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Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Anwar Ibrahim And Being Anti-Israel

I thought this was an interesting article in the Washington Post, which expresses my sentiments exactly.

Flirting with zealotry in Malaysia

Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of Malaysia's political opposition, has become known over the past decade as one of the foremost advocates of liberal democracy in Muslim countries. His many friends in Washington include prominent members of the neoconservative movement -- such as Paul Wolfowitz, the former World Bank president and U.S. ambassador to Indonesia -- as well as such Democratic grandees as Al Gore.

Lately, Anwar has been getting attention for something else: strident rhetoric about Israel and alleged "Zionist influence" in Malaysia. He recently joined a demonstration outside the U.S. embassy in Kuala Lumpur where an Israeli flag was burned. He's made dark insinuations about the "Jewish-controlled" Washington public relations firm Apco Worldwide, which is working for Malaysia's quasi-authoritarian government.

Therein lies a story of the Obama era -- about a beleaguered democrat fighting for political and personal survival with little help from Washington; about the growing global climate of hostility toward Israel; and about the increasing willingness of U.S. friends in places such as Turkey and Malaysia to exploit it.

First, a little about Anwar: While serving as deputy prime minister under Malaysian strongman Mahathir Mohamad in the 1990s, he began pushing for reforms -- only to be arrested, tried and imprisoned on trumped-up charges of homosexual sodomy. Freed after six years, he built a multiethnic democratic opposition movement that shocked the ruling party with its gains in recent elections. It now appears to have a chance at winning the next parliamentary campaign, which would allow Malaysia to join Indonesia and Turkey as full-fledged majority-Muslim democracies.

Not surprisingly, Anwar is being prosecuted again. Once again the charge is consensual sodomy, which to Malaysia's discredit remains a crime punishable by whipping and a prison sentence of up to 20 years. Anwar, who is 63 and married with children, denies the charge, and the evidence once again is highly suspect. His 25-year-old accuser has confessed to meeting Prime Minister Najib Razak and talking by phone with the national police chief in the days before the alleged sexual encounter.

Nevertheless the trial is not going well. If it ends in another conviction, Anwar's political career and his opposition coalition could be destroyed, and his life could be at risk: His health is not great. Yet the opposition leader is not getting the kind of support from the United States as during his first prosecution, when then-Vice President Gore spoke up for him. Obama said nothing in public about Anwar when he granted Najib a prized bilateral meeting in Washington in April.

Read the rest of the article on the site.

3 comments:

Antares said...

You should read my friend John Kaminski who says the most politically incorrect things about Jews, much of which, alas, happens to be true. But I personally don't take racial slurs too much to heart because the real problem invariably issues from erroneous or outdated belief systems (software) - not human beings, regardless of their tribal origins. I didn't like Jackson Diehl's tone at all. He's most probably on the Zionist payroll - like 90% of opinion-makers in the media universe! :-)

donplaypuks® said...

Being anti-Zionist is not equivalent to being anti-semitic, in the same way that being anti-Nazis is not anti-German.

Our MSM nad pro-UMNO bloggers acn't seem to understand this simple concept!

dpp
we are ll of 1 race, the Human Race

Crankster said...

Antares - I have read John Kaminski and what he says hardly bothers me. He's not going to lead a nation. Jackson Diehl is far too soft on Anwar Ibrahim for my taste.

DPP - very true. I'm frankly not a huge fan of the Zionists, but there are some quarters who believe that their movement is a matter of survival from the holocaust.