Last year was the first time that the king of Bahrain, the only Muslim-dominated country with a synagogue, officially marked the first day of Hanukkah. Bahrain had one of the smallest Jewish populations in the world, about 1,500 Jews in 1948, and most left after the creation of Israel in that year. Less than 50 Jews are said to reside in the country today.
Bahrain's ambassador to the US between 2008-2013 was a Jewish woman, Houda Nonoo, who had earlier served in the nation's parliament.
Last year, during the Hanukkah ceremony, the king of Bahrain 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."
"We will continue to allow Jews to live peacefully and quietly, maintaining their lifestyle, their customs and the commandments of their religion," he said.
Hamas, In a statement, condemned the ceremony, calling it a "humiliating and disgraceful spectacle," attended by a "Zionist, racist and extremist Jewish delegation," and called for Bahrain to "fully stop any form of normalization with the Zionist enemy."
Bahrain currently maintains no diplomatic ties with Israel, although its foreign minister was one of the first Arab diplomats to offer condolences on the death of Israel's former-president Shimon Peres in September.