Cairo: Bahrain’s Jewish community has expressed jubilation over a historic agreement between the kingdom and Israel to establish diplomatic ties.
“On the historic occasion of furthering peace in the Middle East and the joint statement of the United States, the Kingdom of Bahrain, and the State of Israel, the Bahraini Jewish community congratulates our leadership on this momentous occasion,” Ebrahim Dahood Nonoo, the head of the community, said, according to the Bahraini news agency BNA.
“This is a historic moment that we have never expected to see in our lifetime.”
Nonoo praised Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa’s farsightedness for going ahead with the decision of reaching the peace pact and his advocacy of peaceful coexistence.
On Friday, Bahrain and Israel reached a US-mediated agreement to establish full diplomatic relations, less than a week before the White House hosts a ceremony to sign a historic peace treaty between the UAE and Israel.
Nonoo, the first Jewish representative in the Bahraini Shura Council in 2001, said the Jewish community in Bahrain has a synagogue and a cemetery still operating until today.
The Bahraini Jewish community is an indigenous community having been in the country since the late 19th century, he added in a statement.
The number of Jews in Bahrain currently stands at 36, having dwindled from an estimated 1,500 in the late 19th century. Several stores still bear Jewish names in the old quarter of the Bahraini capital Manama.
“Although our numbers are small, we are very well integrated into the fabric of society, both in business and in culture,” Nonoo said.