No. 506 7 Heshvan 5764 / 2 November 2003
THE MAHATHIR AFFAIR: A CASE STUDY
IN MAINSTREAM ISLAMIC ANTI-SEMITISM
At the Organization of the Islamic Conference summit, Malaysian Prime Minister Mohamad Mahathir, the conference host, represented relations between Muslims and Jews as a worldwide frontal confrontation, offering some new examples of a "Jewish conspiracy." His words were broadly applauded.
Since an EU summit was being held at the same time, it was proposed to include a condemnation of Mahathir's remarks in the summit's final statement. However, this was blocked by French President Jacques Chirac and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis. Instead, the condemnation was delegated to the Italian EU presidency.
A New York Times editorial said the EU's refusal to condemn Mahathir's speech at its own summit adds "a concern that displays of anti-Semitism are being met with inexcusable nonchalance," while a Le Monde editorial noted that "such words are common currency in the Arab Islamic world where they pass for evident truth...and this direct form of racism, purely and simply is practiced as a normal category of the 'political debate.'"
The importance of the Mahathir affair is that it has exposed in a short time and in a concentrated way the profound anti-Semitic thought present among major layers of both mainstream Muslim elites and society.
The Mahathir affair is also an important case study for the analysis of Western reactions to Islamic anti-Semitism.
Finding Scapegoats for Islamic Weakness
The tenth summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (IOC) - attended by leaders of 57 countries - opened on October 16, 2003, in Putrajaya, Malaysia. In his welcoming speech, the conference host, Malaysian Prime Minister Mohmad Mahathir, attacked the Jews and the West. His main theme was to lament Islam's weakness and to discuss how this could be remedied. His words were broadly applauded. With his remarks about the Jews, Mahathir started a chain reaction that was to provide wide-ranging proof of the character and dynamics of mainstream Islamic anti-Semitism.
While much attention was given to Mahathir's speech, what happened subsequently is even more important. The questions to be addressed are: Who condemned Mahathir and how? Who supported him and in what way? And who remained silent?
Muslims and Jews: A Worldwide Confrontation?
In his speech, Mahathir represented relations between Muslims and Jews as a worldwide frontal confrontation. Though he only devoted a few sentences to Jews, he presented some new examples of what anti-Semitism studies call "the theory of Jewish conspiracy." Mahathir said:
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 weaknesses and our strength, to plan, to strategize and then to counter-attack.
We are actually very strong. 1.3 billion people cannot be simply wiped out. The Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million. But today the Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.
We are up against a people who think. 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. We cannot fight them through brawn alone. We must use our brains also.1
The worldwide attention given to Mahathir's anti-Semitic remarks overshadowed the rest of his speech which contained a number of observations that are typical of much of contemporary discourse by Islamic leaders. Mahathir said: "We are all Muslims. We are all oppressed. We are all being humiliated."
He added: "We are now 1.3 billion strong. We have the biggest oil reserve in the world. We have great wealth. We are not as ignorant as the Jahilliah [the ignorant of the pre-Islamic period] who embraced Islam. We are familiar with the workings of the world's economy and finances. We control 50 out of the 180 countries in the world." He concluded that because Islamic countries do not unite against the outside world, they are not using their power efficiently.
Many of the "facts" Mahathir expressed concerning Muslims were misrepresentations. It is difficult to claim that all Muslims are being humiliated. Many inhabitants of oil-rich countries are quite well-off, where it is Muslims who humiliate other Muslims, sometimes almost treating them like slaves. Mahathir avoided mentioning the near absence of democracy and the presence of major corruption in the Islamic world, responsible for much of its problems. Mahathir replaced these facts with myths.
