Bahrain establishing full diplomatic relations with Israel

Kingdom’s FM will join Tuesday’s Israel-UAE signing ceremony, sign ‘Declaration of Peace’; Netanyahu hails accord, says ‘there will be more’; Manama also urges Palestinian peace

By JACOB MAGID and RAPHAEL AHREN, TOI

Photo collage: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) at a press conference about the Israeli-UAE peace accords, in Jerusalem on August 30, 2020. US President Donald Trump arrive on the South Lawn of the White House on September 11, 2020. Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Windsor, England on May 10, 2019. (Andrew Matthews, Andrew Harnik, Debbie Hill/AP)

Photo collage: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) at a press conference about the Israeli-UAE peace accords, in Jerusalem on August 30, 2020. US President Donald Trump arrive on the South Lawn of the White House on September 11, 2020. Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Windsor, England on May 10, 2019. (Andrew Matthews, Andrew Harnik, Debbie Hill/AP)

US President Donald Trump announced Friday that Bahrain has agreed to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel, making it the second Gulf country to do so in less than a month.

“Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain agree to a Peace Deal – the second Arab country to make peace with Israel in 30 days!” Trump tweeted.

A joint statement released by the White House said Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Salman al-Khalifa spoke earlier in the day with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “and agreed to the establishment of full diplomatic relations between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain.”

Israel and the UAE announced they were normalizing relations on August 13, and a signing ceremony for their accord is being held at the White House on September 15. Bahrain will now join that ceremony, with its foreign minister Abdullatif Al Zayani and Netanyahu signing “a historic Declaration of Peace,” the joint statement said.

US President Donald Trump holds a bilateral meeting with Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Sunday, May 21, 2017, in Riyadh. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The joint statement specified that the parties would continue their efforts to achieve a “just, comprehensive and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to enable the Palestinian people to reach their full potential.” And Trump said a short while after the statement was released: “I can see a lot of good things happening with respect to the Palestinians.”

Nonetheless, the accord constitutes another major blow to the Palestinian leader and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who condemned the UAE-Israel deal as despicable and a betrayal, and sought in vain to have the Arab League condemn it earlier this week.


The Bahraini king’s senior adviser Khalid al-Khalifa said in a statement that the normalization deal “sends a positive and encouraging message to the people of Israel, that a just and comprehensive peace with the Palestinian people is the best path and the true interest for their future and the future of the peoples of the region.”

The news came shortly after the start of the Sabbath in Israel, but Netanyahu released a prepared statement and video hailing the agreement. “Citizens of Israel, I am excited to inform you that tonight we will reach another peace agreement with another Arab country, Bahrain,” Netanyahu said. “This follows the historic peace agreement with the UAE. It took us 26 years to get from the second peace agreement with an Arab state to the third peace agreement, and it took us not 26 years but 29 days to reach the peace agreement between the third Arab state and the fourth Arab state, and there will be more.”

US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talk with reporters before a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, January 27, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

He added: “This is a new era of peace. Peace in exchange for peace. Economy in exchange for economy. We have invested in peace for many years and now peace will invest in us. It will lead to very large investments in the Israeli economy, which is very important.”

“All of these agreements are made through hard, behind the scenes work over years, but they have now been realized thanks to the important help of our friend US President Trump, and I would like to thank him and his team for this important help. A new era — peace in exchange for peace.”

Joint Statement issued by US President Donald Trump on September 11, 2020, announcing Israel-Bahrain normalization

The kingdom of Bahrain, a tiny island nation close to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, had been expected by many to be the next country to establish relations with Israel, as it has long made public overtures to the Jewish state. It hosted the first major gathering of the Trump administration’s peace effort, a Peace to Prosperity workshop, in Manama in June 2019.

Earlier this month, Bahrain announced that it was opening its airspace to Israeli flights. Nonetheless, when Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner traveled to Bahrain 10 days ago after heading a joint US-Israeli delegation to the UAE, Bahrain’s king indicated that Manama would only ink a deal in concert with Saudi Arabia; and Riyadh’s crown prince told Kushner that an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord must precede any normalization agreement, in line with the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.


