Bosniak political leader, Bakir Izetbegovic, commented on the recent statement by Israel's Embassy regarding electoral reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina, saying that he has “no intention to try to win over Israel’s favour.”
“We work a lot on diplomacy and lobbying. You saw how many resolutions there were, from the one in the Bundestag, the Senate in the USA, and the EPP. None of this just happened out of nothing,” he said, referring to pro-Bosnian resolutions other countries adopted.
Izetbegovic, who is the leader of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), made the statement after the Israeli Embassy to Bosnia and Herzegovina issued a memorandum on Monday expressing support for electoral law reform based on a model backed by Bosnian Croat parties.
The embassy, which is based in Tirana, welcomed a resolution passed by the Bosnian House of Peoples which supports the working definition of the term anti-Semitism, determined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. The resolution was passed at the initiative of Deputy Speaker Dragan Covic.
The embassy also welcomed a similar decision passed by the Presidency of BiH at the initiative of Serb Presidency member Milorad Dodik as well as the move by city authorities in Mostar to rename disputable street names.
Izetbegovic said that “Covic and Dodik found a way to get closer and gain the sympathy of Israel.”
“We have Jewish friends all over the world. The president of the World Jewish Congress was recently in Srebrenica,” he said.
“I have no intention of trying to win over Israel, you see what they are doing in Gaza at this time”, said Izetbegovic.
He added that BiH has good relations with Israel.
“We stand behind what the United Nations is saying, two states – one Palestinian, the other Israeli. And we don’t support Israel expelling every last Palestinian. Over a million people live in Gaza in very difficult conditions. What should I do to please Israel? I have no intention of doing that,” he said.
“Israel will not decide on changes to the electoral law. A few thousand people who gathered the other day have more influence than a few million Israelis,” he said, referring to the recent protests in front of the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in BiH.