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Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim called his former boss Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad a hypocrite today for accusing him of being a Jewish sympathiser when it was the former prime minister who had met his Israeli counterpart. The opposition leader told reporters today, “I myself have never met the Israeli prime minister, or the foreign minister or the finance minister.” “I would like to know why he met the Israeli prime minister. Why the hypocrisy?” Anwar said, likely referring to reports that Dr Mahathir had met with Yitzhak Rabin and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres in Paris on July 6, 1994. Dr Mahathir had on Monday labelled his former deputy as a Jewish sympathiser and a leader who disregarded the plight of the Palestinians after Anwar’s recent interview with the Wall Street Journal where he was quoted as saying he supported “all efforts to protect the security of the state of Israel.”

But the international business daily said Anwar stopped short of saying he would open diplomatic ties with the Jewish state, a step the former deputy prime minister said remains contingent on Israel respecting the aspirations of Palestinians. Anwar came under heavy fire from Umno and its media after his statement was published by the Wall Street Journal last Thursday. The PKR de facto leader was forced to defend himself by stressing that his remarks in the newspaper meant that he supported a two-state solution, which he said was mentioned by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman when the latter addressed the United Nations General Assembly in September last year.

His party also claimed yesterday Dr Mahathir paid Jack Abramoff, a Zionist lobbyist, US$1.2 million (RM3.7 million) to arrange a meeting with former US President George W. Bush shortly after Anwar was sacked as deputy prime minister in 1998. Today, Anwar repeated the accusation he first made in 2010, that Datuk Seri Najib Razak had paid APCO Worldwide to burnish his administration’s image. The Permatang Pauh MP and three Pakatan Rakyat (PR) colleagues were suspended from Parliament for six months after accusing the prime minister of paying RM77 million a year to APCO despite the public relations firm being an Israeli-based company “with ties to Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet.”

“They go to America, and APCO distributes leaflets accusing me of being anti-Jew. Then they go to the Muslim world and say I am pro-Jew,” he added. Muslim-majority Malaysia is a staunch supporter of Palestine and has no diplomatic ties with Israel. Muslim politicians have long vied for support from Malays by denouncing what they say are inhumane acts of aggression by Israel towards its neighbour.


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