Photo Credit: United States Embassy Kuala Lumpur
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad

Columbia University’s World Leaders Forum invited Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to speak on campus this Wednesday, and the school is catching enormous amounts of flak, as World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder put it best: “Unfortunately, it comes as no shock that the same institution that hosted the Jew-hating president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will be hosting the unabashedly anti-Semitic Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad.”

That Jew hater from Iran was none other than President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose appearance on campus at CU caused a huge storm back in 2007.

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In 2003, PM Mohamad told the Organization of the Islamic Conference summit in Kuala Lumpur: “1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews. There must be a way. And we can only find a way if we stop to think, to assess our weaknesses and our strength, to plan, to strategize and then to counterattack. We are actually very strong. 1.3 billion people cannot be simply wiped out. The Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million.”

In 2012, PM Mohamad wrote, “Jews rule this world by proxy.”

In 2017, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) granted hosting rights of the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships to Malaysia, but in 2019, Malaysia announced that it bans Israeli athletes from the event. Mohamad said the reason was that Israel is “a country which does not obey international laws” and that the world always follows what Israel says. And so, on January 27, 2019, Malaysia lost its hosting rights, to be replaced by the United Kingdom.

Mohamad has also said, “I am glad to be labeled 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.”

Mohamad wrote in his book “The Makay Dilemma” (1970): “The Jews are not merely hook-nosed, but understand money instinctively.”

Columbia University President Lee Bollinger sent out an apologia letter to, among others, the group Students Supporting Israel, where he argued that “this form of open engagement can sometimes be difficult, even painful. But to abandon this activity would be to limit severely our capacity to understand and confront the world as it is, which is a central and utterly serious mission for any academic institution.”

He insisted that the invitation is neither “validation” or “endorsement” of the PM’s views, explaining: “I find the anti-Semitic statements of Prime Minister Mahathir to be abhorrently contrary to what we stand for, and deserving condemnation. Nevertheless, it is in these times that we are most strongly resolved to insist that our campus remain an open forum and to protect the freedoms essential to our university community.”

According to Reuters, in March this year, support for Mahathir Mohamad’s government fell to a mere 39%, down from 66% in August 2018. Mahathir’s personal popularity is down to 46% from 71% in the same period.

He says he doesn’t believe in polls. Well, they don’t believe in him, either.

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