New York Times: Pampered Arab Rulers Accept Israel, Poor Citizens Want Israel Destroyed

News & Politics

Thursday’s New York Times featured “Gaza War Widens Gap Between Arab Rulers and Citizens” by Vivian Nereim, the Gulf bureau chief for the Times, based in Saudi Arabia. Nereim offensively portrayed those Arab leaders who dare agree to accept Israel’s existence as pampered and privileged, in contrast to the poor citizenry marching in the streets of the Middle East country of Bahrain who proudly and openly support the terrorist assaults and even annihilation of Jews.

Nereim couldn’t foster a syllable of criticism against the eliminationist rhetoric emanating from protesting Bahrainians.

As the afternoon light softened, a man holding a megaphone stepped to the front of a crowd of about 200 people in the Bahraini capital, Manama, and began to shout at the top of his lungs.

The demonstrators, waving Palestinian flags, repeated his words with gusto, imploring their American-allied authoritarian government to expel the Israeli ambassador who was appointed two years ago, after Bahrain established diplomatic ties with Israel.

“No Zionist embassy on Bahraini land!” they chanted. “No American military bases on Bahraini land!”

Less than four miles away, American and European men in full military regalia gathered for the Manama Dialogue, an annual conference that brings together senior officials from Western powers and the Middle East to discuss regional security. They milled about a gilded ballroom in the heavily guarded Ritz-Carlton hotel just hours after the protest — largely unaware that it had even occurred.

When Bahrain’s crown prince, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, took to the stage, he pleased much of the audience by condemning Hamas, the Palestinian armed group that runs Gaza and which led the Oct. 7 attack on Israel that killed about 1,200 people, according to Israeli authorities.

The war in Gaza that followed the attack has not only laid bare a chasm between many Arab leaders and their people; it has widened it.

….

And in Bahrain, protesters said that in addition to feeling a deep sense of shared Arab and Islamic identity, they saw connections between Palestinian liberation and their own liberation from political repression.

Not treating Israel like a pariah was treated as a cynical move by “authoritarian leaders” in the region, eager for “the concessions they might extract from the United States, Israel’s top ally.”

Nereim treated the annihilationist rhetoric on the streets in Bahrain with cool neutrality.

Bahraini protesters said they view Israel as a colonial-style occupying power and a Western-backed project designed to dominate the region. Some said Israel should not even exist.

….

Thousands of marchers shouted in English and Arabic until they grew hoarse.

“Down, down, Israel!”

“America is the head of the snake!”

Some chanted in support of Hamas, urging it to bomb Tel Aviv.

The reporter leaned hard into a leftist framing of privileged pro-Israel officials enjoying the finest food on the backs of their persecuted, silenced Hamas-supporting subjects.

When [Saudi royal Prince Turki] finished, his guests dined on saffron-poached peaches and chicken breasts stuffed with ratatouille. Speaking on the sidelines of the conference, Bahraini officials told participants they were determined to protect their deal with Israel.

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