Mahathir's anti-Semitic attacks led to many reactions from the Western world. U.S. State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said: "We view them with the contempt and derision they deserve."2 A few days later at the Asia-Pacific Summit in Bangkok, President Bush told Mahathir - according to White House spokesman Scott McClellan - that his words about the Jews controlling the West by proxy "were wrong and divisive....It stands squarely against what I believe."3 Mahathir, however, denied that Bush had rebuked him.4
Australian Prime Minister John Howard commented on Mahathir's OIC speech: "Any suggestion from anybody anywhere in the world of dividing the world into Jewish and non-Jewish groupings is historically indefensible and wrong and something that most Australians would regard as quite repugnant."5
Later, at the Asia-Pacific Summit, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer declared: "We regard anti-Semitism as unacceptable and the Australian government hopes that there won't be further comments of this kind."6
The Foreign Minister of New Zealand, Phil Goff, said: "We're concerned about language that brings back memories of so-called Jewish conspiracies."7
Outgoing Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, who also attended the Asia-Pacific Summit, refused to condemn Mahathir personally when asked to do so at a press conference in Bangkok, and referred to an earlier statement by his foreign ministry. The Toronto Star wrote, "Jean Chrétien suffered an unexpected casualty yesterday. He lost his tongue....Chrétien greeted Mahathir with a warm handshake, as many leaders did. But he kept his mouth shut on the subject of anti-Semitism."8
European Union Divisiveness
British Foreign Minister Jack Straw summoned the Malaysian high commissioner to complain about Mahathir's remarks. The Foreign Office stated: "It is particularly regrettable that some positive and welcome messages in Mahathir's speech, such as the emphasis on negotiation being the path to peace, were obscured and overshadowed by racist remarks."9 Also, the German Foreign Office summoned Malaysian diplomats in order to complain.10
Italy currently holds the presidency of the European Union. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told reporters: "The [Malaysian] prime minister used expressions that were gravely offensive, very strongly anti-Semitic and...strongly counter to principles of tolerance, dialogue, and understanding between the Western world and the Islamic world."11
Since an EU summit was being held at the same time, it was proposed to include a condemnation of Mahathir's remarks in the summit's 19-page final statement. According to Ha'aretz, the draft stated: "his unacceptable comments hinder all our efforts to further inter-ethnic and religious harmony, and have no place in a decent world. Such false and anti-Semitic remarks are as offensive to Muslims as they are to others."12
However, French President Jacques Chirac opposed the inclusion of these lines in the summit statement, and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis supported Chirac, Ha'aretz reported. According to a statement issued by the French Embassy in Israel, Chirac condemned Mahathir's remarks but considered the EU summit an inappropriate place to state this. French Embassy spokesman Pierre Filatoff told Agence France-Presse that "the EU rules did not allow such declarations (condemning anti-Semitism) to be integrated in such documents."13 Apparently, the leaders of most EU countries thought differently.
Thus, it was decided that the Italian presidency of the Council of the European Union would post a statement on its website, saying: "The EU deeply deplores the comments made earlier today by Dr. Mahathir in his speech at the opening of the 10th session of the Islamic Summit conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia....Such words hinder all our efforts to further inter-ethnic and religious harmony, and have absolutely no place in a tolerant world."14
Chirac's Ambiguity Toward Jews Exposed
By now President Chirac had much reason to be satisfied. He had once again proven his friendship for the Islamic world. He vetoed the condemnation of one of their leaders in a major European Union meeting, and substituted instead an Italian statement on an EU website, as well as a statement by the French Embassy in Israel.
It was Mahathir's reaction, however, which exposed Chirac. The Malaysian prime minister thanked Chirac for blocking the EU summit declaration which intended to deplore his speech. The Malaysian daily The Star quoted Mahathir on Chirac: "I think he understands better. Anybody who reads the whole speech through will understand what I said. In fact, I was worried that the Muslims would be against me, but it was the Europeans who were against me. I can't understand them."15
Chirac was now caught in a situation where he had to minimize the damage. Had he not reacted, this would have exposed him as condoning anti-Semitism and would have shown the statement of the French Embassy in Israel to be a minor, meaningless gesture toward the Jews.
Thus, Chirac replied to Mahathir on October 19, saying, "your remarks on the role of Jews provoked strong disapproval in France and around the world."16 Chirac also expressed his approval of Mahathir's calling for an end to Palestinian suicide attacks on Israelis. Yet the French were three days late in making a specific statement from Paris, thus further exposing Chirac's ambivalence toward the Jews. Chirac is facing increasing difficulty in maintaining the facade that he is critical toward Israel but friendly toward the Jews.
In a recent interview, Israel Singer, Chairman of the World Jewish Congress Executive, noted that during the restitution negotiations of the 1990s, Chirac's behavior followed a classic pattern of being anti-Israel and then trying to compensate by being supportive of diaspora Jewry. On a later occasion, however, Chirac told Singer that Jews are the cause of anti-Semitism in France and everywhere else.17
In May 2003, at a meeting in Paris with leaders of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), Chirac denied the existence of anti-Semitism in France. He claimed that attacks on Jews were only suburban hooliganism. Chirac also mentioned that a year earlier he had invited a Palestinian student in France to lunch at the Elysee Palace after the student had told him he wanted to return to Palestine to kill Jews. When the SWC leaders went to their next meeting not far from Chirac's residence, some of them who wear yarmulkes were insulted by bystanders' anti-Semitic remarks, such as: "Jews get out of France."
