Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has described Israel as a terrorist nation and the root cause of instability in the world.
Addressing youths at the Al Sharq Annual Conference 2019 in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, the 93-year old leader stressed that the time had come for the international community to stand together and end Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
“Apartheid, genocide, crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression and all the evil that mankind can inflict on others can be compiled in Palestine – courtesy of the barbaric, arrogant, terrorist nation called Israel.
“Until and unless the international community is committed to finding a solution to bring an end to the occupation of the land belonging to the Palestinians, the region and the rest of the world will not have much of a chance for stability and order,” he said in his keynote address before opening the conference, held the first time in Malaysia.
His statement led to overwhelming applause from the 1,000-odd participants, many of whom are from the Middle East.
Describing Palestine as the core of all tragedies, he said the world was not stable and neither did it look like to be so in the near future.
Dr Mahathir said the senseless murder of innocent people continued in the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq by the US-led coalition in 2001/2003 which had seen more tumult than stability in the region before the Arab Springs came about.
“Nations like Syria, Libya and Yemen today provide images of a human tragedy while the rest of the world watch helplessly.
“Their sufferings did not originate from internal strife but rather interference and interventions from external powers which obviously were doing it out of self-interest, disguised under the veil of democracy and human rights,” he said.
The prime minister said that ancient civilisations or rather these cradles of civilisation were pummelled to pulp by present day powers that have styled themselves as the leaders of modern-day civilisation.
“There is nothing civilised in their actions or behaviour. The only thing they can showcase is technology capable of producing weaponry that are extremely efficient in maiming, killing and murdering people by the thousands,” he said.
Going forward, Dr Mahathir, in his speech titled “In Search of a More Just and Stable World Order”, said the youths, being the future leaders had a pivotal role in making the world a better place and every leader should keep close to them.
“In my many years as a politician and entrusted to lead sometimes, I’ve always tried to tried my level best to fulfil requests from youth organisations and movements.
“My reasons are quite basic – if I want to see changes made and ambitions realised, the youths are our best bet,” he added.
*Originally published by New Straits Times