The recent anti-Iran and Hezbollah statements made by the Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmad Al Khalifa were widely addressed in Israeli media, and received special coverage in top newspapers such as the Jerusalem Post.
The well-known Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translated parts of the Bahraini FM’s interview aired on Al-Arabiya news channel on March 31, 2016, making them available to Israeli media outlets that covered the statements in news reports over the past two days.
MEMRI is known for articulating enmity towards the Arab and Islamic world, and was co-founded by Yigal Carmon, a former Israeli military intelligence officer and a former adviser to Israeli prime ministers, and Meyrav Wurmser. Ehud Barak, Former Israeli PM and former Defense Minister, is a member of MEMRI’s board of advisors. The “This is Bahrain” PR campaign, funded by the Bahraini regime to whitewash Bahrain’s reputation and polish its image in the West, had visited MEMRI’s headquarters in Washington last year attempting to have a Memorandum of Understanding signed in favor for the Bahraini regime.
The part of the interview that the Israeli media covered was when the Al-Arabiya interviewer about the goal behind Bahrain’s decision to cut ties with Iran and label Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
The minister’s response, which seems to be to liking of MEMRI as well as the Israeli papers, was: “We want to send a message to Iran and its followers in the region that we are serious about confronting them and by no means will we hesitate in defending our countries, peoples, interests, and brothers in the region, because this is to us a vital issue.”
The FM further described the North Thunder joint military exercise held by the military coalition led by Saudi Arabia as a message to whoever thinks that they can attack the region, so the interviewer asked: “Even Iran?”
“Yes, of course, including Iran, because our biggest problem is with Iran in the current circumstance,” the minister answered.
When asked whether Iran was more dangerous than Israel to the Gulf states, the Bahraini Foreign Minister claimed: “Look, we wish to have good relations with both, but under the current circumstances and challenges, the Iranian danger is what we see before our eyes.”
The Jerusalem Post published a report regarding these statements with the headline reflecting the minister’s main and most significant comment- to the Israelis-, “Iran presents bigger threat to Gulf states than Israel.”