Jews & Muslims dance together at Hanukkah party in Bahrain (VIDEO)
The Hanukkah party was attended on Saturday night by local and visiting members of the Jewish community as well as Muslim Bahrainis, Israeli media reported. The event was organized by American Jewish millionaire Lazer Scheiner, as reported by Arutz Sheva.
In the video of the event released on social media, Muslims and Jews are seen holding hands and singing and dancing.
Bahrain, a small Arab monarchy in the Persian Gulf, has a population of 1.3 million people. Fewer than 50 Jews are among them, according to estimates from Israeli media.
Hanukkah, also known as the Jewish Festival of Lights, marks the rededication of the second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, which took place in the second century BC. The holiday usually starts at the end of December and is celebrated for eight days. This year it began December 24 and will end by January 1, coinciding with Catholic Christmas and New Year.
The Bahraini king marked Hanukkah for the first time back in 2015. Back then, he said that “the call to war against terror needs to come from the leaders of all the religions as one.
“Here in Bahrain members of all the religions live with no fear, and we will continue to allow Jews to live peacefully and quietly, maintaining their lifestyle, their customs and the commandments of their religion without any fear,” he added.
Bahrain has shown signs of consideration towards the Jewish community before. In 2008, the authorities appointed a Jewish woman, Houda Ezra Ebrahim Nonoo, as Bahraini ambassador to the US.
The latest video of Jews dancing together with Arabs has drawn praise in multiple comments on social media, with people saying that it promotes peace and tolerance.
“This is important as a potential beginning of inter-religious and international understanding and peace in the Middle East,” one person wrote on Facebook. Another added: “A thaw between any Arab country and Israel is welcome as a step in the right direction.”
One person described the event as “a step closer to a better world.”
“That's the way the world should be! Accept one another's own beliefs,” another person added.
Many people wrote they would love to see such Jewish-Muslim parties in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq or Lebanon.
Among those that disagree is the militant Palestinian group Hamas, which has called the ceremony “a disgraceful spectacle,” urging Bahrain to “fully stop any form of normalization with the Zionist enemy.”