Malaysian leader Mahathir bin Muhamad has now taken over leadership of the so-called Non-Aligned Movement of nations, and used the occasion to launch a revolting attack on the West in general and Jews in particular. This news inspired David G. Littman, an NGO representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, to observe the following in an e-mail to the Corner:
“The outrageous remarks by the new chairman of the 116-member Non-Aligned Movement: ‘Mahathir – one of Asia’s most respected and outspoken statesman,’ according to an AP report – were in his usual fiery rhetoric style. Aside from ’collateral’ damages comparisons – with ‘the 3,000 who died in New York and the 200 in Bali,’ his statement that ‘there was no systematic campaign of terror outside Europe until the Europeans and the Jews created a Jewish state out of Palestinian land.’ Four examples from the 1980s and 1990s should suffice to show the disgracefully racist flavor of his ‘thinking’ on ‘Jews’!:
“1) At the 8th Conference Meeting in 1986 of the then 101-Member Movement of the same ’Non-Aligned’ countries, held in Harare, Zimbabwe, he was quoted as saying : ‘The expulsion of Jews from the Holy Land some two thousand years ago and the Nazi oppression of Jews have taught them nothing. If 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 Dr. Goebbels.’ (Int. Herald Tribune, Oct. 8, 1986). This public comment about ‘Jews’ by Asia’s ‘respected and outspoken statesman’ was made on Sept. 7, 1986, the day after Abu Nidal’s PLO-dissident terrorist squad massacred 23 Jews at worship in the Neve Shalom (‘Gates of Peace’) synagogue in Istanbul.
“2) Three months later, he inaugurated Malaysia’s ‘Anti-Jewish Day’ (New York Times Dec. 7, 1986, p. 6), and on a State Visit to Great Britain in July 1987 (received by the queen), he again repeated the ‘Goebbels’ calumny publicly, without overt criticism.
“3) In 1994, ‘Schindler’s List’ was banned in Malaysia on the grounds that it was ‘Jewish propaganda.’ (IHT, March 24, 1994)
“4) Then came the three months of accusations against American financier George Soros of ‘helping trigger the region’s currency losses’ (the ringgit had lost 30% – ‘Malaysian Leader Sees Hidden Jewish ‘Agenda’,' by Thomas Fuller, IHT, Oct. 11-12, 1996). He also declared: ‘We are Muslims, and the Jews are not happy to see Muslims progress.’
“I need hardly add that at no time has this ‘respected and outspoken statesman’ from Asia been criticized at the UN Commission on Human Rights for his ongoing, blatantly racist and hateful remarks that are in contradiction with the International Bill of Human Rights.
“Earlier this week, again, he insisted that religious extremists were only reacting to ‘blatant double standards’ (Iraq and Palestine!). The real ‘double standards’ are that no Western democratically elected leader could get away with mouthing such crude garbage.”