The plight of the Palestinian people and the role of the ‘Zionist’ government of Israel is a matter of international and humanitarian concern, not a matter for Malaysian politicians to score points with the Malay-Muslim electorate. The prime concern of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (KEADILAN) has always been, and will always be, the fair and humanitarian treatment of all Malaysians and also the downtrodden peoples of other nations.
Four Umno leaders have voiced their opinions on Anwar Ibrahim’s stand on Zionist aggression, especially in light of The Washington Post article that was published recently. These Umno leaders — Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Defence Minister Zahid Hamidi, Information Minister Rais Yatim and Umno Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin — are jumping at the opportunity to distort the words of the writer, who wrote:
He [Anwar] said he regretted using terms such as “Zionist aggression,” which are common coin for demagogues like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. “Why do I need to use it if it causes so much misunderstanding?” he said. “I need to be more careful.”
In case these Umno leaders cannot comprehend proper English, what that means is that Anwar regrets using terms which demagogues like controversial Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad use, especially when it causes a misunderstanding in the international community. Anwar then humbly concedes he needs to be more careful in how he criticizes Israel’s Zionist government, in light of the fact that accusations of anti-semitism are rampant.
Nevertheless, the stand of Anwar Ibrahim and KEADILAN on ‘Zionist’ aggression towards Palestine is crystal clear. We denounce the recent violent attack on the Gaza flotilla, the continued discrimination, repression and brutality against Palestinians by the Israeli government, as well as question the role of the United States of America in supporting the ‘Zionist’ regime. At the same time, we respect the right of all Jews to have a homeland and to live in peace together with Muslim and Christian Palestinians. Indeed, we reject discrimination, repression and brutality both in Malaysia and abroad.
On the insinuations that Anwar is close with American Jews, he has already openly clarified that they are acquaintances from the time he was the Finance Minister of Malaysia. Indeed, Anwar Ibrahim has used every opportunity he could to raise the issue of Palestine and push for a quick resolution of the Middle East dispute.
What has the Umno-led government done? Defence Minister Zahid Hamidi has had a secret meeting with his Israeli counterpart. DPM Muhyiddin Yassin and Umno Youth Chief support PM Najib Razak’s decision to appoint Apco (which has questionable Zionist links) at the rate of RM77 million a year. And, to top it all off, Information Minister Rais Yatim is using his authority to ensure that the mainstream media plays to the tune of Umno-Barisan Nasional, who is now being advised by Apco.
If the Umno-BN government really wants to keep Malaysians informed about the plight of Palestinians and show their stand on ‘Zionist’ aggression, please instruct the mainstream media to translate and publish The Washington Post article in full and arrange for a televised debate betweeen Anwar Ibrahim and Najib Razak. Let all Malaysians see and hear for themselves what Apco is doing in Malaysia.