Dari Malaysian Insider
03 Februari 2012
The truth about Malaysia and Israel
FEB 3 — It comes as no surprise that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim got into trouble with the federal government and Umno when he came out stating that he would support a final resolution to begin lifting sanctions against Israel.
After all, there are already Malaysians booing Israeli footballers. And Malaysia was not the first nation to start discriminating against Jews, Zionists and Israel, all three of which I look upon separately. Heck, don’t look at Germany alone. If one were to head to MPH, you can find a collection of anti-Semitic articles written by Henry Ford, the person who started the Ford Motor Group ages ago called “The International Jew”, which is available in four volumes.
Personally, I have no agenda against the Jews. After all, from a Muslim perspective all you have to remind yourself is the knowledge that the last prophet was granted to the descendants of Ismail and not that of Ishak. However, be reminded fellow Muslims that both sons, who gave birth to the Arabs and the Jews, did come together to bury their father Abraham regardless of whatever disputes they had.
That being said, let’s talk a bit about Israel and the truth about Malaysia’s relationship with the country. Israel has been lobbying for Malaysia to recognise them and begin relations through diplomacy and trade. In fact, from an online document from the Centre of Jewish Affairs forwarded to me by a friend, it seems clear that it is not the Malaysian head of the opposition who is wrong, but our federal government which would rather continue this policy of bedevilling the Zionists than tell the Malaysian people the truth.
It is easy to blame the Zionists and state that the Jews “owned everything”, a trademark of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s constant speeches to the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), especially during the economic crisis when George Soros was blamed for everything. Funnily enough, nobody stood up to blame Soros a decade later during the current economic downturn.
After all, if one were to watch a documentary called “Inside Job” you will see Soros denying any involvement by stating that he is an “old school” person who did not believe in the US system. It is even more disturbing when you see a picture of Mahathir being friendly with Soros, as posted by Jeff Ooi on his blog years after.
We have been trading with Israel for some time already. We have been sending Malaysians — royals, business leaders and students — at one point to Israel for some time now. In fact, until the period of Mahathir’s 23 years in office as prime minister, our bilateral ties were honestly quite diplomatic but not done within our own borders. Only during the period of Mahathir did it become a nationwide condemnation of the Israelis.
And now, people within Umno are stating that should Anwar win, Israel could open a consul in Kuala Lumpur. In fact, some are already hooting that due to this so-called gaffe of his, Umno can now win back Kedah and Kelantan. Really?
Allow me to dampen your glee, fellow Umno people. Let’s take a look at the European Commission’s trade website which details Israel’s trade with the world. According to their charts, Malaysia imports €63.9 million (RM255 million) from Israel, exports €603.7 million to Israel and Malaysia was in fact the 15th largest trade partner of Israel in 2010.
Prime Minister Najib Razak and his government took office when, exactly?
In fact, if we were to go back further, were we doing business with Israel even when Mahathir was prime minister?
According to a paper available online at the Institute of Jewish Affairs website which was published in October 2006, there was the notion of trade with Israel from Malaysia’s side during the Mahathir administration in 1993, and only in mid-January 1996 there began the insinuation of Malaysian trade with Israel, of which it was noted to have “no political significance.”
But what is worth noting is this paragraph from the article:
“In mid-February 1996, however, a Malaysian businessman visited Israel to discuss co-operation between Israeli and Malaysian companies. In late March, a delegation of Malaysian businessmen came to Israel and held talks with heads of chambers of commerce. Although Malaysia’s official boycott of Israeli products still stood, the head of the Malaysian delegation said he had been authorised by the minister of industry and trade. In early May the Israeli Port Authority sponsored an international conference, and a 16-member Malaysian delegation attended with government approval.”
As such, I raise the question again. Who exactly is helping the Zionists? It is not Anwar Ibrahim, but instead our own federal government, which continues to bask in its constant hypocrisy of using the words of the opposition leader against him while they claim brownie points.
* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.
* Hafidz Baharom is a social observer who has ruffled more than a few feathers. He has written for a number of publications, and is always looking to stir up discussions on things which need to be said.