Saturday, October 9, 2021

Bahrainis against Normalization with Israel protest , Media does not care

On Friday, Bahraini security forces arrested at least 30 Bahraini protesters as a group of Bahrainis organized a protest against the Normalization with Israel.

The protests started right after Friday prayers. The security forces dispersed the protest while it was on its way to the Israeli embassy in Manama.

Bahraini protesters against Israel
Protesters with the flags of Palestine against Bahraini police forces in Manama on 
Friday "Yusuf Al Jamri'

Here is a video showing the anti-riots forces encircling the protesters in Manama on Friday as they protested against the inauguration of the Israeli embassy in their city.

On October 1, 2021, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid inaugurated the Israeli embassy in Manama, nearly one year after signing a US-brokered or rather a Trump-brokered normalization agreement between Bahrain and Israel.

In September Israel named its veteran diplomat, Eitan Na'eh as its first official ambassador to Manama as Bahrain's first official ambassador to Tel Aviv Khaled Al-Jalahma arrived in Israel also in the same month to start working there.

From a protest on October 1 at night "@bumahdi313"

Since Lapid’s visit, small protests against Israel and the normalization of relations between the two countries have not stopped as far as I could tell till Friday and the security forces crackdown.

Here is another video from Friday's protests

If it were not for Twitter, I would not have known about those protests. The Bahraini newspapers ignored the news on its front pages despite the protests were not only in Manama.

“#Bahrain_rejects_zionists”, “#Together_against_normalization” and “#Bahrainis_against_normalizaton” hashtags in Arabic on Twitter have been very active recently.

I would dare to say they are the source of news about this protest movement as there is a lack of proper media coverage.

Since October 1st, there have been anti-Israel protests not only in Manama but also in several towns and villages outside the capital of the small Gulf state.

They are not mass protests but I believe in ice balls and from what I see what started as a protest against the normalization with Israel began to include other demands like “Freedom for Detainees” or slogans against the King.

A woman protester holding a banner in
the anti-normalization protest calling for the freedom
of Bahrain's political detainees. "Twitter"

There are men and women taking part in those protests.

The photos usually the protesters from a distance or blurred to protect their identity.

The security forces usually dispersed those protests in the morning only to face them at night last week.

Based on what I saw online the Shiite Wafaa Islamic Party and Islamic Amal Society are among the main political movements with a loud voice in this protest movement.

“Zionism is not welcomed in Islamic Bahrain” Is one of the slogans repeated by some of the protesters last week.

"Rael outside, no for normalization" banner in a rally at some local market
in Manama early October "Twitter"

For the record Bahrainis citizens whether Shiite or Sunna have been protesting the normalization agreement with Israel for a real since day one against all odds.

Technically this is the first major protests I have seen coming out of Bahrain since the anti-regime protests in 2011/2012 that were cracked violently.

It takes an act of real courage for those protesters to protest against the Bahraini regime after that crackdown.

In some irony, this protest comes at the same time a group of Bahraini citizens visit Israel documenting their so-called “trip to great Israel online”.

Interestingly I found a little interest if zero interest in the mainstream media or Western media in covering this movement, which actually is another form of opposition to the regime.

Needless to say, you do not read any reports or news criticizing the status of democracy or human rights in the small Gulf state anymore or even how the decision to normalize officially the relations with Israel was taken in an undemocratic way.

Only Al Jazeera reported those protests but I believe it has to do more with the tension between Qatar and Bahrain. Up till now, the water is not cleared at all between Doha and Manama despite things are better between Doha and Riyadh as well as Abu Dhabi recently.

It is not a big secret that the Israeli-Bahraini relations go back unofficially for at least three decades and some say that the fear of Iran is the real reason.

I do not think that Israel can protect any Gulf state from Iran or from its people too if they are angry enough.

I know Bahrain as a society historically has been supporting the Palestinian cause since 1948 won’t accept normalization so easily but the regime control can deceive you to make you think otherwise.

Personally, I believe the decision to normalize with Israel whether officially or unofficially will cost the Bahraini regime and the Royal family a lot in the future. The Royal Family in Bahrain won't need any support from Israel or alliance with it against Iran if it is truly a democratic constitutional monarchy. 

Anyhow, I hope that I can read one day some analysis about the Bahraini against Normalization with Israel movement because it seems to me that it is the only remaining opposition group in the country.

1 comment:

  1. Protesting against peace. Celebrating war.

    Yup, that's the Arab world.


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