The Greek Role
France's allies in the Mahathir affair - the Greek Socialists - have a long history of anti-Jewish racism. Already in 1982, Socialist Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou - father of the present Foreign Minister George Papandreou - publicly compared the Israelis to the Nazis.18
Widespread anti-Semitism among Greek politicians, the press, and throughout society is being increasingly exposed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. At the OSCE/ODHIR Human Dimension Meeting in Warsaw on October 14, 2003, Dr. Shimon Samuels of the SWC presented a lengthy report entitled, "Twenty Months of Anti-Semitic Invective in Greece, March 2002-October 2003." He called for the Greek government to take appropriate measures against the anti-Semitic offensive in its country, which violates the European Union's provisions and international conventions.19
The Western press reported extensively on the Mahathir affair. The New York Times wrote in an editorial: "Sympathy for the Muslims' plight must not be confused with the acceptance of racism. Most Muslims have indeed been shoddily treated - by their own leaders, who gather at feckless summit meetings instead of offering their people what they most need: human rights, education, and democracy. The European Union was asked to condemn Mr. Mahathir's speech in its statement yesterday ending its own summit. It chose not to, adding a concern that displays of anti-Semitism are being met with inexcusable nonchalance."20
A few days later, the paper balanced these views with a column by Paul Krugman largely blaming the United States for the anti-Americanism in the Muslim world. Krugman called Mahathir's remarks "inexcusable," yet tried to explain them.21 Krugman was smarter than Mahathir. When he stated that Bush backs Sharon unconditionally, this is a much more elegant way of stating the fallacy that the Jews run the world by proxy.
Columnist Richard Cohen in the Washington Post referred to the standing ovation the summit's audience gave Mahathir for his speech: "Mahathir's claque included Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah, Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf, our guy in Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, and even Russia's Vladimir Putin, representing his country's large Muslim minority....But what corrupts and enfeebles large parts of the Islamic world is not Jews in either New York or Tel Aviv but its own self-serving and inept leadership - in other words, some of the very people who stood and cheered the speech."22
Singapore's Straits Times political editor Zuraidah Ibrahim commented on the speech: "To give it the kindest spin possible, one could say that he was only trying to rally Muslims to learn from the Jews as they seek to slough off the humiliation and oppression of centuries. That he was lauding the Jews for setting a positive example: they responded to persecution by using their brains, not just their brawn. But to leave it at that would be to gloss over his dangerous and irresponsible portrayal of Muslims as being in an epic confrontation against the Jews. The sad truth, however, is that it is a line one has heard said among Muslims. Must it be that way? Must Muslims view the world in such foreboding terms, of them versus us?...It is easy to reduce all of the world's problems to either Islamic terrorism or a Jewish conspiracy. But that doesn't mean it is right."23
The French daily Le Monde wrote in an editorial that nobody had left the hall when Mahathir voiced his anti-Semitic comments. The author wondered why nobody had left and suggested: "Not out of courtesy for the host of this tenth summit. Not out of apathy. For a much more severe reason. Because the audience approved. Because such words are common currency in the Arab Islamic world where they pass for evident truth and are regularly uttered by government, the press - which is most often controlled - and teachers...and this direct form of racism, purely and simply is practiced as a normal category of the 'political debate' - which alas has penetrated some of our [French] suburbs." The paper concluded that Mahathir has allowed himself to announce peaceful means to fight against the "Jews." He should know that his speech nourishes terrorism.24
The Israeli Foreign Ministry condemned Mahathir's speech. So did Minister Natan Sharansky, saying: "This is the first time since World War II that anti-Semitism in its most primitive and vulgar form constitutes the official agenda of a respected international political forum which, in this instance, is composed of nearly one-third of the world. This occurrence is made possible only because of the indifference and lack of concern demonstrated by the Western world when confronted by blatant anti-Semitism. We all know how these things begin - always with Jews - but history has taught us again and again that it never ends with the Jews."25
