MELBOURNE, Australia (JTA) -- Malaysia’s former prime minister accused America’s "Jewish lobby" of preventing President Obama from ending the war in Afghanistan.
Local Malaysian media reported that Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who ruled the Muslim nation between 1981 and 2003, told the Conference for the Support of Al-Quds on Jan. 21 that AIPAC was hindering two of Obama’s key election promises: ending the war in Afghanistan and closing the Guantanamo Bay prison.
“There are forces in the United States which prevent the president from doing some things,” the Malaysian Star quoted Mahathir as saying. “One of the forces is the Jewish lobby, AIPAC.”
Mahathir, long known for his anti-Semitic views, went on to say that Jews “had always been a problem in European countries. They had to be confined to ghettoes and periodically massacred. But still they remained, they thrived and they held whole governments to ransom.
“Even after their massacre by the Nazis of Germany, they survived to continue to be a source of even greater problems for the world,” he said.
Mahathir also said there was “strong evidence” that the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States were staged as an excuse to wage war against Islam.
“If they can make 'Avatar,' they can make anything,” he was quoted as saying.
In response, Australian federal lawmaker Michael Danby, who is Jewish, said that “Dr Mahathir’s comments that Jews had to be periodically massacred are abhorrent and should be condemned. Hopefully within a few months, when there are democratic elections, we will see a modern Malaysian leader in Anwar Ibrahim, who will lead a non-racialist coalition to election victory.”