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“Bahrain, for its part continues to astonish Israelis with its enthusiasm over its the newly opened peaceful ties with Israel. Last weekend, Sheikh Khaled bin Khalifa al Khalifa, a member of Bahrain’s royal family who serves as the Chairman of the King Hamad Global Center for Co-Existence and Peace signed an agreement in Washington with Elan Carr, the US anti-Semitism monitor where both sides committed to work together to fight anti-Semitism. The Bahraini center adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism. The IHRA definition defines anti-Zionism as a form of anti-Semitism.” —Caroline Glick
Although the outcome of the Abraham Accords in August was shocking and difficult to imagine, this next step is also deeply satisfying.
The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have joined Israel in the Accords, and I’m sure it took a great deal of effort to bring it to fruition. Also, Sudan has been removed from the terrorist list and is working on normalizing relations with Israel, as are at least four other Arab countries.
I think these countries realized that from an economic standpoint, it was foolish not to normalize relations with Israel; they have so much to gain from working together. Abandoning their political support of the Palestinians after years of their recalcitrance regarding a peace accord was certainly no surprise; some Arab countries believed they could distract their citizens from their own internal issues by demonizing Israel in its peace process with the Palestinians. But as Arab countries began realizing their own internal progress and technological advancements, they recognized they had more to gain from working with Israel than not. And familiarity with others waters the seeds of acceptance.
To me, the most satisfying result of these agreements, however, is this follow-on acknowledgment that anti-Zionism is the same as anti-Semitism, and that Bahrain has agreed to fight this scourge. Hatred of Jews is embedded in Arab cultures, so for Bahrain to take this step shows courage and maturity—and wisdom. I think we will see other Arab countries follow suit. I didn’t believe in my lifetime that I would see any Arab country make this commitment.
Maybe that commitment is the miracle.
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So what message can we take from the courage of Bahrain to step forward and condemn anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism for what it is–a hateful, destructive force that thrives on the hatred of those who must find scapegoats to find relief from their own lives?
I think our Congress needs to take a hard look at these actions of the Bahrainis. America is supposed to be one of the most accepting countries in the world when it comes to Jews. Yet, as I look at the emergence of anti-Semitism coming from the mouths of Progressive House members, I wonder if they will believe they are better empowered, after this election, to act on their virulence toward Jews and Israel? If Kamala Harris becomes our new Vice-President, she has already expressed her sympathies for the Palestinians, who were denied funding by the Trump administration and shut out of the Abraham Accords.
I guess we’ll just have to watch and wait for now.Published in