Friday, October 17, 2003

CNN - Malaysian "Regret" Over Jew Remarks

You can't make this stuff up:

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia -- Malaysia's foreign minister has apologized for what he described as any misunderstandings over Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's assertion that Jews "rule the world", saying no offence from the remarks was intended.

Fighting to reign in a surge of international outrage that followed the Malaysian leader's comments Thursday, Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said Friday that Mahathir had been misunderstood.

[............]

In his wide-ranging speech to the Organization of Islamic Conference, the often-controversial Mahathir launched a blistering attack on Jews and Israel saying, "Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them."

[............]

"I'm sorry that they have misunderstood the whole thing," Syed Hamid told The Associated Press. "The intention is not to create controversy. His intention is to show that if you ponder and sit down to think, you can be very powerful."

"Please forget about anti-Semitism," Syed Hamid told reporters. "Islam has never advocated being anti anybody including theJews."

"The only problem with the Jews is when the State of Israel was created," he said, adding that Jews worked and were welcomed in Malaysia.

"The PM's message is to stop violence, which is not the answer for us to succeed in our struggle. People may not be very happy but this is the reality: the Jews are very powerful."

[............]

[Mahathir] told leaders from 57 Islamic nations at the conference -- the biggest gathering of Muslim leaders since the September 11, 2001 -- that the Muslim world had achieved "nothing" in its 50 years struggle against Israel.

He called on Muslims to emulate the Jewish response to oppression, arguing the Jewish people had "survived 2,000 years of pogroms not by hitting back, but by thinking."

Mahathir said, "They invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy, so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so that they can enjoy equal rights with others.

"With these they have gained control of the most powerful countries and they, this tiny community, have become a world power.

"We cannot fight them through brawn alone, we must use our brains, also."

Mahathir said the world's "1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews," but suggested the use of political and economic tactics, not violence, to achieve what he called a "final victory." (emphasis added)

So, Dr. Mahathir, how do you really feel about the Jews? And as for talk of a "final victory" - well, that smacks too much of Nazism, with it's prophecies of an "endsieg" over "international Jewry", to be merely coincidental, coming as it does from a man as well-read as Mahathir.