Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who in September weathered the latest in a series of scandals over his antisemitic remarks, on Saturday demanded U.S. President Donald Trump resign for offering an “utterly unacceptable” and “grossly unjust” peace plan for the Israelis and Palestinians.
“This deal will only bring more conflict to the region, and will antagonize billions of people around the world,” Mahathir said on Saturday at a meeting of the League of Parliamentarians for al-Quds, essentially an international support group for the Palestinian government.
“We are duty-bound and this responsibility is further amplified when powerful nations that had styled themselves as the defender of justice and freedom choose to be silent while the atrocities are being committed,” Mahathir said of the Palestinian situation.
“In other words, if we too choose to be silent, the blood from the murders and killings of the Palestinians by the Israelis is on our hands as well,” he elucidated.
Mahathir said Israel “should be condemned and punished” for its treatment of the Palestinians.
“Instead, powerful countries like the U.S. which talk so much about freedom and the rule of law choose to legalize the illegal. This President Trump has legalized the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem as ‘the deal of the century,’” he charged.
“This ‘peace plan’ acknowledges only the powerful occupier while completely ignoring the rights of the oppressed,” he complained.
“The deal will never result in a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state, on the contrary, it will only further the domination of an apartheid-like occupation over millions of Palestinians. The last time this happened was when Germany occupied Danzig and Sudetenland,” he said, comparing the Israelis to Nazi Germany.
At 94 years of age, Mahathir is the oldest serving head of state in the world. He held the office of prime minister from 1981 to 2003, then retired for 15 years before returning to power in May 2018 with a stunning defeat of his protege Najib Razak, who was mired in one of the world’s largest corruption scandals, the looting of the multi-billion dollar 1MDB development fund.
Mahathir has a reputation as an authoritarian (a charge he denies by bizarrely claiming he could not keep getting elected if he was one) and a history of making ugly anti-Semitic remarks, a résumé to which critics will add his remark on Saturday about the Palestinian territories being just like the Sudetenland under Hitler.
A few months after his return as Prime Minister in 2018, Mahathir gave an infamous BBC interview in which he described Jews as “hook-nosed,” blamed Israel for all of the Middle East’s problems, and questioned whether six million Jews died during the Holocaust. Before that, he was known for alleging that Jews “rule this world by proxy” and “get others to fight and die for them.”
Malaysia, in general, has problems with Islamism and anti-Semitism that have not improved under Mahathir’s administration, to put it mildly. In November a student at University Malaysia Sabah caused an international outcry by giving a Nazi salute at his graduation, praising Hitler’s “Final Solution” for the Jews, and declaring his allegiance to the Palestinian cause.
Contrary to Mahathir’s rant against President Trump’s Middle East peace plan, the proposal has found both support and opposition from Muslim countries, and arguably more of the former. Sources told the Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) on Monday that the United States is working to arrange a summit in Cairo that would feature a historic meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The summit would also include the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Bahrain, and Oman, but unfortunately not Jordan, whose King Abdullah reportedly declined the invitation because Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – currently serving the 15th year of the four-year term he won in 2005 – was not invited.