Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Sweden: Muslim MP Hanif Bali gets countless hate mail due to his open support of Israel

The Times of Israel reports:
[...] the general climate of fear makes many Israel supporters hesitant to express their opinions publicly.  [...]

Hanif Bali
(Fredrik Wennerlund)

“When I say something [positive] regarding Israel I get a flood of hate mail and threats,” Hanif Bali, a member of parliament for the center-right Moderate Party, the largest party in the opposition bloc, tells the Times of Israel by phone. “The senders range from Palestinian or Arab immigrants to left-wing people in general, so the dialogue is very polarized and very aggressive. It’s hard to talk about the issue because you have to pay such a high price for it.”

Bali, who is of Iranian Muslim heritage, has received countless hate mail due to his open support of Israel. In one instance he had to contact the police after receiving a death threat.

“People write openly anti-Semitic things to you, like ‘Jew lover,’ and ‘Jew swine’… crude anti-Semitic insults, even though I am not even Jewish. I can only imagine what it would be like if a Jew said something on the issue,” he says.

Bali believes that the fact that he is not Jewish gives him courage to voice opinions that many Jews are scared to share openly.

“There are a lot of Jewish people who contact me and thank me for supporting Israel publicly, because they are not able to do so themselves, since then the anti-Semitism that is expressed against them is so much stronger,” he adds.

The government’s stance on Israel is deeply ingrained in the political system, Bali believes. Pro-Palestinian groups are eligible to receive governmental funds to conduct lobbying activities, further ingraining their perspective as part of the government’s official stance.

When asked if he could imagine a pro-Israel group getting access to such funds, he says: “I think that would be very, very difficult. I cannot imagine that it could happen.”

Read more.

No comments :

Post a Comment