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Bahrain civil society groups reject normalisation agreement

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on 13 August 2020, and (R) Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in the Saudi capital Riyadh on 21 May 2017. [ABIR SULTAN,MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on 13 August 2020, and (R) Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in the Saudi capital Riyadh on 21 May 2017. [ABIR SULTAN,MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images]

Civil society groups in Bahrain have rejected the government’s normalisation agreement with Israel which is expected to be signed formally in Washington DC on Tuesday. Seventeen organisations have issued a joint statement to this effect, with signatories including the General Federation of Workers’ Trade Unions in Bahrain, the Bahraini Bar Association and the Bahrain Women’s Association.

“We adhere to the constants of the Bahraini people regarding the just Palestinian cause and the provisions of the constitution that criminalise normalisation with the Zionist entity, in accordance with the official and popular Arab and Islamic consensus rejecting normalisation with this criminal entity,” said the groups. “All forms of normalisation with the Zionist entity initiated by some countries have neither produced peace nor restored the usurped rights of the Palestinian people, but have, rather, encouraged the enemy to commit more crimes against Palestine and the holy Arab and Muslim sites, foremost of which is Holy Jerusalem.”

The statement added that “what is known as a peace treaty between Bahrain and the Zionist enemy under the auspices of the US administration has brought about tremendous shock, resentment and widespread popular rejection among the Bahraini people, their political forces, civil society institutions, and all national actors and personalities.”

As a result, the signatories pointed out, nothing arising from the normalisation deal will have any popular legitimacy. “Generations of Bahrainis have believed in the just nature of the Palestinian cause,” they concluded.

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