Pres. Herzog with King of Bahrainן
Pres. Herzog with King of BahrainןAmos Ben Gershom/GPO

President Isaac Herzog was welcomed to the Al-Qudaibiya Palace in Manama today in a State Welcoming Ceremony with an honor guard, after which he met today with His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain.

At the start of the ceremony, the President was received by the King of Bahrain. The national anthems of Israel and Bahrain were played.

Later, at the start of their meeting, President Herzog gave the King a special present: a silver mezuzah. The design of the mezuzah presented to the King was inspired by Torah scroll crowns, symbolizing God’s coronation as king. The mezuzah is traditionally given as a statement of goodwill and desire for the recipient’s wellbeing.

In their meeting, President Herzog and King Hamad discussed the importance that their countries attach to their bilateral relationship and the expansion of Israeli-Bahraini cooperation.

President Isaac Herzog thanked King Hamad at the start of their meeting, saying in Arabic, “My friend, Your Majesty, King of Bahrain, I thank you for the welcome to the distinguished Kingdom of Bahrain, as the first president of Israel to visit Bahrain.”

The President continued: “Your Majesty, this is a great moment and I am extremely honored to be here in the Kingdom of Bahrain. You are at the forefront of making history in the region, where Jews and Muslims can dwell together, the sons of Abraham, and move forward in peace. It is a long process, but we can dream of it and we can see it. Our nations joined the path of peace and the Kingdom of Bahrain is really one of the pioneers in this process, joining other nations that are pursuing peace together for the benefit and wellbeing of our peoples and the nations in the region and the world at large.

“Your Majesty, I have come here with a distinguished delegation of people who lead the business sector in Israel, who are eager to connect and do business with the people of Bahrain. It also epitomizes a certain message of goodwill and friendship from the people of Israel to the people of Bahrain. So thank you tremendously for your hospitality, for your leadership, for your friendship. I am sure that this visit will upgrade our relationship for the benefit of our peoples.”

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa said: “We welcome you, Excellency, Mr. President, and your accompanying delegation during your visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain, and we are confident that this visit has an important role in consolidating relations between our two countries, and supporting our common aspirations in terms of consolidating peace and sustainable development in the region and the world, and represents an opportunity for you to witness the beauty of the religious and cultural diversity in our country, and the spirit of friendliness, tolerance and peaceful coexistence among the members of our honorable society of all religions and races, reaffirming our belief in the values of peace, brotherhood and cooperation among human beings.”

The mezuzah that Herzog gave to the King of Bahrain
The mezuzah that Herzog gave to the King of BahrainPhoto: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO