Bahrain king dismisses minister for refusal to normalize with "Israel"
The President of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities was dismissed by the king for refusing to shake hands with the Israeli ambassador to Bahrain.
Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa dismissed Friday the President of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, who is also part of the royal family, for refusing to shake hands with the Israeli ambassador to Bahrain and for refusing to Judaize old neighborhoods in Manama, the Bahraini capital.
Bahraini sources revealed that the king did not wait for Mai to return from her official visit in Albania to dismiss her, but rather did it right away. Replacing Mai, Khalifa bin Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa was appointed.
On June 16, 2022, US Ambassador Stephen Bundy held a memorial service in his home for his father, to which Sheikha Mai was invited, but not alone - the Israeli ambassador to Bahrain, Eitan Na'eh, also received an invite.
During the filming of the service, and as they were introduced to shake hands, Sheikha Mai withdrew her hand and refused to shake Na'eh's hand. She left the ambassador's house, and requested the embassy not publish any image of her at the event.
Recently, the former minister refused to Judaize old Manama neighborhoods, such as Bab Al-Bahrain and Al-Mutanabbi Street, including the Jewish Synagogue located on Sasa'ah Avenue.
Last year on November 30, Mai hosted at the Sheikh Ibrahim Center historian and pro-Palestinian Ilan Pappe, who stresses on the abolition of the "Zionist racist settler colonialism of Palestine," a blow to normalization with "Israel" in Bahrain.
Mai had worked in culture and media for over 20 years, and has always been a controversial figure in the kingdom.