Israel’s first ambassador to Bahrain, Eitan Na’eh, is in his current position thanks to the historic Abraham Accords and, now, the Israeli ambassador – a key player in the agreements – has a front-row seat to watch the dramatic transformation in the region, the Christian Broadcasting Network reported.
In an exclusive interview with CBN’s Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell, Na’eh described the new atmosphere in the region and ongoing efforts to develop the Abraham Accords.
“They are a significant—in fact, historic—change to the course of events in the Middle East,” Na’eh told CBN News during an interview in Manama. “They are an effort to take a road that has not been taken before. Establish relations with Israel and Arab countries that’s proving to the rest of the Arab countries, to the rest of the world, to the rest of the region that it is possible.”
Mitchell interviewed Na’eh after the ambassador briefed the first-ever Abraham Accords Delegation of Evangelical Business and Media Leaders led by ALL ISRAEL NEWS Editor-in-Chief Joel Rosenberg. The Abraham Accords – the historic normalization agreement between Israel and four Muslim nations – were signed in September 2020.
Bahrain was the second country to join and now Na’eh is based in the tiny island nation just 100 miles from Iran. He observed that the Gulf states see eye to eye with Israel when it comes to the dangers of Iran and an Iranian nuclear deal.
“We hear from them exactly what we say. The threat and the threat perceptions and the threat levels are pretty identical, by those who live in the region, by those who experience the behavior that Iran got infamous for; and the threat, the concern is real,” Na’eh told CBN. “We all know that the mother of problems in the Middle East is Iran. All we have to do is watch the news.”
The Evangelical leaders toured the region while violence was unfolding at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during Ramadan. In 2021, similar clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at the holy site led to 4,300 rockets launched by Hamas in Gaza and Israel’s military operation, Guardian of the Walls.
Such tensions are nothing new, Na’eh noted. He said the focus of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the Temple Mount dates back to a time before the State of Israel’s existence.
“In the 30’s during the Jewish immigration to then Mandatory Palestine running away from Hitler just prior to World War II. What the Palestinian leader then—(Haj Amin) Al-Husayni— saw then as Arab indifference, he came up with the idea of how to attract attention and the Al Aqsa was the answer. The Jews are threatening the Al Aqsa. He decided to disseminate this fake news. They didn’t call it fake news then, but lie, but it caught fire and it is still catching fire,” said Na’eh.
However, the ambassador stressed that rocks thrown by Palestinians at the Western Wall this year were “really thrown at the Abraham Accords.”
“I ask your viewers to zoom out from just this event and say, look, they are doing it for the second year since the Abraham Accords were signed in order to derail the Abraham Accords,” Na’eh told the CBN correspondent.
“The peace process cannot advance without the public opinion. And the public opinion here in the region is being influenced by other media outlets that disseminate lies, fake news. And the role of the media is to really show the truth uncut. To show the truth, to give the full picture and to explain to people what we are trying to do here and that is immensely important,” he said.
Na’eh said that Christian prayers are welcome – and much needed in the region.
“We need those people who can come and visit to see in their own eyes that a new reality is being born,” he said. “And those among your viewers who have business in the Middle East come and do business with Israel, with Bahrain, with the UAE, bring people together. And, still pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the region.”
The delegation’s members also met with other senior regional leaders including Bahrain’s Minster of Interior Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa; Israel’s ambassador to the UAE, Amir Hayek; UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan; former Israeli prime minister and current head of the opposition, Benjamin Netanyahu; and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.