David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, said: "This kind of language, which attributes to Jews a variety of demonic powers, is reminiscent of the crudest and most vile anti-Semitism in history."26 Later he said: "This is a good test in terms of international reaction to bigotry. Is it condemnation followed by business as usual, or are there teeth to the denunciation?"27
The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned Mahathir's speech as: "A diatribe that would have made Hitler and Goebbels proud....Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the SWC, blasted Mahathir as a 'dangerous racist whose hateful rhetoric is a virtual invitation for further anti-Semitic attacks.'"28
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in a press release "expressed appreciation to those countries and leaders who strongly condemned the vehemently anti-Semitic speech by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad before the summit of the Organization of Islamic Countries, but called those who acquiesced or were silent in their reaction to the speech, 'willingly complicit in spreading Mahathir's hate.'"29
ADL national director Abraham Foxman expressed specific appreciation to the European Union, Italy, Spain, and Germany, and added, "We are especially outraged by the actions of French President Jacques Chirac and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis to block the inclusion of a condemnation of Mahathir's anti-Semitic speech in the official statement of an EU summit. By their disgraceful behavior, these countries are willingly complicit in spreading these words of hate."30
Colin Rubenstein, executive director of the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC), said that Mahathir's "vile assertions were probably the most blatant and viciously anti-Semitic remarks made publicly by any major world figure in decades."31
Amnon Dankner, editor of the Israeli daily Maariv, published a harsh criticism of Chirac's behavior. In a more moderate yet still critical way, the French-Jewish umbrella organization CRIF came out against the European Union and French government's attitude, saying: "It seems to us that the protest of the European Union is insufficient and purely formal. Beyond a formal letter to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, we expect from France a strong, solemn statement of global impact against barbarous utterances."32 Some French-Israeli tensions were a further fall-out of the Mahathir affair.
Mahathir's Anti-Semitic Past
Mahathir has a long history of making anti-Semitic remarks. According to the BBC News website, already in 1970 - long before he became prime minister - Mahathir said, "The Jews, for example, are not merely hook-nosed, but understand money instinctively."33
In December 1997, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) published a policy dispatch devoted to Malaysian anti-Semitism under Mahathir. It said, inter alia, "in 1983, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was printed in Malaysia....In a 1986 speech at a 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 pupils of the late Dr. Goebbels.'"34
In May 1998, Business Week published a letter from ADL national director Abraham Foxman entitled, "Mahathir's Anti-Semitism is an Old Story," in which he wrote: "Although Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad attempts to justify anti-Jewish remarks he made earlier this year, we must remember that those distasteful comments are consistent with his long history of anti-Semitism and belief in a Jewish conspiracy to bring about the downfall of Malaysia. So his recent comments blaming a Jewish conspiracy for Malaysia's economic fall came as no surprise."35
At the 1999 Davos economic conference, Mahathir criticized the Jews using arguments reminiscent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He blamed the Jewish connection for Asia's economic problems.36
Retired Israeli ambassador Moshe Yegar, who in the 1960s lived in Malaysia for more than a year, published an essay in summer 2003 entitled: "Malaysia - Anti-Semitic Policy Without Jews." In it he mentioned how in June 1983 the country's prime minister condemned Israel for the campaign in Lebanon, calling it "the most immoral government in the world."37 In 1997, Mahathir claimed his government was afraid the Jews were planning to destroy Malaysia's economy and that of other Muslim countries.38
Malaysia's Three-Fold Strategy of Reaction
In view of the unexpected major criticism, Malaysia developed a three-fold strategy of reaction. The first element was to try to create a smokescreen through contradictory declarations of senior politicians. In an interview with Australian television's Nine Network, Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said that Mahathir had been misunderstood. He added: "I am confident he has no anti-Jewish feeling."39 Yet the next day, Mahathir said: "I have been accused of being anti-Semitic when what I said was only based on facts. That is my perception of things." He added: "These are facts of history and to tell me that I cannot mention facts of history is to deny me my right to free speech."40 He also continued to fan the anti-Semitic flames on the following days.
