Saudis damned for Trump’s Jerusalem decision, Alkhalifa normalise with Israel

Public anger in the Arab and Muslim worlds has reached new highs in the past few days, following the decision by Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of “Israel”. In addition to America and “Israel”, Saudi Arabia has been targeted for criticism and condemnation for normalising the relations with the occupiers of Palestine. Protests were staged in many countries as the Palestinians fought street wars with Israelis in both Gaza and the West Bank. Calls have been made to severe relations with USA while Saudis received lion share of the criticism. In Jordan pictures of Saudi crown prince, Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS) were burnt and stepped on in the street by protesters. In Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Tunisia and Morocco the scene was repeated. People were incensed by the lack of proper reaction from Riyadh who has forged close friendship with Mr Trump and held open meetings with the Israelis. It is said that the Saudis had been made aware of Trump’s decision beforehand.
As the Arab and Muslim worlds were reeling from the shock of Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of “Israel” Alkhalifa dictator decided to go public in his links with the occupiers of Palestine. Last week he dispatched a delegation of 24 people to “Israel” to meet with officials and attend a conference on “religious coexistence”. This is the first time that any Arab country has officially participated in an Israeli event inside occupied Palestine. The people were so shocked that they poured to the streets to disown those people accusing them of treachery. The Palestinians condemned the Alkhalifa regime which is spearheading the normalising of relations with “Israel”. Worshippers at Al Aqsa Mosque prevented the delegation from entering the holy site and pushed them to the outside calling them traitors. The Israeli Second Channel said the delegation had been overseen by dictator Hamad. The visit took place as Bahrainis joined the freedom-loving people in the world to protest against Trump’s decision. Bahrainis immediately understood the chemistry of occupation and why the occupiers of Bahrain are working hand-in-hand with the occupiers of Palestine. There are claims that the Saudis had known in advance of both the American decision and the tour to “Israel” by Alkhalifa delegation.
Several journalists who attended “Manama dialogue” conference last week have spoken of their shock at the level of internal crisis in Bahrain. Few of them were able to visit some towns and villages and see for themselves the ongoing protests and the cruelty of the security forces dealing with the protesters. At least one of them questioned why the regime’s agents were wearing ISIS-style uniforms with masks on their faces and cruel approach to the citizens. A prominent journalist was stopped at the airport before he was forcibly deported. British journalist Gregg Carlstrom said that he was stopped for five hours, denied entry to the country and then deported. To show the regime’s deception Mr Carlstrom attached in his tweet a message he received as he was waiting at the airport, from Bahrain Embassy in London asking him to join a tour. Titled “Tolerance Tour: 15.00 Bahrain Time” it said: I would like to inform you of a tour to a number of worship places in Manama which will commence at 15.00 Bahrain Local Time.
On 11th December Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action on behalf of human rights defender and prisoner of conscience Nabeel Rajab whose two year prison sentence was upheld by the Appeal Court on 22 November, in relation to interviews he had given in 2015 and 2016. A second criminal trial against him, in relation to comments posted on his Twitter account, is ongoing and the final defence hearing has been scheduled for 15 January. AI urged people call on the Bahraini regime to release Nabeel Rajab immediately and unconditionally, to quash his conviction, and halt all proceedings against him as he is a prisoner of conscience, ensure that he is not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment; has regular access to his family, lawyers of his choice, and adequate healthcare and urge them to uphold the right to freedom of expression and repeal laws that criminalize the peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, including Article 216 of the Penal Code.
On 11th December The Washington Post published an important letter from Nabeel Rajab titled: Letter from prison: Trump’s pandering to Bahrain has deadly consequences. It attracted worldwide attention.
Meanwhile, pressure is mounting on the regime to end the blockade on Sheikh Isa Qassim’s house immediately and unconditionally. The message was conveyed to UK’s foreign secretary who visited Bahrain to attend a conference. The elderly cleric, who is the most senior religious and political figure, has just had an operation for stomach hernia, He suffers from several other ailments and being under house arrest surrounded by armed mercenaries does not help his situation. This is part of Alkhalifa persecution of Bahrainis and the world is put on notice to end it.
Bahrain Freedom Movement
13th December 2017 (info@vob.org, www.vob.org)

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