Anwar Ibrahim from PKR has clarified his remarks on the existence of Israel by saying he was referring to a “two-state solution”, and that his support was also contingent on Israel respecting the aspirations of Palestinians. The opposition leader stressed that his remarks meant that he supported a two-state solution, which he said was also mentioned by Foreign Minister Anifah Aman (BN) when the latter addressed the United Nations General Assembly in September last year.
Abdul Hadi Awang from PAS was reported to have said that Palestine, being one of the three holy lands for Muslims, did not just belong to the Palestinians, and that all Muslims had a religious duty to ensure the state’s sovereignty and independence.
Difference of opinion does not make a Muslim a lesser Muslim. It is encouraged in Islam as it sprouts ideas and helps promote a thinking society. It is food for thought for the human kind in a modern society.
Schools of thought
We obviously need to oppose the expansionist and oppressive policies of Israel and condemn their atrocities towards the Palestinians as much as the war carnage, despotism and protracted sufferings of people in some other despotic countries.
Politics at times surpasses religion when it comes to the issue of Israel. Some UMNO politicians look at the Israeli issue from the political point of view and not from the Qur’anic perspective. Some Opposition politicians too employ the same prong. The Palestinian-Israeli issue is always pulsated by UMNO or PAS to win Malay-Muslim votes. They seldom engage their voters with an intellectual discourse to validate or invalidate the existence of the Promised Land for the Jews as stipulated in the Holy Scriptures. Even some Arab countries do the same at the surface level to instil hatred among their people for Israel merely to safeguard the status quo in power. But at a deeper level some Sunni dominated Arab nations work tacitly with Israel to hold back Syiah influence in the region. There are also Muslim countries in support of Israel and condemns Iran just to be in the good book of the US. The equation on the Israeli state is ostensibly a multifaceted one but not without a way out.
According to some social critics, the real problem among Muslims is that some politicians are capable of distorting the interpretation of the Qur’an on Israel but instead use anti-Israel stance as a political tool to win votes. Unfortunately, the majority of the less enlightened electorate believe in their noxious propaganda.
Be that as it may, there are at least two schools of thought among Muslims as to the existence of an Israeli state. One line of thought is that it does not recognise Israel as a sovereign state and define it as an illegal entity that are against Islamic principles.
The other line of thought is the acceptance of a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. This has been acknowledged by many Arab states, the United Nations and many other countries. In other words, Israel has the right to exist or co-exist with the Palestinians under two separate states.
Israel was established on 14 May 1948 as the homeland for the Jewish people. Over 40 percent of the world’s Jews (of about 5.5 million) now live in Israel, more than in any other country. Israel now has a population of about 7.3 million people out of which 5.5 million are Jews. Out of about 4 million people in the West Bank and Gaza 0.3 million or 7.3 percent are Jews. This upshot represents the historical triumph of Zionism, unparalleled in any other Jewish political movement in the past 2000 years.
However, Jewish occupation of Palestinian land has always been rocked by fracas. The UN General Assembly (1975) passed Resolution 3379, which said “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination”. According to the resolution, “any doctrine of racial differentiation of superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust, and dangerous.” The resolution named the occupied territory of Palestine as an example of a racist regime.
Zionism has been characterised by political scientists as colonialism and it has been criticised for promoting unfair taking away of territory, involving expulsion of indigenous peoples, and causing violence towards the rightful people of the land.
Mahatma Gandhi (1938) rejected Jewish Zionism in a very laconic and spiritual tone, saying that the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine is a religious act and therefore must not be performed by force. He wrote, “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs. They should seek to convert the Arab heart.”
The confusion among most Muslims is when they lump the Zionists together with the peace-loving Jews. The Jews as a race is just like any other race but the Zionists among them are those who have tarnished the image of the innocent Jews and oppressed the Palestinians. The Zionists are branded by some political scientists – the like of Noam Chomsky– just like the imperialists, conquerors and colonialists of the past.
