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Arab Israeli influencers travel to Bahrain to promote dialogue

March 21, 2023

By Guy Azriel

'Israeli Arabs are the real bridge in order to strengthen the relationship between the State of Israel and the countries of the Middle East'

Making peace in our lifetime? Some are trying to turn this dream into a reality.

Two-and-a-half years after the signing of the historic Abraham Accords between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain, a delegation of Arab Israeli influencers traveled to Bahrain in an effort to promote ties and dialogue between the two peoples.

"Israeli Arabs are the real bridge in order to strengthen the relationship between the State of Israel and the countries of the Middle East. The statesmen signed the agreements and our job is to implement them. We are all human beings, we have one goal - to live in peace and dignity and share the love of mankind," said Amir Mazareb. head of the Zarzir Municipal Council.

"People here do not know much about the State of Israel, they are not even aware that there are Arab citizens. We are happy to share our positive experience with them,” he added.

And to promote the construction of those bridges, face-to-face encounters are being organized. 

"Such events stimulated more talks, more discussions about opportunities of mutual interest. It gives more first hand experience about each side. Here in the Gulf we want to benefit from the advancement on the Israeli side in terms of technology and projects that will benefit this region," said Bahraini economist Ahmad Al-Sheik. 

Sharaka, a non-profit NGO established following the signing of the Accords, brought the delegation to the Gulf country as unique ambassadors of Israel. It's the first delegation of its kind in Bahrain and it provides an interesting test case for relations between the two nations. Muslims, Christians and Druze who are proud to be Israeli: not what one would necessarily have in mind when they think of the Jewish state.

"It is very exciting for us to come here to our brothers in Bahrain. Kudos to this initiative of peace between Israel and Bahrain. It's wonderful to see the warm welcome of the very nice people here," said a member of the delegation, entrepreneur Sami Alqrinawi.

"This normalization agreement should have been made a long time ago, this is simply amazing," he went on. "It's a great pride for Israel and also pride for me as an Israeli, to show the locals the true face of Israel. To sit down with the people and explain that you are an Israeli with equal rights, they are a little surprised by that. This is true diplomacy." 

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