In his remarks after the statement was issued, Trump said of the Middle East: “Even great warriors get tired of fighting, and they’re tired of fighting.”

He also said that something “very positive” could happen in regard to Iran.

In this June 25, 2019, photo, from left to right, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner attend the opening session of the “Peace to Prosperity” workshop in Manama, Bahrain (Bahrain News Agency via AP)

Kushner noted Friday that the agreement is the second Israel has reached with an Arab country in 30 days after having made peace with only two Arab nations — Egypt and Jordan — in 72 years of its independence.
“This is very fast,” Kushner told The Associated Press. “The region is responding very favorably to the UAE deal and hopefully it’s a sign that even more will come.”

The UAE also welcomed the deal. “Today marks another significant and historic achievement which will contribute enormously to the stability and prosperity of the region,” tweeted UAE Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hend Al Otaiba.


Trump had hinted during a Thursday press conference that another country might join Israel and the UAE for their normalization signing ceremony.

“Next week at the White House we’ll be having a signing between the UAE and Israel, and we could have another country added into that. And I will tell you that countries are lining up that want to go into it,” Trump said during a White House press briefing.

“You’ll be hearing other countries coming in over a relatively short period of time. And you could have peace in the Middle East,” he said.

Regarding other possible accords, Trump said that a number of “big ones” are going to “come in,” and mentioned having spoken recently to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman. “I spoke to the king of Saudi Arabia, so we’re talking. We just started the dialogue,” Trump said.

In the weeks since the normalization deal was announced on August 13, US and Israeli officials have said other Arab states will follow the UAE’s lead and normalize ties with Israel, with speculation also focusing on Oman.

“King Salman and the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, they feel very strongly about the Palestinian cause. They would like to see the Palestinians work a fair deal and improve the lives of their people,” Kushner told reporters during a briefing on Wednesday.

“But again, they’re going to do what’s in the best interests of Saudi Arabia and the Saudi people and Muslim people from throughout the world as they take that responsibility very seriously,” Kushner said. “We’ll see what happens and for how long, you know, they want to do it. But I will say that a lot of people are losing patience with the Palestinian leadership.”

For his part, Trump on Thursday made a point of lauding UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his willingness to formalize relations with Israel. Trump called the UAE’s de facto leader a “warrior” and said “Mohammed’s very excited about this.”

Trump went on to claim that if he wins another presidential term in November, both Iran and the Palestinians will return to the negotiation table.

“If we win the election, Iran will come and sign a deal with us very rapidly. Within the first, I would say week, but let’s give ourselves a month because their GDP went down [by] 25% [as a result of US-led sanctions], which is like an unheard of number and they’d like to get back to having a successful country again,” Trump said.

“And I think… the Palestinians will get back into the fold,” the president continued, admitting that he was “frankly surprised” that Ramallah has continued to boycott his administration since Washington recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017.

However, he said his administration’s decision to withhold $750 million dollars in annual aid to the Palestinian Authority “is the best way… to bring [the sides] together.”

September 11, 2020 | 22 Comments » | 218 views

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22 Comments / 22 Comments

  1. This is another positive development.

    However, we need to remember that Israel and Bahrain have for many years had low-level (consular) diplomatic relations, The King of Bahrain has said many times that he recognizes Israel as a legitimate state. The Israeli and Bahraini foreign ministers have had two publicly announced public meetings, (although ten years apart), in Paris in 2009, and in Washington in 2019. After both of these meetings, the two foreign ministers held a brief joint press conference, issued a brief joint statement, and permitted “photo ops.”

    The King wrote an op-ed for the New York Times three or four years ago (I can’t remember if it was after Trump became President, but I think it was), in which he said that Bahrain recognizes Israel as a legitimate state. He also stated this publicly in a speech he gave at a conference of leading American Jewish organization in of all places Las Vegas. He also conferred there with diplomatic personnel from the Israeli embassy in
    Washington, who attended the conference. His discussions with them were in public, with the cameras rolling.

    As a result, the establishment of full diplomatic relations between Bahrain and Israel only formalizes a friendly relationship between the two countries that has existed for many years.

