Malaysia

Hadi Awang: PAS rejects Zionism, not Jews

By Lisa J. Ariffin
March 17, 2012

Hadi said PAS’s objections towards Israel were not based on race. — File picHadi said PAS’s objections towards Israel were not based on race. — File picKUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — PAS rejects Zionism but is prepared to co-operate with Jews, party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has said.

“PAS rejects Zionism because it is a fanatical ideology of the [Jewish] race,” he was quoted as saying today by Bernama Online.

However, Abdul Hadi said co-operation with Jews in commerce was allowed as trading with non-Muslims has been practised all this while.

Zionists are Israeli nationalists who uphold the precepts of a sovereign Jewish state and exclusive racial identity.

In January, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim drew criticism from Umno and its media following an interview with the Wall Street Journal, where he expressed support for “all efforts to protect the security of the state of Israel.”

But the opposition leader has since clarified his remarks by saying he was referring to a “two-state solution”, and that his support was also contingent on Israel respecting the aspirations of Palestinians.

Following the report, former prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad accused Anwar of being a Jewish sympathiser and a leader who disregarded the plight of the Palestinians.

The former premier had also alleged that the US and Israel were conspiring to cause a regime change in Malaysia through a “puppet government” to be led by Anwar.

Dr Mahathir claimed it was the US government’s hope that the new leadership under Anwar, his long-time arch-nemesis, would establish diplomatic relations with Israel and distance itself from the Palestinian struggle.

Muslim-majority Malaysia is a staunch supporter of Palestine and has no diplomatic ties with Israel.

Muslim politicians have long vied for support from Malays by denouncing what they say are inhumane acts of aggression by Israel towards its neighbour.

Anwar has previously been attacked as a supporter of the Zionist movement due to his interaction with prominent Jewish figures in the West.

But the opposition leader turned the tables on Umno and Barisan Nasional in 2010 when he claimed public relations firm APCO Worldwide, then contracted by Putrajaya, was responsible for both the 1 Malaysia and 1 Israel campaigns.