The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism

Malaysian prime minister defends his right to be antisemitic

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Kuala Lumpur – Antisemitism is an artificial construct created to silence critics of the Jews, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said.

“There is one race that cannot be criticized. If you are antisemitic, it seems almost as if you are a criminal,” Mohamad said in an interview with the Associated Press on Monday, denying that he disliked Jews, as such. “Antisemitic is a term that is invented to prevent people from criticizing the Jews for doing wrong things.”

“When somebody does wrong, I don’t care how big they are. They may be powerful countries but if they do something wrong, I exercise my right of free speech. They criticize me, why can’t I criticize them?”

Mohamad, an avowed antisemite, was sworn in as prime minister in May, nearly two decades after he last held office. He is well known for his antisemitic rhetoric, writing on his personal blog in 2012 that “Jews rule this world by proxy.”