Friday, October 30, 2020

Bahrain pledges to educate against antisemitism and anti-Zionism

Bahrain has signed an agreement with the US State Department, represented by the US antisemitism 'tsar' Elan Carrand his deputy, Ellie Cohanim,  to combat antisemitism, anti-Zionism and delegitimisation of Israel. JTA reports:  


Elan Carr and a representative of the al-Khalifa institute signing the agreement

The agreement signed Thursday is well short of the legislative adoption of the IHRA definition that the Trump administration has sought from countries, and that has been adopted by a number of US state governments, with the backing of some pro-Israel organizations. The Bahrain memorandum outlines only educational programs and does not include enforcement language.

 The institute that al Khalifa runs, which mostly builds goodwill with other faiths and nations, does not appear to be connected to any Bahraini body that would enforce the definition. Still, the significance of a Muslim Arab country that not long ago would not formally recognize Israel now signaling its willingness to educate its population about the value of a Jewish state was not lost on Carr, who is of Iraqi Jewish origin, or his deputy, Ellie Cohanim, who was born in Iran. 

 “As a child, I had to flee my homeland of Iran with my family to escape the Islamic revolution of 1979 that brought into power this despotic regime which to this day oppresses the people of Iran with the most appalling human rights record,” Cohanim said at the signing ceremony.

 “My story is the story of almost 1 million Jews, all indigenous to the Middle East, all who love their homelands.” Carr also described the longing Jews for Arab lands feel for their homelands. “I come from a heritage that lived for millennia, with Arabs and with Muslims and flourished in the Middle East,” he said. 
“We who come from that region, understand that there were wonderful periods, not only of tolerance but of true affection.” 

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