The Green Party’s Mehmet Kaplan who is the housing minister in the Swedish coalition government is currently in hot water after photographs were released showing him hobnobbing with Turkish, far right, neo-fascist extremists. He is seen at the same table as Barbaros Leylani (“death to the Armenian dogs”) and president of the Swedish branch of the neo-fascist Grey Wolves Ilhan Senturk.
This is not the first time Kaplan has been linked to extremist, islamic and anti-semitic organisations. As housing minister he is seen as incompetent and has also surrounded himself with an unprofessional personal staff. He is still in government as part of the price that Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and the Social Democrats have to pay for keeping their coalition going with the Greens.
(The Green Party leader is environment minister. She along with the culture and education ministers, who are also from the Greens, have not distinguished themselves particularly. But they cannot be accused of being extremist or anti-semitic – only of being incompetent and desperate to stay in government).
Kaplan however has been linked to islamic militants for some time.
- In 2014, Turkish-origin former Social Democrat member of parliament Nalin Pekgul accused Mr. Kaplan of being an “Islamist” with a “hidden agenda”. Writing a scathing editorial in a Swedish newspaper, the politician said that with Kaplan’s appointment to the ministry the government had “sent a clear signal to Sweden’s Muslims that the Islamists now have the support of the Swedish establishment”.
- Kaplan was also unthinking enough to equate Swedes joining IS with Finns fighting against Russians during WW2. Also a remarkable display of ignorance of history and an apologist remark – in any interpretation – for the IS.
- Mehmet Kaplan was arrested in 2010 by Israeli forces after participating in the Mavi Marmara flotilla, which was headed to the Gaza Strip. The Turkish-born MP was later deported from Israel over his involvement.
- During Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, Kaplan called for the “liberation of Jerusalem” at a pro-Palestinian rally.
- When the Mohammed cartoons were published in Denmark, he thought it was deplorable and not applicable as an expression of freedom of speech.
- Kaplan hosted a conference in the Swedish parliament where he invited Yvonne Ridley, a member of the English Respect Party and a rabid anti-semite. He also invited hate preacher Riyadh ul Haq.
The Green Party leader Åsa Romson is also – like Jeremy Corbyn’s extreme labour supporters – so enamoured of the Palestinian cause that she often strays into anti-semitic territory.
Green party “co-spokesperson” (a euphemism for “leader”) Åsa Romson has once again demonstrated that the greens have great difficulty in making the transition from being demonstrators on the streets to actually being in government. Åsa Romson is even the Deputy Prime Minister. She has been silly enough to first compare the Mediterranean to Auschwitz and then to refer to the Roma as “zigenare” which means gypsy and as a term has officially been declared to be “offensive”.
Anti-semitism crops up regularly among local Green politicians. Birgitta Hansen of the Stockholm Greens has said the Israelis “behave like the Nazis – only worse”. Another local Green politician Jerker Nordlund has called Israel “mentally sick” and called for a global war against Israel.
The Greens claim that they have no more than a “usual” number of anti-semites among their members. But I note that 17 of 21 local Green parties have expressed their support for Kaplan. They try to excuse themselves by saying they are pro-Palestine and anti-Israel and not anti-semitic, but methinks they do protest too much.
Green Parties around the world have become a safe haven for former communists and far-left extremists. And among the far left (as with the far right) there is very hard core of fascists and anti-semites. Unfortunately the sanctimonious, self-righteous sections of the Greens are often too naive – or too stupid – to realise when they have been hijacked. The Green Party in Sweden contains a hard core of anti-semites. In Kaplan they also seem to have an apologist for islamic extremism and a not particularly good minister.