Bahrain faith group visits Israel amid Jerusalem tensions

By on December 10, 2017


The group's trip comes after two U.S.-based rabbis have said that Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa thinks that the longtime boycott of Israel by Arab countries should end. (Photo By U.S. Department of State, Public Domain)
The group’s trip comes after two U.S.-based rabbis have said that Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa thinks that the longtime boycott of Israel by Arab countries should end. (Photo By U.S. Department of State, Public Domain)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — An interfaith group from Bahrain is visiting Israel amid turmoil there over U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital.

The group’s trip comes after two U.S.-based rabbis have said that Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa thinks that the longtime boycott of Israel by Arab countries should end.

Members of the group told The Associated Press on Sunday that their trip should be viewed as nonpolitical and insisted that the island nation allows freedom of religion.

However, Bahrain’s Sunni rulers are cracking down on all dissent on the Shiite-majority island, imprisoning or forcing politicians and activists into exile.

Bahrainis expressed anger online Sunday over the visit and voiced their support for Palestinians.

Jerusalem’s status lies at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.