Dr Mahathir is the longest serving Prime Minister of Malaysia. He served from 1981 to 2003.
Some parts of the world possibly only know him as an Anti-Semitic, because they may prefer to highlight his views on Israel and the Jews. The “they” I am referring to is the western media, who very often listened in to his speeches, but then chose to take out some sentences and then isolate them from the context.
I do not know why, but it seems that the western media seems at times fond of harping on these issues – that Dr Mahathir is an Anti-Semitic.
Initially I also share the same views, that Dr Mahathir is indeed an Anti-Semitic, and that Dr Mahathir is often raging verbal wars against Israel and the Jews in general.
Actually, the lines highlighted by the media indeed seemed to show that. But this will not be the case, if people read some his speeches in full.
For the most notable example, in the 10th session of the Islamic Summit Conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia (on 16th October 2003), Dr Mahathir delivered a speech, which was widely slammed by the western media as an Anti-Semitic diatribe.
The western media mainly selectively pick out sentence(s) by Dr Mahathir such as “But today the Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.”
In reality, if one were to read his full speech http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/10/20/1066502121884.html , one would realize that the western media is actually viewing him with pre-determined lens.
His speech is actually berating the Islamic world for lagging far behind modernity (compared to the Jews). His point was that there are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world (compared to much lesser Jews), but why they can’t do as well?
At one point in his life, Dr Mahathir once said “it is shameful that 1.3 billion Muslims cannot handle a few million Jews”. In this, you can see that he regrets the state of Islamic backwardness.
He also once said that “they (Jews) have super brains.”
I am sure all these should not be viewed as an attack on the Jews? Instead it should be seen as using a different way of speaking and using different tone to push for the awakening of the Islamic World?
The media reports that you read may not be all that is happening.