Bahraini civil society group under pressure after Israel visit

The visit prompted a hashtag #Bahrain_resists_normalization, in which twitter users declaring their opposition to what some called an "act of treason" against Palestinians and Bahrainis.

By SAMI ABOUDI/REUTERS
December 11, 2017 08:08
1 minute read.
The Israeli and Bahraini flags

The Israeli and Bahraini flags. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)



DUBAI - A Bahraini civil society group has defended sending a delegation to Israel as a gesture of tolerance and coexistence, state news agency BNA has reported, after news of the visit sparked wide anger on social media.



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The visit came amid high emotions in the Arab world over US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv, a move that was widely condemned across the Arab world.



The visit by 24 delegates from the group called 'This is Bahrain' has prompted a hashtag #Bahrain_resists_normalization, in which twitter users declaring their opposition to what some called an "act of treason" against Palestinians and Bahrainis.



In a statement carried by state news agency BNA late on Sunday, the group said the visit was a private initiative to "Israel and occupied Jerusalem" comprising Bahrainis and expatriates of various faiths.



"The initiative by 'This is Bahrain' is based on the principle of tolerance and coexistence, an approach embraced by the Kingdom of Bahrain and a feature of its society, and aims to visit Islamic, Christian, Jewish and other holy sites across the world," the group said.

Most Arab countries see say any normalization of ties with Israel must be in line with an Arab peace plan that calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.


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