Bahrain minister sacked after snubbing Israel envoy

Sheikha Mai is a controversial figure in Bahrain. On 30 November  2021, she hosted a lecture by the anti-Zionist Ilan Pappe, who advocates the abolition of the “Zionist racist settler colonialism of Palestine,” a blow to normalization between Israel and Bahrain. Now the maverick minister has been sacked. The Jerusalem Post reports:

Sheikha Mai of Bahrain

A top Bahraini official and member of the ruling family was dismissed from her position by the Bahraini king after she refused to shake hands with the Israeli ambassador to the Gulf state, Arab media outlet Rai al-Youm reported on Friday.

Sheikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Authority for Culture and Antiquities chief, reportedly refused to shake the hand of Eitan Na’eh, Israel’s ambassador in Manama, during a funeral service for the father of US Ambassador Steven C. Bondy held last month.

Furthermore, Sheikha Mai left the funeral service when she was informed of Na’eh’s presence and asked the US embassy to not publish any pictures of her attending the American ambassador’s late father’s funeral, according to the report.

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