Bahrain society says visit to Israel is own initiative

Members of the delegation in occupied Jerusalem.

Manama: A multi-faith Bahraini society has denied reports that a delegation of some of its members currently visiting Israel was representing anyone or any official entity.

Reports emerged on Sunday about a four-day visit by “This is Bahrain” to Jerusalem and Israel, claiming that the delegation was on an official representative mission.

However, in a brief statement, “This is Bahrain” said that the visit to Israel was part of its own initiative to visit holy sites across the world.

“With reference to reports carried by some media and social networking sites about the visit of a delegation from ‘This is Bahrain’ to Israel and Occupied Jerusalem, the society confirms that the delegation, which includes some foreign nationals from different religions residing in the Kingdom of Bahrain, does not represent any official body in the Kingdom,” the society said in the statement carried by Bahrain News Agency late on Sunday.

“The delegation represents solely the society and has undertaken the visit on its own initiative. The initiative by ‘This is Bahrain’ is based on the principle of tolerance and coexistence, an approach embraced by the Kingdom of Bahrain and a feature of its society, and aims to visit Islamic, Christian, Jewish and other holy sites across the world.”

Bahrain, like most Arab countries, has no diplomatic relations with Israel.

On its website, This is Bahrain says that it “came about as a result of Bahrainis and expatriates getting together to share with the world the Bahraini model of centuries old religious freedom and  peaceful co-existence where we all live together in harmony in the spirit of mutual respect and love.”

“Bahrainis do not simply ‘tolerate’ other faiths, they warmly embrace them as part of our multicultural, multi-faith family where peace and love amongst all peoples of all faiths, reign supreme in the Kingdom of Bahrain. We see it as our duty to share the humble Bahraini way of life with the world, letting our message of peace and love resonate in our quest to help illuminate the path for peace around the world.”


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