NEW YORK – In response to the announcement that the governments of the State of Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain will normalize relations, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder has voiced his unequivocal support, saying:
“The World Jewish Congress enthusiastically welcomes the news that the State of Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain have agreed to establish full diplomatic relations. It is clear to me that the winds of change are being felt across the Middle East. The regional embrace of Israel as a full and equal neighbor by Bahrain, following in the wake of the Israel-United Arab Emirates agreement, is emblematic of the changes taking place in the Arab world.
“I welcome and thank the leadership of Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu and the King of Bahrain, His Majesty Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, for this newest chapter in the creation of peace, safety, and security in the Middle East. Jewish history and presence in Bahrain have long been integral pillars of Bahraini culture, and I anticipate that this agreement will lay the groundwork for the next chapter of Jewish-Bahraini coexistence.
“I have warm memories of my visits to Bahrain and my meetings with the Jewish community there. The coexistence between Jews and Muslims in that beautiful country should be a model for others to emulate around the world. I look forward to going to Bahrain again in the very near future.”
Commenting on the announcement, Nancy Khedouri, a member of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s Jewish Community who sits in the country’s Shura Council, said:
“The Jewish community of Bahrain are known to have originated since 1873 as documented in my Book entitled, "From Our Beginning to Present Day" and we take the opportunity to congratulate our Leadership on this historic announcement.
“We continue to pledge our allegiance to our Country and Leadership.
“This is a historic step towards achieving peace in the Middle East, as dialogue and direct relations between the two Countries' advanced economies will no doubt help build on the current positive transformation in the Middle East and support stability, security and prosperity in the region.
“His Majesty King Hamad Bin Essa Al Khalifa has always been praised for embracing Religious Diversity and Peaceful Coexistence and his vision of Peace as quoted from The Bahrain Declaration, ‘Faith illuminates our Path to Peace.’”
About the World Jewish Congress
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) is the international organization representing Jewish communities in 100 countries to governments, parliaments and international organizations.
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