A second element in the Malaysian strategy of reaction was to mobilize other Islamic leaders to support Mahathir or explain that he was misinterpreted. Iranian President Mohammad Khatami claimed that accusing Mahathir of being anti-Semitic was "Western propaganda....No Muslim is anti-Semitic."41
Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said at a press conference, "I don't think he called for war against the Jews or anything like that, he expressed his own thoughts…but I'm very sure he did not ask Muslims to go to war with anyone."42 The President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, said: "Dr. Mahathir was just talking about issues confronting the Muslim world and what Muslims should do."43
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Maher argued that Mahathir's remarks had been taken out of context. If one read the entire speech, it would show that he "had in fact made a shrewd and deep assessment of the problems facing the Muslims."44 Farouk Kaddoumi of the PLO observed that Mahathir spoke the truth, "but Israel and their sympathizers tend to regard any statement against them as anti-Semitic. They accuse us while they occupy our country, kill our people, and claim that we are terrorists."45
Abdikassim Salad Hassan, President of Somalia, stated: "My entourage and I found Dr. Mahathir's speech very straightforward and in-depth. He was not trying to incite hatred or incite the Muslims to go to war against the Jews, but in fact his speech was about unity to face the threats from the Jews."46
Megawati Sukarnoputri, the Indonesian president, took a similar line. She claimed the foreign media had misinterpreted Mahathir's speech, which was indicative of the information gap between Muslim and non-Muslim countries: "That is why there should be more communication between these two sides, to put through the real message of Islam, which is essentially one of tolerance and moderation. We have to put across our own values."47
The third element in the Malaysian government's strategy, the Malaysian media, pointed out that Mahathir had been misinterpreted,48 while criticizing the reactions of Western leaders. Ahmad A. Talib wrote in the New Straits Times: "Imagine. These are reactions from so-called world leaders who have often declared that they are promoters of freedom of speech and a democratic way of life....Some of us flipped when we read the news item datelined London: 'UK summons Malaysian diplomat over comments on Jews.' Someone in Kuala Lumpur makes a comment on Jews and a representative of the government is hauled up by a foreign government."49
Another of the paper's columnists, Shamsul Akmar, wrote that the question remained whether the Jews controlled the world. He added: "Should the rest of the world also ignore the genocide waged by Israelis against Palestinians just because Washington is silent about it?"50
Very few voices in the Islamic media condemned Mahathir's statements, further proving how deep-seated anti-Semitism is in what is called the "moderate" Islamic world.
The smokescreen the Malaysians tried to create around their prime minister's words didn't last very long. On October 21, Mahathir told the Bangkok Post: "Just recently in Japan, the Japanese newspapers put down my talk to me being anti-Semitic...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. The Europeans and the Americans and others want to condemn me when, in fact, one chap said all Muslims are terrorists. Did the European Union pass a resolution to say that this is against Muslims?"51 He added that he has Jews among his friends, thus using a classic line of those who have to explain away their anti-Semitism. Mahathir has also frequently attacked the United States, Australia, the Europeans, homosexuals, and many others.52
The importance of the Mahathir affair is that it has exposed in a short time and in a concentrated way the profound anti-Semitic thought present among major layers of both Muslim elites and society. There is no shame in publicly using the most vile anti-Semitic expressions including those from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This work of falsification is regularly republished throughout the Islamic world.
Mahathir has thus generated a wide-ranging demonstration of mainstream Islamic anti-Semitism. The Mahathir affair now serves as the core proof of this anti-Semitism, while the remainder of the abundant anti-Jewish material from the Islamic world serves as supporting evidence for this mainstream racism.
Finally, Mahathir's words at the Islamic summit were applauded and later backed by many others. These reactions show that the Islamic world - in which hardly anybody is democratically elected - is dangerous not only for the Jews but for the rest of humanity as well. Beyond those extremist Muslims who preach genocide using the Arab expression jihad, the Mahathir affair has demonstrated how problematic the world of ideas of mainstream Islamic society is for the West. It is also an important case study for the analysis of Western reactions to Islamic anti-Semitism.
* * *
1. News Desk, "Dr. Mahathir Opens 10th OIC Summit," The Star, October 16, 2003. (This article contains the full text of the speech.)
* * *
2. "What They Say about Mahathir's Remarks on Jews," Straits Times, October 19, 2003.
3. Darren Schuettler, "Bush Tells Mahathir His Jew Remarks are 'Wrong,'" Reuters, October 20, 2003.
4. Nirmal Ghosh, "Mahathir Downplays Bush Criticism," Straits Times, October 23, 2003.
6. "Anti-Jewish Remarks May Mar Mahathir's Political Swan Song," Sydney Morning Herald, October 20, 2003.
8. Martin Regg Cohn, "Chretien Has No Comment on Mahathir," Toronto Star, October 21, 2003.
9. John Aglionby, "West Accuses Malaysian PM of Racism," Guardian, October 18, 2003.
11. Straits Times, October 19, 2003.
12. Sharon Sadeh, Yoav Stern, and Amiram Barkat, "EU Condemns Malaysian PM's Remarks on Jews, But No Apology is Forthcoming," Ha'aretz, October 19, 2003.
