Kuwait academic delegation pulls out from Bahrain conference over 'surprise' Israeli participation

Kuwait academic delegation pulls out from Bahrain conference over 'surprise' Israeli participation
An academic delegation from Kuwait, who has no diplomatic ties with Israel, has pulled out from Bahrain university conference, following a surprise participation of an Israeli lecturer.
2 min read
05 March, 2022
Kuwaitis stage a pro-Palestinian protest in Kuwait City, May 2021 [Getty]

A Kuwaiti academic delegation withdrew from a conference at the University of Bahrain following the participation of an Israeli lecturer, reported the Palestinian daily Al-Quds on Friday.

The College of Business Administration at the University of Bahrain announced it would hold 'The Middle East Conference for the Development of Business Administration Colleges' on 2 and 3 March, alongside several Arab countries, but failed to mention the participation of an Israeli delegation in the conference.

The withdrawal was confirmed by the Kuwaiti branch of The Youth for Jerusalem NGO on their Twitter account, which said: "They invite us to visit our usurped land occupied by their criminal entity, then call them academic and scientific meetings!"

Musab Al-Mutawa, the Youth for Jerusalem head told the London-based Quds Press: "The withdrawal of the Kuwaiti academic delegation confirms the country’s clear and official position towards rejecting normalisation with Israel in all its forms."

Kuwait does not have diplomatic relations with Israel and maintains a strong stance against normalisation, and there are several laws in place which punish expressions of sympathy with Israel.

"[This  attitude] has become one of the weapons that form a lump in the throat of the occupying Israeli entity, and a pressure card and harm to it," he added.

 "[Kuwait's position] has not and will not change towards its first central issue, and the necessity of supporting the Palestinian people," he affirmed in his statement.

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Last month, Kuwaiti inventor and engineer Jenan Al-Shehab withdrew from Dubai Expo 2020 in response to the exhibition holding an "Israel Day" pavilion.

Bahrain became the second Gulf state to establish diplomatic relations with Israel after the UAE, in September 2020.

At the time, Bahraini citizens silently protested the deal with Israel due to an ongoing crackdown on dissidents, and trended hashtags such as "Bahrain against normalisation".

Palestinians have widely condemned Arab nations' normalisation deals with Tel Aviv, saying that it rewards Israel while it continues to occupy the West Bank and besiege the Gaza Strip.