Mahathir: Jews silence critics with antisemitism smears

In an interview on Monday, Malaysia’s avowedly anti-Semitic prime
minister Mahathir Mohamad said accusations that he was anti-Semitic were
meant to silence his criticism of Jews “for doing wrong things.” (Malaysia has almost no Jews.) Associated Press reports:

Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad (photo: AP)

In an interview with the Associated Press that ranged from trade
with China to the Rohingya crisis in nearby Myanmar, Mohamad, a longtime
champion of Palestinian causes, was asked about his record of comments
seen as anti-Semitic.

“We should be able to criticize everybody,” he said, and assailed laws against denying the scale of the Holocaust.

“Anti-Semitic is a term that is invented to prevent people from criticizing the Jews for doing wrong things,” he said.

Mahathir
led his opposition Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) coalition to a
surprise victory in national elections in May. On Thursday he took his
oath of office before the king, Sultan Muhammad V. He is a
larger-than-life figure in Malaysia, with his influence dominating the
multiethnic country’s politics from the Cold War into a new millennium.
His first turn as prime minister stretched for 22 years, coming to an
end in 2003.

He is also famous for his virulent anti-Semitism. He wrote on his
personal blog in 2012 that “Jews rule this world by proxy,” the
Associated Press has reported.

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