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Hanukkah row: BCCI denies role

Manama : The Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) played no part in the reception organised to host a delegation of Jewish American businessmen in the city, it said in a statement yesterday.

A Bahraini businessman had hosted a reception to a delegation of Jewish American businessmen as well as Bahrainis, the other day. Reportedly the delegation was here on a business trip to Bahrain. A video, however, published on social media showed the members of the Jewish delegation dancing alongside Bahrainis. The video was posted on social media websites a few days ago and it went viral on the same day. Western media misinterpreted the video describing the event as a celebration of Hanukkah, a Jewish celebration.

BCCI First Vice Chairman Khalid Al Zayani clarified that it was not a celebration and that the Bahrainis who attended, including the host, were surprised at how the event had unfolded. According to him, the reception was organised by Bahraini businessman Nabeel Ajoor in his personal capacity.

“The BCCI has absolutely no hand in this and we had no knowledge of this. Those who attended the reception went there upon receiving an invitation from our colleague Nabeel Ajoor. In a statement yesterday Nabeel had apologised because he was misled about the group’s intention. From our side we want to make it clear that the chamber dissociates itself from the event,” the BCCI said.

“It was not just members of the chamber who attended, even a few government officials were present. We went there in a personal capacity, nobody expected that something like this would come out of it, even the host was surprised,” he said. Ajoor declined to comment when contacted by DT News.

In an statement sent out by the BCCI yesterday, it stated that the chamber will only function in compliance with the Kingdom’s political stance.

“The chamber reaffirms our commitment and adherence to the political trajectory of the Kingdom and the perspective of its people toward local, regional, and international issues,” it stated. It stressed the chamber’s role is in “serving and promoting the Bahraini private sector in line with the political leadership.”

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