Under KDU:s riksmöte brukar vi ge våra internationella gäster möjligheten att skicka en hälsning till riksmötet. Inför hälsningen från våra israeliska besökare gjorde jag denna introduktion:
Speech by Charlie Weimers upon the visit of Davidi Hermelin, Chairman of Young Likud, to the national convention of the Swedish Young Christian Democrats.
Sweden and Israel. A lot of people probably used to think of the Eurovision Song Contest upon hearing the names of these two countries.
Nowadays, many associate it with Swedish anti-Israeli sentiments in conjunction with something that should have been a normal Davis Cup game in Malmö. What we saw was not only a political manifestation. We saw the leader of the opposition, social democrat Mona Sahlin speaking at a rally where flags of Hizbollah and Hamas occurred. We saw pro-Israeli manifestations being attacked by the anti-democrats of the so called Anti-Fascist Action. In short, we saw a shameful display of a discriminatory attitude towards the most free country in the Middle East.
What we will remember is the decision of the leftist majority in Malmö to ban the public from attending the tennis game. The reason – they said – was that they couldn’t guarantee the security at the arena. But we all knew that this was a plain lie. The police stated that they could guarantee the security, so it had to be something else.
The Vice Chairman of the Malmö City Committee for Culture and Sports gave us the real answer when he said that it was a “moral issue” to ban audience from the game. What he should have said was that in Sweden, we don’t let single politician’s view on a country poison the basic idea of sports – bringing people together. They should also have stated that in Sweden, we never cave in when facing threats of violence.
KDU firmly believe that some of the most important keys to a peaceful world are freedom, democracy and mutual respect between the peoples of the world. And I personally believe that Nathan Sharansky’s town square test is a good compass when shaping the Swedish foreign policy. What he said was this:
If a person cannot walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm, then that person is living in a fear society, not a free society. We cannot rest until every person living in a ”fear society” has finally won their freedom
If more countries would pass the town square test, we would see a more peaceful future in the Middle East. If the countries and authorities of the Middle East would recognize Israel’s right to exist, we would truly have found a key to a more peaceful future.
During my term as vice president of YEPP, I had the opportunity to meet young representatives from both Kadima and Likud, the centre-right partners in Israel. And we all know that our national convention is a great opportunity to improve the relations with like-minded organizations from around the world.
And my dear friends, for the first time, KDU have guests from the party in government in Israel. Davidi and Boaz, we are really happy that you came all the way to Växjö from Tel Aviv. I hope that we have been able to show that in Sweden, there are friends of Israel.