Who’d Defend Mahathir Mohamad’s Racism? Lauren Booth !
Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is an interesting case, plenty of form. The ex-Malaysian Prime Minister is unambiguous about his racism.
Mahathir thinks that the “Jews run the world by proxy”, and anyone with access to the Internet could quickly verify the racist nature of his statements in about a minute, as the YouTube clip shows:
On politics, he says:
“They [Jews] invented socialism, communism, human rights, and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so that they can 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.” ”
Earlier in 1997 in a similar vein, he made this remark:
“”We do not want to say that this is a plot by the Jews, but in reality it is a Jew who triggered the currency plunge, and coincidentally Soros is a Jew. It is also a coincidence that the Malaysians are mostly Muslim.”
Back in 1970, he wrote:
“The Jews for example are not merely hook-nosed, but understand money instinctively. “
Even last year, he ranted again:
“Jews “had always been a problem in European countries. They had to be confined to ghettoes and periodically massacred. But still they remained, they thrived and they held whole governments to ransom”
But without any sense of irony he defends himself by saying:
“I have friends who are Jews”
Not unsurprisingly Mahathir holds weird views on 9/11:
“There is strong evidence that the attacks were staged. If they can make Avatar, they can make anything”
Mahathir think that the US President is controlled by others:
“The former premier also blamed Jews for hindering progress in US foreign policy. Voicing his disappointment that Barack Obama had not yet ended the war in Afghanistan or closed the US terror detention center at Guantanamo, he explained that “there are forces in the United States which prevent the president from doing some things. One of the forces is the Jewish lobby.” “
So why would anyone want to defend him? Mahathir is clearly an anti-Jewish racist with long term serious hangups about Jews.
Well, one person would, Lauren Booth, sister in law to Tony Blair.
Booth recently gave an interview where she tried to whitewash Mahathir’s record:
“Q: You’re here for the launch of Viva Palestina Malaysia where you met our former prime minister Tun Dr Mohamad. What do you think of him?
[Lauren Booth] A: I very much liked Tun Dr Mahathir and his wife, Tun Siti Hasmah. It’s refreshing to see a former world leader who is dedicated not to making millions from oil, banks or occupations but to setting up foundations for righteous behaviour.
Q: He’s been labeled an anti-Semitic in the Western press due to his views on Israel. Do you agree?
A: If you speak to Dr. Mahathir, it is clear he has neither the personality nor the inclination to be an anti-Semite. He is a thoughtful, pious and philosophical man. I want to tell the people of Malaysia not to be scared of being labeled anti-Semitic when criticising the unjust, disgraceful behaviour of the Israel regime.
The label ‘anti-Semite’ is applied deliberately to quash debate on the Israeli government and its army and we must not be afraid to speak out (on it). “
Well, if you can’t call someone, who argues that “Jews rule the world by proxy” an antisemite, then who can you?
Incredible, imagine the next stop, will Lauren Booth be defending the ex-KKKer, David Duke?
Seems only a matter of time. What a terrible decline?
Update 1: Tom Gross covered Mahathir before:
“Officials of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s party gave out translated copies of US industrialist Henry Ford’s anti-Semitic book The International Jew to delegates at the annual United Malays National Organization (UMNO) conference in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.”
Update 2:The CST has a piece on Mahathir’s racism.
Update 3: Judeosphere on Mahathir’s “clarification”.
Update 4: Jeff Weintraub ably explains the thinking behind Mahathir’s views:
“The 2003 meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, a world-wide organization of 57 Muslim states, took place in Malaysia. The long-time Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad opened the conference with a speech in which he asserted, among other things, that “today the Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.” To help put this analysis in historical context, he added that the Jews “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.” (I think we can feel proud of three out of four of these, which isn’t a bad average.) “We are up against a people who think. [….] We cannot fight them through brawn alone. We must use our brains also.”
This kind of stuff is, of course, lifted directly from the classic discourse of late-19th and early 20th-century political anti-semitism (Mahathir also distributes copies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which is a best-seller in the Muslim world). The main difference is that, back in Hitler’s youth, the Jews were accused of having invented both capitalism and communism (along with the other disruptive phenomena of modernity). Mahathir left out capitalism here, since he’s actually rather fond of it. On the other hand, like a lot of other people, he does hold us responsible for many of the ills of “globalization,” and anti-globalization rhetoric is often the latest version of populist anti-capitalism. (For instance, at the time of the East Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, Mahathir suggested that it was a plot spearheaded by Jewish financiers like Soros.) “
Update 5: The Guardian covered it in 2003, but without any particular bite.
Update 6: Fixed some typos, note to self: less posting at 3 am.