Bahraini embassy in Israel hosts extremist MK Ben Gvir
This marks the second time a Gulf state hosts supremacist Itamar Ben Gvir since Israel's 1 November elections
By News Desk - December 12 2022

(Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Bahrain’s embassy in Israel hosted the extremist leader of the Religious Zionist Party, Itamar Ben Gvir, on 11 December in celebration of the 51st anniversary of Bahrain’s national independence, according to local reports.

Israeli broadcaster Kan reported that the embassy hosted several other Knesset members (MK). Ben Gvir is soon to assume the role of Israel’s national security minister as part of Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s incoming government and is notoriously known for his extreme approach to dealing with Palestinians. 

Last week, the Ambassador of the UAE to Israel Mohamed al-Khaja warmly received Ben Gvir’s partner in leading the Religious Zionist Party, Bezalel Smotrich, a day after the embassy hosted Ben Gvir.

Despite the MK party leaders’ friendly relations with the UAE, just a month prior, Abu Dhabi’s foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayed criticized Israel for its appointment of Ben Gvir – namely, his anti-Arab sentiment. Bin Zayed implicitly remarked that his prominence in the Israeli government could potentially hinder ties between the two regional allies.

Once Ben Gvir assumes the role of security minister, it will grant him control of several sectors of the West Bank.

Other MK figures, such as the Israeli President Isaac Herzog and outgoing prime minister Yair Lapid have both remarked that Ben Gvir is problematic for Tel Aviv due to his ‘far-right’ stance.

Gvir is notoriously known for his racist statements and endorsement of the Israeli army’s aggressive approach toward Palestinians.

He recently announced that he would be lenient with open fire regulations for Israeli security forces, essentially green-lighting deadly force toward Palestinian civilians protesting against Israel’s illegal occupation.

Despite several warnings to Netanyahu’s coalition allies, Bahrain and Israel are currently proceeding with their free trade agreement, expecting to ratify the deal by the end of the year.

 Bahrain’s King Sheikh Khalid Al-Khalifa expressed his desire to expand relations with Israel shortly after Netanyahu’s success in the 1 November elections.


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