Obama’s unintended consequences: King of Bahrain openly celebrates Hanukkah with Jews
President Barack Obama promised a fundamental transformation for America and its role in the world. But as the inept community organizer prepares to leave office, it is becoming clear that his clumsy overreach is backfiring on multiple levels. The election of Donald Trump is but one example of the changes that lie ahead, sparked by backlash to Obama’s policies.
One minor yet significant example of President Unintendedconsequences: drawing together Arabs and Jews in the Middle East. Yes, you read that correctly. The president who stabbed Israel in the back at the U.N. Friday (as Alan Dershowitz put it this morning on Fox & Friends) has actually paved the way for peace between Israel an the Arabs of the Middle East. By scaring Arab leaders in the Gulf (Saudi Arabia plus the emirates) with his deal to allow Iran nuclear arms, he has reminded the potentates that Israel is no threat to their power, while Iran openly lusts for control over their oil and their citizens, many of whom are Shiites.
Israel, as it happens, is believed to have excellent intelligences sources within Iran and has the technological sophistication to pull off Stuxnet and other sophisticated attacks on the mullahs, who have sworn to wipe Israel “off the map.”
So the enemy of their own mortal enemy Iran starts to look like an ally to the Gulf Arabs – so much so that the king of Bahrain actually hosted a Hanukkah party for Jews (the few local Bahraini Jews remaining, plus some visiting guests from France). Middle East analyst Tom Gross writes this morning:
This year, for the first time in four decades, Hannukah and Christmas coincide. And on Saturday evening the King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, hosted a menorah (candle-lighting) ceremony. It was the second year in a row that he hosted a Hannukah event, but this year orthodox Jews and traditionally dressed Gulf Muslims danced joyfully together to Jewish songs. Many of the Jews were guests from France but local Bahraini Jews also joined the celebrations at the invitation of the king.
You can watch a video here.
Only four dozen Jews remain in Bahrain, which has a population of almost 1.5 million. 1,500 Jews lived in Bahrain until 1948 when, like Jews throughout the Arab world, most fled or left.
One of remaining Jews, Houda Ezra Ebrahim Nonoo, is a female lawyer and former MP who became the first Jew and the first woman to serve as Bahraini Ambassador to the U.S., from 2008-2010.
Here is the remarkable video he sent: