In an interview with Lebanese radio station Al-Nour on 4 August, Yousef Rabie, a member of the Bahraini opposition party Al-Wefaq, reiterated his warning to the people of Bahrain about the kingdom’s plans to change the country’s identity.
In Rabie’s opinion, King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa is trying to obliterate the cultural and religious landmarks of its Muslim citizens, especially in the capital city of Manama.
Additionally, Rabie accused Al-Khalifa of attempting to “Judaize Bahrain” in light of the surge in employment of recently naturalized Jewish foreigners or locals in administrative jobs.
According to France 24 news website, Bahrain has one of the smallest Jewish communities in the world, amounting to only 50 members out of roughly 700,000 Bahrainis.
Moreover, Rabie highlighted the increase in land purchases by international Zionist organizations in Bahrain, which was echoed by the spiritual leader of Al-Wefaq, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassem, in his sermon on 4 August.
Bahrain Mirror has reported that the project for the Jewish “quarter” or “neighborhood” in Manama is being carried out by the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, and will be complete within the coming two years. As a result, 40 percent of Manama’s national Muslim identity will be compromised in order to make way for the Jewish portion of the capital, which will become a major tourism destination for Israelis.
Ayatollah Qassem called on Bahrainis not to sell land to Jews, stating “whoever sells land or a house is not selling soil and stone, but rather a homeland, a people, a nation, history and dear sanctities. He is betraying Islam.”
Similarly, in a statement issued on 1 September, the February 14 Revolution Youth coalition in Bahrain called for the broad condemnation of these developments, with the aim of opposing the king’s project to transform the capital into a “Zionist neighborhood.”
The coalition considered the king’s plans as an unprecedented persistence to subjugate Bahrain to the international Zionist project against the will of its Shia and Sunni Muslim population.
The February 14 Revolution Youth coalition is an opposition group named after the date of the popular Bahraini revolution of 2011, and is led by anonymous individuals who primarily use social media to organize demonstrations.
Earlier in July, Ayatollah Qassem renewed his dismissal of the upcoming Bahraini elections in November, stating that they will only reinforce the royal family’s oppression of the Bahraini people.
The exiled Shia cleric also called on all of Bahrain’s opposition parties to set aside their differences and cooperate in a bid to topple the Council of Representatives.
Bahrain is one of the four Arab countries that normalized diplomatic relations with Israel in late 2020 under the Abraham Accords, brokered by the US government.
Since then, Israel and Bahrain have continued to deepen bilateral relations after the signing of the Warm Peace agreement on the sidelines of the Negev Summit, which took place on 27 March.