The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned Columbia University for inviting anti-Semitic Israelophobic Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to address the University’s World Leaders Forum this week. (Other enemies of the Jewish people, like Iran’s former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been welcomed by Columbia, giving it the perverse distinction of being a pioneer in the Western hemisphere in seeking out and honoring vicious anti-Semitic leaders).
In his remarks on Wednesday at Columbia, Dr. Mahathir resorted to repeating numerous of his earlier statements and positions on Jews: he used insulting anti-Jewish language, calling Jews “hook-nosed”; insisted that Jews “rule the world by proxy”; questioned the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust; conflated his right to free speech with immunity from criticism when criticized for vicious Jew-hating statements. Dr. Mahathir also proclaimed that he is “glad to be labeled anti-Semitic.”
As a Times of Israel report observed, “In response to a question by a student who identified herself as a member of a campus pro-Israel group, Mohamad denied questioning how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust, but then went on to do so. ‘Well, I have not disputed them, but I have said that “Who determined these numbers?” If it is somebody who is in favor, you get one figure, if somebody who is against, you get another figure,’ he said.”
The ZOA has strongly criticized Dr. Mahathir’s statements on several previous occasions, in which he frequently compares Israel to the Nazis makes offensive stereotypical statements about Jews, ad nauseaum.
Mahathir’s anti-Semitic record includes the following:
- September 1986: Mahathir gave a speech at a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement, in which he stated: “the expulsion of Jews from the Holy Land 2,000 years ago and the Nazi oppression of Jews have taught them nothing. If anything at all, it has transformed the Jews into the very monsters that they condemn so roundly in their propaganda material. They have been apt pupils of the late Dr. Goebbels” (Anne Bayefsky, ‘UN accredits NGO led by Anti-Semitic Former Malaysian PM,’ Breitbart, August 5, 2013).
- Late 1990s: Mahathir blamed the world economic downturn on Jewish tycoons, including George Soros, the billionaire anti-U.S., anti-Israel currency speculator, whom Mahathir called a “moron.” (Mahathir and Soros subsequently made up and became friends, which is unsurprising in view of their shared hostility to the U.S. and Israel). (Greg Sheridan, ‘PM who turned dissident,’ The Australian, December 30, 2006).
- October 2003: Addressing the Organization of the Islamic Conference (since renamed the Organization of Islamic Cooperation – OIC), Mahathir stated, “Is it true that 1.3 billion people can exert no power to save themselves from the humiliation and oppression inflicted on them by a much smaller enemy? Is there no other way than to ask our young people to blow themselves up and kill people and invite the massacre of more of our own people? … We are actually very strong; 1.3 billion people cannot be simply wiped out. The Europeans killed 6 million Jews out of 12 million, but today the Jews rule the world by proxy: They get others to fight and die for them … We are up against a people who think. [Mahathir then spoke of using diplomacy to achieve war aims, citing Mohammed’s acceptance of the unwanted treaty of Hudaibiyah with the Qhuraish tribe, which he subsequently abrogated and returned to war to defeat the Qhuraishi tribe in new, improved strategic circumstances]. They survived 2,000 years of pogroms not by hitting back but by thinking. They 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 …” (‘Views on Jews By Malaysian: His Own Words,’ New York Times, October 21, 2003).
- September 2012: “I am glad to be labelled anti-Semitic. 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” (Anne Bayefsky, ‘UN accredits NGO led by Anti-Semitic Former Malaysian PM,’ Breitbart, August 5, 2013).
- October 2012: “the most blatant example of control over public expression is with regard to the protection of the Jews… when [Holocaust denier] David Irving a British historian doubted the 6 million figure, he was arrested and jailed in Austria even though his opinion was not expressed in that country. Since then no one has dared to openly question the veracity of the claim on the number of Jews killed by the Nazis” (Anne Bayefsky, ‘UN accredits NGO led by Anti-Semitic Former Malaysian PM,’ Breitbart, August 5, 2013).
- November 2012: “Israel is really operating an Auschwitz type of concentration camps as operated by the Nazis for Jews in the last war. Israel tells the world that the Nazis were inhuman. But the Palestinians, the Gazans did not put Jews in concentration camps. Still they are being made to apparently pay for the sins of the Europeans. Humane treatment is only for Jews. If Jews treat the Arabs with the same kind of brutality, it is alright” (Anne Bayefsky, ‘UN accredits NGO led by Anti-Semitic Former Malaysian PM,’ Breitbart, August 5, 2013).
- January 2013: “AIPAC (the Jewish lobby) the most powerful lobby in the U.S…” (Anne Bayefsky, ‘UN accredits NGO led by Anti-Semitic Former Malaysian PM,’ Breitbart, August 5, 2013).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We are appalled and disgusted that Columbia University has repeated its terrible mistake of inviting Holocaust denying anti-Semites, like Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to address its prestigious forums. Although criticized widely at the time, Columbia seems to have learnt nothing from the invitation it extended to Ahmadinejad.
“By inviting Mahathir to address the University’s forum this week, Columbia granted a podium and, no less worrying, bestowed an aura of respectability, upon a Jew-baiting, Israel-hating anti-Semite.
“Worse, by enabling Mahathir’s reiteration of his repeated anti-Semitic claims, Columbia has permitted the impression to form that Mahathir’s Holocaust minimization and comparisons of Israel and Zionism to Hitler and Nazi Germany are reasonable points of view for debate and discussion.
“Are David Dukes’ racist views on African- Americans reasonable subjects for debate at Columbia University? Of course not. Yet Columbia lost little time in inviting Mahathir to speak.
“It is as if Columbia could hardly wait to extend an invitation to Dr. Mahathir, who only recently last year returned to office as prime minister.
“Columbia’s donors and alumni, who might once have understandably felt inclined to bestow gifts upon the university that once gave them a superb education, should cease writing checks to Columbia University until it apologizes for its conduct and comprehensively stops enabling Jew-haters and advocates of Israel’s destruction.”