Saturday, October 2, 2021

On Lapid’s Bahrain visit, a photo op at a US Navy base meant for Iranian eyes

A picture is worth a thousand words, the adage goes. The saying exists in many languages, among them Farsi. And when the US, Israel and Bahrain arranged a visit by Israel’s top diplomat this week to an American base just across the Persian Gulf from Iran, the three countries were certainly hoping it conveyed more than a few choice words to the Islamic Republic.

There were already many encouraging signals during Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s historic visit to Manama this week, which seemed even warmer than the already genial trips he made to open Israel’s diplomatic offices in the United Arab Emirates and Morocco.

During those visits, Lapid was received at the airport by deputy foreign ministers. But it was his Bahraini counterpart, Abdullatif bin Rashid al Zayani, who awaited him as he arrived at Manama International Airport Thursday, cutting a resplendent figure in his tan bisht robe and white headdress.

Other details of the one-day visit indicated the Bahrainis’ desire to do everything in their power to demonstrate their hopes for the future of the bilateral relationship.

Both Bahrain’s crown prince and king decided to host Lapid in their palaces and release photos to the public, a development that came together in the days leading up to the trip. Bahraini officials spent more than an hour presenting the Israeli journalists on the delegation with powerpoints on Bahrain’s economic potential, womens’ rights and tourist attractions. READ MORE