It was to be his international swan song. A time for the Malaysian prime minister, the moderate Muslim, to deliver some parting words before leaving office. And so, in a speech to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Mahathir Mohamad declared that, “Jews rule the world by proxy, they get others to fight and die for them.”
His remarks triggered a volley of criticism from the United States and from some European corners. Many people cited his remarks as signaling a world-wide rise in anti-Semitism, others, many from Islamic countries, have risen to Mahathir’s defense. They say his remarks were designed more to shame Muslims than to criticize Jews, and furthermore they say, there has to be some room to express criticism of Israel and America.
Ian Buruma, Professor at Bard College and author of the New York Times Magazine article, “How to Talk about Israel”
Abraham Foxman, president of the Anti-Defamation League and author of “Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism.”