The Zionists in Israel have notably created a big blunder pillaging, acquiring more land and ousting the people living in those acquired territory. This expansion policy of Israel has no doubt incurred the wrath of the Palestinians and the Muslim world. The Palestinians are made up of 80 percent Muslims and about 10 percent Christians. The protracted antagonism in Palestine is in reality not between Islam and Judaism but more nationalistic in nature. It is the people of Palestine against the Zionists among the Jews.
To some countries in Europe before World War II, the Jews were perceived as a threat to their economy and thus the hatred for them. The Jews are, in truth, intelligent people who have contributed a lot to the human kind in all spheres of knowledge including the sciences and humanity. From scientists to inventors and philosophers of democracy, socialism or communism are attributed to the ingenuity of the Jews. They are indeed the Chosen People as described of them in the Torah, Bible and the Qur’an.
Prophecy in the Bible and Qur’an
The concept “state” or “nation” never existed in the Islamic world of those days. Muslims were only referred to as an Islamic fraternity (community) and it was a continuum – a phenomenon transcending racial boundaries. On any land at that time – just like it is today – there were people of all religions – Muslims, Christians, Jews and others living within an expanse of territory. For this reason, Islam till today does not champion nationalism as there was never an ‘Islamic nation’ at that time. What existed was the influence of Islam. Islam talks about Islamic brotherhood not nation or nationalistic brotherhood. The concept of nation or nationalism is secular or western in nature. The Western world brought in the concept of state to nations to divide people according to different rulers, race or religion.
But going by the prophecy in the Bible and Qur’an the Jews were promised a land for their people. And we have seen – as prophesised or upon God’s design – the creation of a state for the Jews after World War II.
Believers of the Abrahamic faiths are all aware of this prophecy. Today a state is created for the Jews who were before this diasporas for over 2000 years and often persecuted in many countries where they chose to reside. Sympathetic towards their cause has made many countries feel that efforts must be made to protect the security of the state of Israel.
The present conflict between the Palestinians and Israel is more of territorial than religious reason per se. When Israel further occupied Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Golan Heights in the 1967 war the trouble exacerbated. The Palestinians on this occupied land were displaced. The plight of the displaced and oppressed Palestinians later became the concern of all nations, including the peace-loving Jews themselves who feel that they should learn to co-exist with people of other faiths in Palestine instead of provoking and alienating them.
From the Divine perspective
Nevertheless, to many social critics the best approach to this political ambiguity is to base one’s perspective on the Holy Books of the Abrahamic faiths. The right for Israel to exist has been debated by many Muslim and non-Muslim scholars based on the Qur’an, Bible and Torah. The Qur’an, for instance, explicitly says that Allah gave the land of Israel to the Jews and will reinstate them to it at the end of days.
And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel, “Dwell securely in the land (of promise)”: but when the second of the warnings came to pass, We gathered you together in a mingled crowd. (Qur’an 17:104)
The Qur’an evidently recognises the Land of Israel as the heritage of the Jews and explains that, before the Last Judgment, Jews will return to reside there. This miraculous prophecy has already been fulfilled.
To some scholars there is no convincing reason which proscribes Muslims from recognising Israel as it has been explicitly promised to them a Land in the Abrahamic Holy Scriptures.
Scholars have based their opinions on a theological analysis of dependable religious sources. Thus, presenting the Jewish return to Israel as a Western invasion and the ploy of Zionists as invader is only from the non-metaphysical view point. This has no basis in authentic Islamic or any other Abrahamic faith. According to the Qur’an, no person, people or religious community can claim a permanent right of possession over any territory. The Earth belongs exclusively to God, and He is free to entrust sovereignty over land to whomever He likes for any time period that He desires.
Say, “O Allah , Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will. You honour whom You will and You humble whom You will. In Your hand is [all] good. Indeed, You are over all things competent. (Qur’an: 3:26)
From the above Qur’anic verse scholars have deduced that God chooses as He likes in the relationship between peoples and countries. Sometimes He bestows a land to a people, and sometimes He seizes His possession back and grants it to another people.
It can be said that God bestows as a reward for rightfulness and takes back as a punishment for impiety. God’s ways are not always empirical to our bare minds. It transcends the human intellect. But evidently the prophecies that have been cited in the Holy Books have come true on the Israeli state.
