ISRAEL is the origin of terrorism, said Malaysia Prime Minister Dr Mahathir today at the General Debate of The 74th Session of The United Nations General Assembly, New York.
Here is his full statement:
“The first act engineered by the Western countries is the creation of the state of Israel by seizing Palestinian land and expelling its 90% Arab population. Since then wars have been fought in many countries, many related to the creation of Israel. And now we have terrorism when there was none before or at least none on the present scale. Military action against acts of terrorism will not succeed. We need to identify the cause and remove it. But the great powers refuse to deal with the root cause.
They prefer military action and sanctions. And they will continue to fail to stop terrorism.
Malaysia accepts the state of Israel as a fait accompli. But it cannot accept the blatant seizure of Palestine land by Israel for their settlements as well as the occupation of Jerusalem by Israel. The Palestinians cannot even enter the settlements built on their land.
Because of the creation of Israel, there is now enmity towards the Muslims and Islam. Muslims are accused of terrorism even if they did nothing. Muslim countries have been destabilised through the campaign for democracy and regime change. Muslims everywhere have been oppressed, expelled from their countries and refused asylum. Thousands have died at sea and in the severe winters.
One cannot deny that in the past there were no massive migration. Now the wars and instability due to regime change have forced them to run away from their countries.
I will admit that democracy is a better form of Government than dictatorship. But democracy is not the easiest form of Government to operate. This is especially so when the adoption is overnight. Time should be allowed for a gradual change to democracy. Indeed, the very countries which promote democracy became democratic over a period of decades if not centuries. The result of overnight switch to democracy is destabilisation and civil wars, reducing some into Government-less wilderness. And some of course have reverted to authoritarian regimes worse than the one that was displaced. Unable to suffer from wars and violence their people had to migrate.
The great democrats talk incessantly about the rule of law. But they are selective. Friends may break any law and get away scot-free. Thus, Israel can break all the international laws and norms of the world and it will continue to be supported and defended. The unfriendly countries can do nothing right. There is no justice in the world.
I must again refer to the fate of the Rohingyas in Myanmar. Many colonies of the West, upon independence, expelled non-natives in their countries. But nowhere have they been as brutal as Myanmar. Even natives massacred, brutally killed and raped in full view of the world backgrounded by the burning houses and villages of the victims. They were forced to migrate and now they dare not return to Myanmar even when offered. They cannot trust the Myanmar military unless some form of non-Myanmar protection is given.
The helplessness of the world in stopping atrocities inflicted on the Rohingyas in Myanmar had reduced the regard for the resolution of the UN. Now, despite UN resolution on Jammu and Kashmir, the country has been invaded and occupied. There may be reasons for this action but it is still wrong. The problem must be solved by peaceful means. India should work with Pakistan to resolve this problem. Ignoring the UN would lead to other forms of disregard for the UN and the Rule of Law.
All the countries of the world wish to prosper, to grow their economies. During their colonial days their wealth had been exploited to enrich their colonial masters. They cannot expect much from their former colonial masters. But they do expect to be allowed to develop their own countries themselves. But they are hampered from doing so.
There is much talk about free trade. But all the time new regulations are being introduced which are detrimental to the development of poor countries. This is because proposals on rules and regulations are made by the rich, often secretly. The poor are practically forced to accept them. One example is the Trans Pacific partnership. It was cooked up in Washington with inputs from their big businesses. In the agreement Governments of small countries could be forced to compensate the big foreign companies with huge sums of money, should their decision affect the profitability of the big companies, including future profit.
Fortunately, now the powerful country which prepared these agreements has rejected it. With the exclusion of this country, the Agreement has become more palatable. But the agreements still laid down conditions for trade – which negates free trade. We are told that we must remove duties on imports, or reduce it so that foreign products can knock out our infant industries. We are reduced to exporting only raw material. How do we industrialise and create jobs for our people?
A classic case of the denial of free trade is the ban on the import of palm oil proposed by the European countries. Unable to sustain the competitiveness of their own edible oils, a campaign is mounted to ban palm oil. It is said that palm oil is poisonous to health, destroys the habitat of long-nosed monkeys, reduce carbon dioxide absorption etc. Products of Europe are labelled palm oil free. Biofuel using palm oil are banned.
Malaysia produces palm oil. Many poor countries produce palm oil. Malaysia will not clear more forests for palm plantations. We are as concerned about our environment as the Europeans. At the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, Malaysia pledged to maintain at least 50 percent of our land mass under forest cover. We have made good our pledge and better. Our forest cover is currently at 55.3 percent exceeding our Rio pledge.
Palm oil is still a big contributor to our economy. There is no evidence that it is poisonous. We appeal to the good sense of the rich not to impoverish us, not to deprive hundreds of thousands of our workers from earning a living. You will be doing a good deed by consuming palm oil.
In keeping with the objectives of the United Nations, Malaysia had launched a campaign to criminalise war. It is ridiculous to hang a murderer for killing one person but to glorify the people who are responsible for the deaths of millions of people. Modern wars are total in every way. Not only will combatants be killed but innocent people, the children, the sick and incapacitated are also killed and wounded. Whole countries are devastated, and trillions of dollars lost. In the end, both the victors and losers suffer.
We consider ourselves civilised but we are still very primitive since we accept killing people as a way to settle disputes between nations or within nations.
There are other ways of settling disputes. We can negotiate or submit to arbitration by third parties. Or we can resort to the courts of law – the World Court, the International Court of Justice for example.
Malaysia does not just talk. We do. We settle disputes with our neighbours through negotiation and through the World Court. We won some and we lost some. But no one has been killed.
This talk about “not one inch of my territory” is ridiculous. We know that if we go to war, that inch is going to cost us more than what it is worth.
When one goes to court one does not always get what one claims to be rightfully ours. But it is the same with war. We do not always win. In a contest between two parties, one must lose if the other is to win. But if we use peaceful means we can still lose but it will cost us much less. No one would die, nor land devastated.”
27 September 2019