The government of Bahrain has decided to allow journalists from six separate Israeli news outlets to enter the Gulf nation in order to cover next week’s U.S.-led economic “workshop” being held in Manama.
The historic decision was made in response to a request by senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, son-in-law of President Donald Trump, according to a report broadcast Wednesday on Israel’s Channel 13 TV News by Hebrew-language investigative journalist Barak Ravid.
Kushner is leading the Trump Administration team effort to develop a Middle East peace plan.
This will be the first time Israeli journalists will be allowed to report from the Kingdom of Bahrain, which does not have diplomatic ties with the State of Israel.
U.S. Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt noted in response to Ravid’s report Wednesday night that Bahrain is one of the nations “working … to see if peace can be achieved.” He added that the U.S. “very much appreciates Bahrain’s efforts.”
Agreed! There are those working to improve the lives of Israelis, Palestinians & others in the region, and to see if peace can be achieved. Bahrain is one such country. The USA very much appreciates Bahrain’s efforts. https://t.co/cFOzsZbBzO
— Jason D. Greenblatt (@jdgreenblatt45) June 19, 2019
Just a day prior to that tweet, Palestinian Authority government spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh was quoted by Hebrew-language media as saying the PA leadership planned to “thwart all the all the conspiracies, workshops and meetings. . . Every meeting in Bahrain or anywhere else, held without the legitimate Palestinian leadership proves that Washington cannot succeed and will not succeed in achieving anything by itself and by its own forces.
“The Palestinian position and determination and the international consensus have preserved Jerusalem, the sanctity, and the Palestinian entity. . . The position of the people is clear and straightforward,” Rudeineh said, “and it will defeat any collusion.”
Barely two hours before his response to the announcement on Bahrain’s decision to allow Israeli media coverage at the workshop in Manama, Greenblatt tweeted a statement in reply to the Palestinian Authority position, commenting bluntly, “Mr. Rudeineh has it wrong. We understand we can’t reach a peace agreement without the Palestinian leadership but if no peace agreement is reached, that’s a loss for the Palestinian people, not for the U.S.
“It’s the success of the Palestinians you’re thwarting,” he pointed out.
Former IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Yoav Mordechai and Yitzhak Kreiss, director-general of the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer are both expected to attend the “Peace to Prosperity” workshop slated for June 25-26 in Manama.
No Israeli government officials are invited to the event, according to Greenblatt, in order not to “politicize something that still has other positive reasons to go forward with” – at least for now.