13. "Chirac Backed EU Condemnation of Malaysian PM: Spokeswoman," EU Business, October 19, 2003.
14. Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union [website], October 16, 2003.
15. Devid Rajah and Clarence Chua, "Mahathir Thanks Chirac for Support," The Star, October 19, 2003.
16. "France Condemns Mahathir Speech on Jews," Reuters, October 19, 2003.
17. Manfred Gerstenfeld interview with Israel Singer, "Restitution: The Second Round," Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism, November 2, 2003.
18. Daniel Perdurant, "Anti-Semitism in Contemporary Greek Society," Analysis of Current Trends in Anti-Semitism, no. 7 (Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 1995), p. 10.
19. Simon Wiesenthal Center, "Twenty Months of Anti-Semitic Invective in Greece, March 2002-October 2003," October 14, 2003.
20. Editorial, "Islamic Anti-Semitism," New York Times, October 18, 2003.
21. Paul Krugman, "Listening to Mahathir," New York Times, October 21, 2003.
22. Richard Cohen, "Return to Wannsee," Washington Post, October 21, 2003.
23. Zuraidah Ibrahim, "Insight: Drop that Jews vs Muslims Worldview," Sunday Times, October 18, 2003.
24. "L'editorial du Monde, Antisemitisme," Le Monde, October 19, 2003 [French].
25. As communicated by Minister Sharansky's office.
26. American Jewish Committee Press Release, "AJC Condemns Anti-Semitic Remarks by Malaysian Prime Minister," October 16, 2003.
27. Ron Kampeas, "After Mahathir's Anti-Semitic Remarks, Jews Wonder If Outrage Will Yield Change," JTA, October 21, 2003.
28. Simon Wiesenthal Center Press Information, "Mahathir's OIC Diatribe Would Make Hitler and Goebbels Proud and is a Warrant for Anti-Semitic Terrorism," October 16, 2003.
29. "ADL Statement on World Reaction to Mahathir's Speech," Press Release, October 17, 2003.
31. News.com.au, "Jews Condemn Mahathir," October 17, 2003.
32. CRIF, "Chirac Explains He Condemned Malaysia's PM, Denies He Blocked EU Move. Jewish Leaders Not Convinced," October 22, 2003.
33. BBC News, August 10, 2003.
34. "'The Protocols' Malaysian Style: The Case of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad," World Jewish Congress Policy Dispatch, no. 24, December 1987.
35. Abraham Foxman, "Mahathir's Anti-Semitism is an Old Story," Business Week, May 14, 2003.
36. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "The Anti-Semitism Monitoring Forum, Government Secretariat: Report of Anti-Semitic Incidents - February 1999."
37. Moshe Yegar, "Malaysia - Anti-Semitic Policy Without Jews," Gesher, Summer 2003, p. 81 [Hebrew].
38. Ibid., p. 87.
39. "Malaysian Defends PM's Statement on Jews," AP/New York Times, October 19, 2003.
40. "Dr. M Hits Out at the West for Distorting His Speech," The Star, October 18, 2003.
41. "Leaders Rally to Defend Dr. Mahathir," New Straits Times, October 17, 2003.
46. "To the Defense of Dr. Mahathir," The Star, October 18, 2003.
48. Ashraf Abdullah, "International Media Twisting Dr. M's Words," New Straits Times, October 18, 2003.
49. Ahmad A. Talib, "Outcry Over Dr. Mahathir's Remarks Makes No Sense," New Straits Times, October 19, 2003.
50. Shamsul Akmar, "The Question Still Is: Do Jews Control the World?" New Straits Times, October 18, 2003.
51. Pichai Chuensuksawadi, "Exclusive Interview/Mahathir Mohamad," Bangkok Post, October 21, 2003.
52. BBC News, August 10, 2003.
Manfred Gerstenfeld, Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is an international consultant specializing in business and environmental strategy to the senior ranks of multi-national corporations, and an associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, for which he co-chairs the Judaism Task Force. His books include Israel's New Future: Interviews (JCPA and Rubin Mass, 1994); Environment and Confusion: Searching for a Balanced View (Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies/Rubin Mass, 2nd English ed., 2002); Judaism, Environmentalism and the Environment (Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies/Rubin Mass, 1998). His book Europe's Crumbling Myths: Today's Anti-Semitism's Post-Holocaust Origins will be published in the coming month. For more essays by the author, see www.manfred-gerstenfeld.net.
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