  2. Drop the charges against Netanyahu, you…you schmucks.
    To any and all American Jewish voters vice grip committed to the 1/2 dead appeaser of terrorists Biden and his true inner self, Kamala Harris, the real Democrap Presidential nominee ;and in addition, who are “horny” to boycott, divest and sanction Israel for sport, “Hey Limey err you a moron, a bloody traitor, or both”. Some of em have M.D. after their names or even U.S. Senator as a prefix.
    Bloomberg needs to apologize to Trump, if he has any character.
    Funny…he got the sugary beverage issue thing right.

  3. [continued]

    Prediction: After several more country’s leaders reverse their government’s positions on relations with Israel, to full diplomatic relations and a commitment to peace, Netanyahu will have time to think about how he wishes to prepare a successor for that day in which he put’s his own selfish interests over his needs to protect Israel 24/7. So much for the sham charges against him…utter bullshit. He “paid for his Cubans”.
    Bibi could have a billion U.S. in the bank easily by now if he were in the private sector, obviously. I think Olmert is the disgrace who should keep his mealy mouthed attacks to himself forever.
    Given time Netanyahu may or may not reconsider his relations with Mr. Bennet and see him as qualified to be his heir apparent.
    Time will tell.
    For me, Bennet proved himself as Minister of Defense. Let’s see what Netanyahu thinks. It will be interesting.

  4. @ Wooly Mammoth:

    You make some pertinent points, but there are some I just can’t understand.
    Perhaps you should change your name to “Wild and Woolly” Mammoth”.

    I’m not sure that Bennett presently qualifies as a successor, but he made a damned good impression as Defence Minister, as Shaked did in Justice. It takes ability to play 4 dimensional chess like Netanyahu can, to keep Israel on the rise as he has.

    I say “4” intentionally.

  5. My edit time ran out. I say “4” intentionally because Netanyahu’s skills are so complex that he almost seems to produce instantaneous miracles, although deep behind the scenes he’s been working on these items for years. If he ever lost the position of PM or stepped down, he’s make a wonderful Foreign Minister. BUT, any govt with him in it, will see him as de facto PM no matter who else is in that seat. Foreign politicians dealing with him must feel like boxers facing opponents who have 4 fists, of which they can only see two.

    So it could be a big problem.

    A delegation from Chad should be arriving in Jerusalem soon too.

  6. Some people are incapable of retiring from their profession.
    Netanyahu certainly does give signals that he is no where near contemplating retirement. Especially now with the anticipated normalization with an endless stream of formerly hostile nations. The ‘engineering’ of this unbelievable opportunity for Israel needs to be managed carefully and I do not think Netanyahu wants to leave this one to chance. I think you are quite right. He is going to see it through himself.
    It is Bibi’s Baby.
    Who would have imagined….Netanyahu, apparently.
    Good points, Edgar.

  7. @ Wooly Mammoth:

    Mentioning boxing reminds me of a joke from the “Dublin Opinion”. (a wonderful humourous magazine, unfortunately defunct) It was like “Punch”.only 50 times better..

    There’s a cartoon , a boxing ring, in which is one boxer, a ref, an announcer, and a large audience. They are all looking upwards.

    The caption… “Murphy hadn’t landed once in this round yet..” To me..hilarious-even after over 60 years.
    And during a spell of very bad weather which had been misread badly by the Weather Bureau. we see a cartoon of an observatory with telescope etc. And the weather reporter just before announcing, calling into the other room.. “Are ye shure you’re bunions is aching Peadar”.

  8. I wonder whether Israelis will now sell their country piece-by-piece to their “new friends”.

    Will Beitar Jerusalem soccer team be sold to UAE businessmen?
    Jerusalem soccer team with significant right-wing following may be sold to group of UAE businessmen.
    Tags: i24NEWS
    i24NEWS , 11/09/20 10:40
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/287055

    Voltaire once said that if Jews were to get their own country, they would sell it to the highest bidder.
    I hope his words are not starting to come true.

