Raging condemnation of Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim for suggesting that there should a just two-state solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict that ensures lasting regional peace as well as security and stability of both sides.
To the outside world, Malaysia – deemed a Muslim nation that is modern, secular, progressive and democratic – is a model which the Islamic world should adopt, and which will help remedy the trouble Muslim radicals pose to the world in the name to violent Jihad and terrorism.
The fact that Malaysia is such as state was demanded by Malaysia’s famed former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Muhammad himself, who told the 2004 World Economic Forum in New York that, "Malaysia is a modern, secular and progressive Islamic state – not despite but because of Islam."
While Malaysia may offer solutions to the world’s Jihad problem, but not of Israel, a nation that has faced incessant threats of Islamic Jihadism from the very next day of its birth in 1948, with only three Islamic nations – Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan – recognizing the legitimacy of Israel, and which will also, in all likelihood, be withdrawn as Islamism win the Middle East and Turkey.
While the Quran and Sunnah of the prophet are themselves sources of rabid Anti-Semitism, the worldwide Muslim governments’ rejection of the legitimacy of Israeli statehood, thereby, supporting its annihilation, also helps turn the Muslim world a hotbed of Anti-Semitism. And Malaysia is no exception to that. Malaysia’s Anti-Semitism was reflected most vividly in the words of Prime Minister Mahathir himself in his speech in the 2003 Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in Kuala Lumpur:
- The Muslims will forever be oppressed and dominated by the Europeans and the Jews.
- 1.3 billion people can exert no power to save themselves from the humiliation and oppression inflicted upon them by a much smaller enemy (i.e., the Jews)?
- 1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews. There must be a way. And we can only find a way if we stop to think, to assess our weakness and our strength, to plan, to strategize and then to counter attack.
- Over half a century we have fought over Palestine. What have we achieved? Nothing. We are worse off than before. If we had paused to think then we could have devised a plan, a strategy that can win us final victory.
- 1.3 billion people cannot be simply wiped out. The Europeans killed 6 million Jews out of 12 million. But today the Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.
Dr. Mahathir not only posited the rather localized Israel-Palestine conflict as a conflict between all Jews and the entire Muslim world but also urged the whole Muslim world get united and find ways to defeat the Jews. Since Hitler, probably no other national leader expressed Anti-Semitism as viciously and bluntly as did Mahathir – a statesman of towering stature in the Muslim world.
And the official policy in Malaysia, continued to be ruled by Mahathir’s party UMNO, hasn’t changed any bit as reflected in a new bout of Anti-Semitism unfurled in Malaysia in recent days. It all started after Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s opposition leader, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, supported the best solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict to ensure lasting regional peace, security and stability. He said,
“Some refuse to recognize the state of Israel, but I think our policy should be clear – protect the security [of Israel] but you must be as firm in protecting the legitimate interests of the Palestinians.”
“Malaysia calls on all quarters to find a comprehensive solution which is fair and just based on the roadmap and resolutions of the United Nations Security Council where both countries can live next to each other in peace and harmony,” he added.
There can’t be a more level-headed proposition regarding a viable solution to the perennial Israel-Palestine conflict than this. But it has become all the reasons for outrage in Malaysia.
Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Anifah, twisting Anwar’s statement, said, “his full support for all actions to safeguard the security of Israel is pathetic, an embarrassment and should be condemned.”
Khairy Jamaluddin, the chief of ruling party’s youth wing, said: “[Anwar’s comments] show a blanket support for anything Israel does.”
And Dr Chandra Muzaffar, former president of Anwar’s own party, also hit out at him saying “Anwar serves Zionist interests” and added:
“Anwar understands that for the US, as far as Arab-Israel conflict is concerned, defending Israel matters most. And he knows that US lobbyists judge other countries' leaders based on their stand on the conflict.”
And Dr. Mahathir, Malaysia grandfather of Anti-Semitism, reacted to Anwar’s interview, saying: “I’m not surprised as I know he (Anwar) is close to them (Israel). He is also very friendly with many members of the United States Congress and Senate who are of Jewish origin. He is sympathetic towards the Jewish state's struggle.”
“Definitely he is close to Israel because he likes to be praised by the West for this. He wants to be seen as a modern leader who follows the trend, but actually he is way behind time,” Mahathir added.
It should be added that Anwar hasn’t always been a friend of the Jews. In 2010, he lambasted the ruling party for its relationship with a public relations firm, named APCO, which, he claimed, was “controlled by Zionists” and working on behalf of the American government to influence Malaysian government policy. As a result, certain Jewish groups in America had urged the US officials to cut ties with him for his Anti-Semitic and Anti-Israel stand.
It is quite possible, as Dr. Mahathir and other have said of Anwar’s motivation behind expressing his latest position the Israel-Palestine conflict, but it is also true that his position as expressed in the interview – a two-state solution with both side’s security assured – is the only way forward for the resolution of Israel-Palestine conflict. And it is the lack of such realization among Muslim leaders, both in Palestine and in the wider Arab and Islamic world, that prevents a peaceful and just solution to the conflict. The wider Muslim world’s annihilatory position on the state of Israel keeps the Palestinian public and leadership lulled to their theology-inspired age-old desire to destroy the Jewish state and, thereby, helps linger the sufferings of the Palestinians.