Jewish groups have denounced the UK visit of 93-year old Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, who has previously said Jews “rule the world by proxy”.
Fresh from his vehemently anti-Israel speech at the United Nations last week, Mohamad visited Imperial College and the University of Oxford before giving a speech to influential think-tank Chatham House.
Jewish groups have pointed to his 2012 blog post, in which he echoes his own past comments, saying: “Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight for them.”
In the same post, he said: “I am glad to be labelled antisemitic… How can I be otherwise, when the Jews who so often talk of the horrors they suffered during the Holocaust show the same Nazi cruelty and hard-heartedness towards not just their enemies but even towards their allies should any try to stop the senseless killing of their Palestinian enemies.”
In an interview with Associated Press last month, Mohamad was pressed on his past comments, he said: “We should be able to criticise everybody… Antisemitic is a term invented to prevent people from criticising the Jews for doing wrong things.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism chair Gideon Falter said: “It is utterly appalling that at a time when antisemitism is so raw, a man who is proud to be an antisemite is being courted.”
Falter added: “It is equally unforgivable that he was invited to tour our most prominent educational institutions and share his opinions with students.”
Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister, Mohamad re-entered politics in 2017 and was re-elected in May, ousting his former ally Najib Razak, who has been implicated in a billion-dollar corruption scandal involving state-run investment fund 1MDB.