  9. @ Reader:

    I remember when I lived in Seattle, Washington during the 1970’s, the Starbucks Company had only one store, in downtown Seattle.
    The store had, as a general rule, very few, customers. The customer service was excellent and the expert salesperson would entertain your questions for as long as you like, with unlimited sampling to boot. It was totally a different experience. The exact opposite to the present day Starbucks.
    One could not purchase a Latte or a Cafe as Lait. Not even an espresso. No pastry ever set foot in the store. It was for the most part only whole coffee beans for sale. There were beautifully maintained wooden floors with around 15-20 wooden barrels of coffee beans. Next to each barrel was a thermos of coffee made from the respective beans for sampling only, from small paper cups.
    If you insisted, they would grind it for you. Most customer ground their own.
    There was a small area which had coffee makers, filters, grinders and small espresso machines etc.
    The prices were high, very high.
    When the owners decided to sell, the present Starbucks was born.
    The sign turned from brown to green and the rest is history.
    Now, here finally, is my point. The owners started a new coffee company and agreed to keep it out of Washington State for a period of time as well as other stipulations with the new owners.
    The new company they started was Peet’s. You may have heard of it.
    I have no worries about Israeli business acumen, nor should anyone.
    Watch the stock market and track Israeli stocks.
    Just a footnote about espresso in Seattle. Schultz, the future CEO of Starbucks came to the University District, where the University of Washington sits, to one of the oldest coffee houses in Seattle, The Last Exit on Brooklyn. I was the espresso operator on duty when Schultz and his entourage toured The Last Exit, to view our operation. Irving Cisski, the owner of The Exit pointed him and his fellow finely feathered colleagues out to me. Irv soon afterward switched suppliers of espresso to Starbucks from The Good Coffee Company.

  10. @ Reader:

    Voltaire was a schmuk (first time I’ve ever used this word, and it’s apt) living in “schmukian” times.. Beitar Jerusalem is just a football club. Not anything more. With likely foreign players under contract, as they all have these days. Fugitive Flatto-Sharon owned it one time.. Probably has had a dozen owners. It’s a business,..So what……??? So here-we-go-again with your over-the-top impulsive, unrealistic ,excitable statements.

  11. @ Edgar G.:
    @ Woolly Mammoth:
    Just a football club, huh?
    Would you say the same thing if it were bought by a group of Chinese businessmen?
    Would you say the same thing if all the Israeli real estate, stocks, start ups, factories, farms, etc., and, eventually, the politicians were owned by the “friendly” Arab countries or other foreigners (everything would be run beautifully and efficiently, of course).
    The foreigners which have never stopped hating Jews and wishing for another Arab state to “push the Jews into the sea”.
    Not everything can or should be bought and not everything can be measured in dollars.

  12. @ Reader:
    High time Jews stopped quoting Voltaire.

    “The Jews are an ignorant and barbarous people, who have long united the most sordid avarice with the most detestable superstition and the most invincible hatred for every people by whom they are tolerated and enriched.”

    ? Voltaire, Philosophical Dictionary
    tags: hatred, ignorance, jews, judaism, superstition

    https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1035440-the-jews-are-an-ignorant-and-barbarous-people-who-have

  13. G@ Reader:

    No Edgar, no.
    My point was simply that I trust the business sense of Israelis to do the right thing. After all, it is THEIR COUNTRY.
    If the sports team used as an example, Beitar, whose name is associated with the organization Beitar, one which was led by former Prime Minister M. Begin, of blessed memory, was permitted to be sold to foreign entities and it should not be, than Israel can change the law.
    The hypothetical quite honestly rings of an old anti-Jewish trope of one kind or another. A sports team is only worth it’s value in human resources, the players. You can not force them to play well or stay with a team as an active athlete forever, contracts aside.
    I think it is interesting that wealthy Arabs would wish to buy an Israeli Soccer team in order to profit from their success and root for their success rather than want to kill them is refreshing.
    Beitar is a historic Jewish Organization directly associated with one of the most steadfast unabashed unapologetic, bravery, unrepentant effective Zionist organizations in the last 100 years to put it mildly.
    If such a sale can be permitted under the existing laws and it is against the will of the nation it should be made illegal.
    I was not addressing that Edgar, sorry for the ambiguity.
    All I saw was the issue of the owners of an institution, Starbucks selling out their laid back, customer friendly, quality over quantity business to a pack of sharks led by Schultz, whose main interest was the bottom line.
    Again, I personally trust Israel to manage their new found popularity with those who have unjustly refused to recognize their existence and tortured and murdered them going as far back in history.
    I do not believe Israel will sell out their institutions and/souls for cash.
    That is an anti-Jewish trope, I was being sarcastic.

