The U.S. Should Stop Ignoring the Malaysian Prime Minister’s Anti-Semitism

In September of last year, Columbia University hosted Mahathir Mohamad—who served as Malaysia’s prime minister from 1981 to 2003 and returned to the office in 2018—as part of its World Leaders Forum. This year, Mahathir is expected to host the American president in Kuala Lumpur. Mahathir’s virulent anti-Semitism, notes Isaac Herzog, has never stopped democratic countries or their institutions from giving him this sort of respect—and he doesn’t even attempt to dress up his hatred of Jews as criticism of Israel:

This is a man who openly touts his anti-Semitism, repeatedly claiming Jews “are not merely hook-nosed, but understand money instinctively.” [He] has distributed copies of The International Jew—an anti-Semitic diatribe that had a key influence on the Nazis and is still banned in Germany—to his party members. Nevertheless, President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle recently visited Malaysia for the Obama Foundation’s inaugural Asia Pacific leaders gathering from December 10-14.

With over 60 percent of its population harboring negative opinions of Jews, Malaysia has the highest rate of anti-Semitic views in Asia, [excluding the Middle East]. This is despite the fact that Malaysia has no geographic proximity to Israel, has never had any conflict with Israel, and does not have many Jewish citizens—the last reported to have fled due to anti-Semitism in the early 1980s.

But the most troubling aspect of the Malaysian example is the warm welcome Mahathir receives around the world. The welcome mat has been rolled out for him time and again in global cities, top universities, and leading media outlets. Time magazine has even named him on its 2019 list of the world’s 100 most influential people for his “core values.”

While the events attended by Presidents Obama and Trump in Malaysia are important global forums, America’s leaders and their counterparts worldwide must at a minimum adhere to and reaffirm their commitment to fighting and condemning Mahathir’s anti-Semitism.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Anti-Semitism, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Malaysia, U.S. Foreign policy

Iran’s Program of Subversion and Propaganda in the Caucasus

In the past week, Iranian proxies and clients have attacked Israel from the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, and Yemen. Iran also has substantial military assets in Iraq and Syria—countries over which it exercises a great deal of control—which could launch significant attacks on Israel as well. Tehran, in addition, has stretched its influence northward into both Azerbaijan and Armenia. While Israel has diplomatic relations with both of these rival nations, its relationship with Baku is closer and involves significant military and security collaboration, some of which is directed against Iran. Alexander Grinberg writes:

Iran exploits ethnic and religious factors in both Armenia and Azerbaijan to further its interests. . . . In Armenia, Iran attempts to tarnish the legitimacy of the elected government and exploit the church’s nationalist position and tensions between it and the Armenian government; in Azerbaijan, the Iranian regime employs outright terrorist methods similar to its support for terrorist proxies in the Middle East [in order to] undermine the regime.

Huseyniyyun (Islamic Resistance Movement of Azerbaijan) is a terrorist militia made up of ethnic Azeris and designed to fight against Azerbaijan. It was established by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps . . . in the image of other pro-Iranian militias. . . . Currently, Huseyniyyun is not actively engaged in terrorist activities as Iran prefers more subtle methods of subversion. The organization serves as a mouthpiece of the Iranian regime on various Telegram channels in the Azeri language. The main impact of Huseyniyyun is that it helps spread Iranian propaganda in Azerbaijan.

The Iranian regime fears the end of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan because this would limit its options for disruption. Iranian outlets are replete with anti-Semitic paranoia against Azerbaijan, accusing the country of awarding its territory to Zionists and NATO. . . . Likewise, it is noteworthy that Armenian nationalists reiterate hideous anti-Semitic tropes that are identical to those spouted by the Iranians and Palestinians. Moreover, leading Iranian analysts have no qualms about openly praising [sympathetic] Armenian clergy together with terrorist Iran-funded Azeri movements for working toward Iranian goals.

Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Azerbaijan, Iran, Israeli Security