In what is seen as a game-changing move, Bahrain and the United States have signed a memorandum of understanding on combating antisemitism, including anti-Zionist antisemitism.
At the signing on 22nd October, Bahrain became the first nation in the Arab world to acknowledge the International Definition of Antisemitism.
At a ceremony on Thursday, which came less than a week after Israel and Bahrain signed a series of bilateral agreements normalising relations, the document was signed by the US State Department’s antisemitism monitor, Elan Carr, and Shaikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, the head of Bahrain’s King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence.
While the signing falls short of a legislative adoption of the Definition, it is, nevertheless, seen as ground-breaking. Under the Definition, claiming that Israel “is a racist endeavour” or that Jews or Israel exaggerated the Holocaust is antisemitic.
Under the terms of the document, both sides vowed to promote and share the best practices for “combating all forms of antisemitism, including anti-Zionism and the delegitimization of the State of Israel.” In a tweet following the signing, Mr Carr said: “Thank you Bahrain!” adding that, together, the US and Bahrain would “create programmes to teach the region’s children the value of peaceful coexistence.”
“We all know that hatred is the enemy of peace,” Shaikh bin Khalifa said at the event.