We are now seeing the concrete dividends, as reported in the Jerusalem Post, of Israel's rapprochement with the pro-US Gulf states and Saudi Arabia in the face of the common Iranian nuclear threat: it is groundbreaking that Bahrain's king Hamad has denounced the Arab boycott and declared that Bahrainis are free to visit Israel. However, the king may be out of synch with his Shi'a population, and a new Museum of Tolerance may be not enough to dispel the very real hostility that some might feel towards Jews. (With thanks: Lily)
King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa
LOS ANGELES – Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa
has denounced the Arab boycott of Israel and said his subjects are free
to visit the Jewish state. The statement by the head of the Persian
Gulf country, which does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, was
revealed at a multi-national event last week in Los Angeles, hosted by
the city's Simon Wiesenthal Center.
At the event, Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, who head the
Wiesenthal Center, revealed the king's pronouncements made to them
during their visit to Manama, Bahrain's capital city, in early 2017.
A walk through the city, at that time was an eye-opener, Cooper said.
There was a church, with a huge cross, next to a Hindu temple, and 90
meters on an impressive mosque. Even a small synagogue, the only one in
the Persian Gulf region, still stands in an older part of the city.
When Hier and Cooper met with King Hamad, they also discussed the ruler’s plan to establish a Museum of Religious Tolerance in the capital city by the end of this year.
At the Los Angeles event last week, delegations of Buddhists in saffron
robes, Sikhs in turbans, and Muslims with keffiyehs and hijabs [Muslim
head-covers for men and veils for women], mingled with Jews with kippot
[skullcaps] and Christians in business suits.
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