Anila Ali, a Pakistani-American Muslim and women’s rights activist, has stirred up controversy by supporting Israel in the ongoing conflict with Hamas. At a pro-Israel rally, she expressed solidarity with the Jewish people, stating that she stands with them as an Abrahamic brother and sister.
Ali condemned the actions of Hamas on October 7, citing that they go against Islamic principles. She concluded her speech with the phrase “Am Yisrael Chai,” expressing support for the enduring existence of the Jewish people.
Anila Ali, based in Orange County, California, is a teacher and the founder of American Muslim and Multifaith Women’s Empowerment Council, an NGO promoting interfaith understanding through religious activities.
Ali’s pro-Israel stance caused further discontent when she was part of a delegation that visited Israel in early May 2022. The group, mainly consisting of Pakistani Americans, traveled on U.S. passports but maintained strong ties to Pakistan. The visit, organized by an American Muslim women’s activist group and sponsored by an Israeli organization, aimed to strengthen ties with Muslim-majority nations.
Tensions in Pakistan heightened when Israeli President Isaac Herzog revealed his private meeting with the Pakistani and Pakistani American delegation. The meeting occurred at Herzog’s residence in Jerusalem during the rare visit, intensifying the controversy surrounding Ali’s support for Israel.