A member of the dissolved Bahraini opposition political association al-Wefaq has apologized after appearing on Israeli TV channel I24 to discuss the normalization deal between Israel and Bahrain, which al-Wefaq opposes, according to a video posted on Twitter.
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“I would like to offer my apologies to both the Bahraini and Palestinian people for the wrong step I took in agreeing to appear on an Israeli channel during a talk show to discuss the possible political and economic implications of a deal between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain,” former Member of Parliament Jasim Husain said on video.
“I also reaffirm my total opposition to normalization and [reaffirm] my full support for the Palestinian people to reclaim their rights in every inch of the land and to establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital,” he added.
During the televised interview, Husain said that Bahrain normalization of relations with Israel was not an attack against Iran, adding that peace will attract investments and economic benefits for the region.
After Husain’s interview appeared online, activists opposed to the deal with Israel launched a social media campaign against him and accused him of treason. Al-Wefaq, which was formally dissolved by the Bahraini government in 2016 but continues to operate clandestinely, said it had revoked Husain’s membership.
Based on the participation of member of the society, Dr. Jassim Hussein, in a Zionist channel, Al-Wefaq decided - in accordance with the statute and the internal regulations - to revoke his membership#BahrainisAgainstNormalization #NormalizationIsBetrayal #Bahrain— Alwefaq Society (@ALWEFAQ) September 14, 2020
“Based on the participation of member of the society, Dr. Jassim Hussein, in a Zionist channel, Al-Wefaq decided - in accordance with the statute and the internal regulations - to revoke his membership #BahrainisAgainstNormalization #NormalizationIsBetrayal #Bahrain,” tweeted al-Wefaq’s official Twitter account.
Saudi Arabian political analyst Hassan al-Mustafa said that al-Wefaq’s reaction was expected and in line with the organization’s internal regulations and general political rhetoric.
However, al-Mustafa also described the campaign against Husain as a “moral assassination” that had pushed the Bahraini MP to release the video in which he apologized.
“Anyone has the right to support establishing diplomatic relations with Israel, and anyone has the right to oppose this as well,” wrote al-Mustafa in an article published in al-Aalem.
“This is a natural and genuine right, and no intellectual, cleric, party, government, or authority has the right to force people to adopt opinions in which they do not believe, because coercion in opinion is arbitrary, and a violation of a basic human right, which must be protected and respected,” he added.