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Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad:
On the Jews

Posted: October 27, 2003

October 21, 2003, interview with The Bangkok Post:
    Japanese newspapers put down my talk to me being anti-Semitic….but they pick up one sentence in which I said the Jews control the world.

    Well, the reaction of the world shows that they control the world.

    Israel is a small country. There are not many Jews in the world. But they are so arrogant they defy the whole world.

    I have friends who are Jews. In fact I invited the Israeli cricket team to play in Malaysia, a number of Israeli schoolchildren, so they can meet Muslim schoolchildren in Malaysia and Chinese schoolchildren so that they can see we behave normally. We don't want to kill them.

    …many newspapers are owned by the Jews. They only see that angle and they have a powerful influence over the thinking of many people. Only their side of the picture is given now. The Muslims, we are pictured as terrorists, unreasonable people…

October 16, 2003, speech to the Tenth Islamic Summit Conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia:
    The Muslims will forever be oppressed and dominated by the Europeans and the Jews.

    It cannot be that there is no other way. 1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews. There must be a way.

    We are actually very strong. 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.

    They survived 2000 years of pogroms not by hitting back, but by thinking. They invented and successfully promoted Socialism, Communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so they may enjoy equal rights with others. With these they have now gained control of the most powerful countries and they, this tiny community, have become a world power.

    Of late because of their power and their apparent success they have become arrogant. And arrogant people, like angry people will make mistakes, will forget to think.
June 3, 2003, address at Tokyo seminar on Japan's role in Asia's development:
    "… Europeans, nominally at least are Christians and as Christians their old enmity towards Islam in particular still color their thinking. They were at one time more anti-Jew or anti-Semitic. But horrified by the Holocaust, they now bend over backwards in order to atone for their crimes. Such is their about-turn that they are willing to tolerate the crimes committed by Israel." (BBC Monitoring, June 4, 2003.)
December 13, 2002, address at a United Nations symposium on Islam at UN University in Tokyo:
    "If the Arabs who before were not terrorists are today willing to commit suicide in order to fight against the Israelis or Americans, there must be a reason for it. And the reason is that they feel that Americans and the Jews and the Europeans have been unjust to them." (BBC Monitoring, December 13, 2002.)
January 2002: In a statement made prior to hosting an international meeting of Muslim countries on terrorism, Mahathir said of terrorism:
    "At the moment the definition tends to be confined only to Islamic nations and Muslims at large whereas Israel and the Jews are also terrorist state or people." (BBC Monitoring, January 30, 2002.)
1997: Mahathir overcame opposition from the Malaysian Parliament and Islamic groups to bring an Israeli cricket team to Malaysia in 1997. He also sponsors Israeli students on two-week study tours to Malaysia "because we believe there should be understanding between Muslims and Jews." (Los Angeles Times, April 24, 1999).

October-November 1997: Mahathir claimed to have "definite information" that financier George Soros, whom he identified as a Jew, was responsible for Malaysia's currency problems. He stated:
    We do not want to say that this is a plot by the Jews, but in reality it is a Jew who triggered the currency plunge, and coincidentally Soros is a Jew. It is also a coincidence that Malaysians are mostly Moslem. Indeed, the Jews are not happy to see Moslems progress. If it were Palestine, the Jews would rob Palestinians. Thus this is what they are doing to our country.

When journalists suggested that his comments were anti-Semitic, Mahathir responded: "I merely stated that incidentally this person is a Jew, and incidentally we are Moslems."

Some weeks later, he reiterated:
    "I did not say there was a Jewish conspiracy. That was one of the options. We did not accuse the Jews of causing the currency plunge, but it looked like they triggered the currency crisis. Are we not allowed to say anything about it? We feel as if we are not allowed to say anything irritating concerning other countries."
Mahathir also stated:
    "When a person of Jewish origin does this kind of thing, the effect is the same as when as a Muslim carried out something akin to terrorism."
(BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, October 15 and November 13, 1997; Chicago Sun-Times, October 17, 2003.)

March 1994: The Malaysian film censor refused to license the screening of Schindler's List, saying, "it seems the illustration is propaganda with the purpose of asking for sympathy, as well as to tarnish the other [German] race." Officials subsequently said they would lift the ban if several scenes were deleted. Defending the initial decision, Mahathir said he had not seen the film but that "'it is our right to ban any film in this country. I don't think anybody should protest." (The New York Times, April 7, 1994; South China Morning Post, April 18, 1994.)

September 1986: In a speech at meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement, Mahathir stated that "the expulsion of Jews from the Holy Land 2,000 years ago and the Nazi oppression of Jews have taught them nothing. If anything at all, it has transformed the Jews into the very monsters that they condemn so roundly in their propaganda material. They have been apt pupils of the late Dr. Goebbels." (BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, September 10, 1986; Chicago Sun-Times, October 17, 2003.)

November 1986: The visit of Israeli President Chaim Herzog to Singapore was protested by the Malaysian government, and the Malaysian high commissioner in Singapore was temporarily withdrawn to Kuala Lumpur. (Bangkok Post, January 21, 2003.)

August 1984: Citing a law that forbade the "screening, portrayal or musical presentation of works of Jewish origin," Mahathir's government forbids the New York Philharmonic from playing the work of Ernst Bloch, a Jewish composer, at a scheduled performance (later cancelled) of the New York Philharmonic in Kuala Lumpur. (Abraham Foxman, "An Anti-Semitic Side to the Malaysian Story," letters, The New York Times, May 31, 1985.)

1970: In his book The Malay Dilemma, Mahathir wrote: '"Jewish stinginess and financial wizardry gained them commercial control of Europe and provoked anti-Semitism which waxed and waned in Europe throughout the ages." He also wrote that "the Jews for example are not merely hook-nosed, but understand money instinctively." (Sydney Morning Herald, October 17, 1997)
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