Bahraini Gov't to Companies: Trade in Occupied (Crimea) Ukrainian Lands Prohibited yet Allowed in Palestinian Lands

2022-04-04 - 9:38 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): On July 13, 2021, a remote meeting was held between the godfather of the Bahraini Foreign Ministry Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, with First Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Emine Dzhaparova (born in 1983). During the meeting, Al Khalifa stressed Manama's support for the unity of the Ukrainian territories and stressed his country's principled position on preventing Bahraini companies from carrying out any activities in (temporarily occupied) Crimea. 

But less than a year since the statement, on December 3, 2020, Bahraini Trade Minister Zayed Al-Zayani said during a visit to the Israeli occupation entity that "Bahrain's imports from Israel will not be subject to distinctions between products made within Israel and those from settlements in occupied territory." These statements angered Palestinians and sympathizers with their cause, and Syrians, as no Arab State has ever declared its dealings with Israeli settlements on the occupied Palestinian territories or on the occupied Golan territories.

The Times of Israel and the "Walla" news website celebrated the Bahraini decision and quoted the Minister of Industry and Trade as saying, "I don't frankly see anything that requires distinguishing between Israeli goods on the basis of any part, city or region where it was made." He went on to say that "his country will not draw marks to discriminate between the goods produced in settlements in the West Bank and the occupied Syrian Golan."

Commenting on Bahrain's decision, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) considered that the recognition of settlement products is a participation in war crimes committed by the occupation.

"If this news is true, it is a blatant departure from the Arab and Islamic position in general, and makes the Bahraini regime involved in war crimes in accordance with international law (...) Colonies established in the occupied territories since 1967 are considered a war crime," said Mahmoud Nawajaa , general coordinator of the BDS. "This step will make the Bahraini regime involved in war crimes against the Palestinian people," he said. 

The principle proclaimed by Al Khalifa to his Ukrainian counterpart is that Bahrain does not allow its companies to engage in commercial activities in occupied territories. If Russia occupies Crimea, what does Israel do in occupied Palestine? Or at least in the West Bank occupied by Israel in the 1967 war, which displaced nearly 70,000 Palestinians?

Why don't the authorities in Manama show the slightest appreciation and respect for the people of Palestine and their suffering? Companies operating in Bahrain have been allowed to enter the market there, as if Palestine's bounties are available for every thief.

Arabic Version