A United Nations committee dedicated to Palestinians’ rights accredited a nongovernmental organization headed by the former prime minister of Malaysia, a controversial figure who has said he is “glad” to be called an anti-Semite, sparking protests by pro-Israel groups.
At a session in New York last week, the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People officially granted accreditation to five civil society organizations, among them the Perdana Global Peace Foundation, which was founded by Mahathir Mohamad.
Mohamad, who served as Malaysia’s prime minister from 1981 until 2003, has repeatedly sparked controversy with his anti-Western and anti-Semitic comments. In a 2003 speech, he said that “the Jews rule the world by proxy” and get “others to fight and die for them.” During the same speech, he further stated, “They invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong so they may enjoy equal rights with others. With these, they have now gained control of the most powerful countries.”
Despite the global outrage caused by his comments, Mohamad did not disavow them. “I am glad to be labeled anti-Semitic,” he stated last year, after an Israeli court ruled that the state was not to blame for the death of American peace activist Rachel Corrie, who was run over by an IDF tank as she attempted to prevent it from demolishing Palestinian homes.
“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 hardheartedness toward not just to their enemies but even toward their allies should any try to stop the senseless killing of their Palestinian enemies,” Mohamad reportedly stated.