UK Jewish students slam Dr M for insults against the community

UK Jewish students slam Dr M for insults against the community

PUCHONG: A group of United Kingdom based Jewish students criticised Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for insulting the community during a talk in Cambridge Union.

The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) said it was also disturbed by the response given by the crowd who attended the talk, primarily Malaysian undergraduates and Malaysians in the UK, who laughed at Mahathir’s anti-Semitic remarks.

“As we warned would happen, the Malaysian prime minister used the prestigious platform of the Cambridge Union to spread his anti-Jewish racism,” UJS campaigns organiser Daniel Kosky wrote.

“It is chilling, particularly for any Jewish students in the room, to see a crowd of students laugh off flagrantly anti-Semitic comments used by Mahathir Mohamad.”

After the laughter from the crowd, Mahathir was reported saying, “I have some Jewish friends, very good friends, they are not like the other Jews, that’s why they are my friends.”

He also defended his decision to call Jews ‘hooked nosed’ in the past.

“People do generalise, in describing certain people we take some general characteristics that they have, why is it that it’s the Jews who resent this when other people don’t resent being accused of some general characteristic that they have?” Mahathir asked.

The prime minister later compared to the situation to the British, claiming that ‘its Jews used to say the Malays are lazy’.

UJS then urged higher education institutions to consider the implications of prejudicial speech when inviting speakers for its forums.

“The decision to host the Malaysian prime minister was defended by Cambridge Union as an exercise of free speech.

“But as we consistently make clear, freedom of expression must be balanced against incitement to hatred against a minority group, and that’s exactly what happened last night,” Kosky said.

In January, Jewish students at Oxford University had protested Mahathir’s appearance there.

In the interview with British national broadcaster BBC in October last year, Mahathir defended his views against the Jews.