  14. @ Wooly Mammoth:
    “I do not believe Israel will sell out” Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
    If they DO sell the team to the Arabs, it will be a REALLY BAD SIGN.
    It will mean they forgot what they are there for.
    The most dangerous question is not WHY, it’s WHY NOT.

  15. [continued] Correction to last post typo. The previous post of mine was intended for Reader, not Edgar. First line should read, “No Reader, no”.

  16. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    So Voltaire was an antisemite, what else is new?
    There are 7-8 billion antisemites in the world.
    The possible sale of Beitar team just woke up this quote of his in my brain.
    Even a broken clock is right twice a day (I would much prefer that Voltaire would be wrong with this one, and I am talking about Israeli politicians who are the same as or worse than everywhere else, not about all the Jews).

  17. @ Reader:

    I understand your points and your fears. I have those same fears to some extent, but there’s nothing I can do about it. Also I don’t understand the nuts and bolts of the agreements between foreign investors and potential buyers, nor the workings of the Israel companies, whose actions are controlled by a Department of the Israel Govt. Likely the Economic Ministry/Finance…??. So what they are buying are maybe shares of the profits and losses, and an authority to (partially) hav an effect on the activity of the company.

    but I can’t imagine an Israel Govt. stupid as they so often are, would allow a foreign entity to buy and destroy or remove any Israel company ..at least, without very heavy indemnity. And real property cannot be involved because a piece of land can not be actually lifted and taken out of the country, making Israel “smaller”…

    So what we get is no more than a change in “management” and maybe the company going in a different direction..

    I’d appreciate your input because you have obviously spent time in research, which I rarely do.

    Beitar Soccer Club, for instance, has it’s home ground at the Teddy Kollek Stadium (remember him…Mr. Jerusalem) but I’m sure they don’t own it. Likely a group of investors, , or even the Municipality. And Beitar pay rent for it. So……..???

  18. @ Wooly Mammoth:

    I understand. As for Starbucks, I thought they were not doing well now for quite a while. .Anyway “The customer is always right”, and this axiom always prevails in the end.

    As for your other points I think I answered some of them in my post just above this. I feel we are both on the SAME side in this matter. Arabs are crazy about soccer and it’s like aniseed for a dog. But if they think that buying Beitar means denigrating what Israelis hold dear (Begin-Herut-Beitar) let them think so, they would be seriously wrong. .

  19. @ Edgar G.:
    My concern is that OWNERSHIP = CONTROL.
    A country which is constantly under attack (physical or psychological) like Israel must be more centralized and have its most important industries, etc. under government or local ownership.
    This is not merely a question of management but of FOREIGN CONTROL which may destroy the country (God forbid) with horrible consequences for the world Jewry.
    It may start small and proceed further and further if no one is paying attention.

  20. @ Edgar G.:
    El Al Airline (!!!) was recently sold to an American businessman (a religious Jew).
    What is wrong with that? you might ask.
    If this man is ever accused of improperly handling his company’s finances, or he goes bankrupt, or Jews become 2nd class citizens like in Nazi Germany what will happen to the “Israeli” airline?
    It will also be subject to all the US laws, rules, and regulations.
    To me this sort of thing is sheer insanity.

  21. Reader Said:

    “There are 7-8 billion antisemites in the world.”

    “The current world population is 7.8 billion as of September 2020 according to the most recent United Nations estimates elaborated by Worldometer. The term “World Population” refers to the human population (the total number of humans currently living) of the world.”

    World Population Clock: 7.8 Billion People (2020) – Worldometerwww.worldometers.info › world-population

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