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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Arab News >Malaysia Blasts Israel for Banning Mahathir

Malaysia Blasts Israel for Banning MahathirMalaysia Blasts Israel for Banning Mahathir
Deutsche Presse-Agentur

KUALA LUMPUR, 18 May 2005 — Malaysia yesterday criticized the Israeli government and called it arrogant for banning former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad from entering Jerusalem, saying the city was “not theirs”.

Mahathir was visiting the West Bank on Monday when he was prevented from entering Jerusalem by Israeli authorities.

“Jerusalem is not (Israel’s) ... It is an open town that anyone can visit,” said Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Mahathir’s only intention in visiting the area was to see and understand the situation for himself, Najib told the official Bernama news agency.

“Mahathir indirectly wants to help find a political solution in keeping with the decision of the world to set up peace in Palestine,” he said.

Mahathir, who retired in October 2003 after 22 years in power, championed the Palestinian cause throughout his years as a veteran Southeast Asian leader.

The former prime minister had caused uproar in Israel and the Western world just before his retirement when he said that Jews rule the world by proxy, getting others to fight and die for them.

Malaysia has no diplomatic relations with Israel.

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