09/14/2020, 10.40
BAHRAIN - ISRAEL
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Bahrain, activists and opponents against the 'shameful' agreement with Israel

Frustration, critical comments and contrary voices dominate social media. Many emphasize the "complexity" of the situation and the "problems" of a thaw in relationships. Former parliamentarian speaks of a "black day". The Shiite group Al-Wefaq denounces the "betrayal of Islam and the Arab world".

 

Manama (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Activists and the opposition in Bahrain have displayed their hostility to the recently announced "normalization" of relations with Israel. After the announcement over the weekend by US President Donald Trump many took to social media to express frustration, criticism and opposition to teh move underlining the "complexity" and "problems" of a thaw between the Gulf nations and the "Jewish state".

Within hours of the White House announcement, the hashtags "Bahrainis against normalization" and "normalization is a betrayal" went viral on Twitter. The kingdom's leadership - Sunni and close to Riyahd, in spite of a majority Shiite population - is linked to Israel by a profound aversion to Iran. Furthermore, Manama relies on the United States for its defense as is seen in the stationing of the US Fifth Fleet off its shores.

For Bahrain's foreign minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, the agreement represents a historic step towards achieving peace in the Middle East. Opposite is the position of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, who speak of "another stab in the back" by an Arab government. However, unlike what happened in the Emirates, in Bahrain - where part of the population does not hide their aversion to government policies - large sectors of the country have expressed disappointment.

Deputy Ali Alaswad spoke of "a black day in the history of Bahrain", a nation that was the scene in 2011 of anti-government protests forcibly repressed  by the authorities. Since then, hundreds of people have been arrested and deprived of citizenship on charges of "terrorism" and ties to Tehran.

Among the critical voices there is also the Shiite group Al-Wefaq, the most representative in Parliament until the post-2011 repression and whose leader Sheikh Ali Salman has been in prison since 2014. The current leaders have condemned the agreement between "the despotic regime of Bahrain and the Zionist occupation government ”, which represents“ a betrayal of Islam and the Arab world ”.

Hussain Aldaihi, deputy secretary general of Al-Wefaq, wrote that normalization confirms that "these regimes represent a threat to their countries, peoples and nation" by implementing agendas "contrary to their own interests." Other groups opposed to the agreement, at home and abroad, have expressed anger and opposition calling Manama's choice "shameful".

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