Bahrain is now the latest Muslim country to normalize ties with Israel, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday.
According to a joint statement by Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Israel and Bahrain agreed to establish “full diplomatic relations” as part of a “historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East.”
Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain agree to a Peace Deal – the second Arab country to make peace with Israel in 30 days!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2020
President Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East advisor Jared Kushner told reporters on Friday that the recently brokered normalization deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and now Bahrain, will enable Muslim countries to prioritize their own national interests over the interests of the ‘Palestinians’ reports TOI. This included access for tourists from the Gulf states to pray in the Al Aqsa Mosque.
Now that Bahrain has joined the UAE in their pursuit of normalization with Israel, reporters wanted to better understand what Mananma would get in return for their agreeing to normalized relations with the Jewish State. But Kushner remained vague stating that: “We have a different relationship with Bahrain than we have with the UAE. They’re both very special and unique in their own way… This is about pushing the region forward,”
Noting that there is a synagogue in Bahrain, Kushner also said that country’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has “been a real champion for tolerance” in the region. Kushner then revealed that while visiting Bahrain last year, he gave King Al Khalifa a Torah scroll that was “written in his honor.”
Although designated for Kings of Israel exclusively, there is a commandment in Deuteronomy for a king to always have a Torah Scroll in his possession:
When he is seated on his royal throne, he shall have a copy of this Teaching written for him on a scroll by the levitical Kohanim. (Deuteronomy 17:18)
The Gemara (Sanhedrin 28), a component of the Talmud, explains that the Torah must hang from the king himself:
This serves to teach the halakha concerning the two Torah scrolls that the king writes, one that goes out and comes in with him, and one that is placed in his treasury. With regard to the one that goes out and comes in with him, he makes it very small, like an amulet, and he hangs it on his arm. As it is stated by King David: “I have set the Lord always before me; He is at my right hand, that I shall not be moved” (Psalms 16:8).
And although the commandment is not applicable to the King of Bahrain, Rabbi Yehuda Glick sees it as the “spirit of the mitzvah (commandment). In an interview with Israel 365 News, Rabbi Glick adds that “it shows that this relationship is not just a political relationship. It’s placing Hashem (God) into our lives. It very much excites me to see that the word of Hashem is happening in the world of politics.”
“They see it as a fulfillment of the Torah and they talk about worshiping Hashem and using the Torah – What can be greater than that?” Rabbi Glick quipped.
“More and more countries are rushing to figure out how they can do more good things for their citizens,” Kushner said. “It’s an inevitability that all countries in the Middle East will normalize with Israel.”