A red-faced Bahrain toy dealer has admitted to officials that he made a mistake by importing a toy of two “kissing camels,” one of which bears the name Bahrain in Arabic and the other which bears the name Israel in English.
The novelty toy features the two camels embracing each other and saying “I love you,” Gulf Daily News reported. Bahrain does not recognize Israel as a state, but Israel maintained a diplomatic mission in Bahrain before it was closed in 2000 at the start of the Second Intifada, also known as the Oslo War.
The toy camels are supposed to say "Bahrain” and the name of the store where they are sold when a button is pressed.
"I am so happy that I didn't display it, otherwise my customers would have asked questions and some might have shattered the window of my shop out of anger…. They hate Israel,” Valley Emporium store owner Sayed Ahmed Kahn told Gulf Daily News.
The store had purchased 16 different kinds of toys, but Khan said he initially did not notice the word “Israel” on the toy camels.
A spokesman told the Gulf newspaper and web site, "It is definitely a mistake and we don't know how this toy came to Bahrain. We ordered two containers, each 40 feet long, full of such stuffed toys. Mistakes can happen and we understand there was only one toy with Israel's name on it.
Bahrain pulled out of the Arab boycott of the Jewish State after Israel expelled its citizens and withdrew the IDF from the Gaza region in 2005. However, the Bahraini parliament voted for a non-binding resolution asking for Bahrain to return to participating in the boycott.