which works to end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law.

In his May article, the professor added, “I find it appropriate to recall Gandhi’s famous observation along these lines: ‘First, they ignore you, then they insult you, then they fight you, then you win’."