Gay Iranian Poet Seeks Asylum in Israel, The Country He 'Fell in Love With'

But we thought Israel was a "human rights violating" apartheid-state...

Proof once again that Muslims, particularly minorities, across the Islamic world would give anything to live in peace, freedom and democracy in Israel. 

Payam Feili, an openly gay Iranian poet, is seeking asylum in Israel, the country he feels the greatest affinity for and maintains he loves deeply.

The poet was imprisoned in Iran over his sexuality before and faces a potential death sentence if he were to return home. The Jewish State is now considering Feili's asylum application. The Times of Israel reports

 

 

The 30-year-old poet stands out not only because of his arrival in a country so at odds with his own, but because of his professed adoration for the state some Iranian leaders have dubbed a cancer and have called to be wiped off the map.

Feili, who has written nine books, many of them openly discussing homosexuality, escaped to Turkey last year when the Iranian government’s threats against him and his family became unbearable.

He arrived in Israel late last year to see his latest novella, “I Will Grow, I Will Bear Fruit … Figs,” staged as a play in Hebrew in a Tel Aviv theater. While his always supportive family remains in Iran, he said he hopes to stay in Israel permanently.

Feili has nurtured a fascination with Israel since he was a youngster, when he began watching films about the Holocaust and started learning about the Torah. He has a coin-sized Star of David tattoo on his neck.

“I grew closer and closer to Israel and I fell in love with it,” he said.

According to the PEN American Center, a writers’ group advocating for freedom of expression, Feili’s email account was hacked and he was locked out of his online blog. He was arrested three times over four years, most recently in February 2014 after he agreed to have his work published in Hebrew in Israel, according to PEN. The group said he was held blindfolded in a shipping container at an unknown location for 44 days, without being charged.

During an interview with Israeli Channel 10, the poet said he believes "Israel is the best and most beautiful place in the world."

Liberals as usual, contradict themselves, for they claim to champion liberal democratic values and freedoms yet vilify the only country in the Middle East and Maghreb that affords them to its citizenry. 

Issues