Nationalism, not Islam
To some scholars Arab opposition to the State of Israel is more based on nationalism, not Islam. Israel is a successful democratic state much to the envy of some Arab countries close by. It is a more direct threat to some Arab regimes as Israel borders on the Arab countries and is in the hub of the Middle East. Any normal relations between their countries and Israel would enable the oppressed citizens of these Arab states to measure up to the democracy and advanced society in Israel and their backward state of affairs.
Besides, using Islam as an implement for political warfare against Israel finds a major impediment in the Qur’an itself. Both the Bible and the Qur’an state obviously that the right of the Jews to the Land of Israel does not depend on take-over or conquest. This right has been preordained by Almighty God Himself.
Both the Torah and Islamic Scriptures epitomise that God, through His chosen servant Moses, decided to liberate the offspring of Jacob from slavery in Egypt and to constitute them as heirs of the Promised Land.
The Qur’an narrates the prose by which Moses enjoined the Israelites to possess the Land:
“And [remember] when Moses said to his people: ‘O my people, call in remembrance the favour of God unto you, when he produced prophets among you, made you kings, and gave to you what He had not given to any other among the peoples. O my people, enter the Holy Land which God has assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will ye be overthrown, to your own ruin.'” [Qur’an 5:20-21]
Not religious in nature
Jerusalem and Masjid al-Aqsa hold such a sacred pose in Islamic faith. The most common spat against Muslim acceptance of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem is that, since Jerusalem is a Holy Place for Muslims, Muslims cannot recognise that it is governed by Jews. To them, such acknowledgement is perfidious. Traditionally, inserting Jerusalem among Islamic holy places has its source in al-Mi’raj – the Ascension of the Prophet Muhammad to heaven. The Ascension began at the Rock, recognised by Muslim scholars as the Foundation Stone of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem referred to in Jewish traditions.
The Qur’an explicitly recognises that Jerusalem plays for Jews the same role that Mecca does for Muslims. And some scholars divulge that there is no bond between al-Miraj [the Ascension] and Muslim autonomy over Jerusalem. When al-Miraj took place, Jerusalem was not under Islamic but Byzantine administration..
Since Islamic anti-Judaism is quite recent, these scholars construe that anti-Jewish sentiments espoused by some Islamic leaders are, in fact, not religious in nature but rather political. Therefore, from an Islamic point of view there is no fundamental reason which prohibits Muslims from recognising Israel as a friendly State. They believe that Islam is not the factor preventing normalisation between Arabs and the State of Israel. It is more a political issue and the preservation of political power among present Muslim states nearby Israel than religion per se.
Unfortunately, there are Muslims who believe that they must fight against Israel until they are completely destroyed. This will only end up in disaster and escalate into a dreadful war involving many nations. The Jews on their part feel that they have suffered long enough and millions of their people perished in many parts of the world due to political persecution. They will certainly not stand idle to be demolished like worn-out dolls. They will retaliate and they have all the means to do so. Only through God’s will the Jews become diasporas again, if they are destined to this effect.
A secularised ideology
Using Islam as a basis for preventing Arabs from recognising any sovereign right of Jews over the Land of Israel is just recent. Such notions are not found in traditional Islamic sources. Those who claim that Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel is something new and solely rooted in human politics denies Divine revelation and Divine prophecy as overtly expressed in the Holy Books (the Koran, Bible and Torah). The conclusion that anti-Zionism is the primordial outgrowth of Islamic faith is equally erroneous. This doctrine if accepted represents the false makeover of Islam from a religion into a secularised ideology.
Zionism is obviously abhorred by most countries and should be effectively curtailed thought continuous negotiations and non-violent means. The peace-loving Jews are followers of the Abrahamic faith and should be accorded their rights to live or co-exist with people of other faiths and creed. Thus, to many political observers, the best solution from the humanistic perspective is still to have a two-state solution to this quagmire – one for Israel and one for the Palestinians. Only God knows what He has preordained for the Jews in the future and this is beyond human intellectual capacity.
UMNO Youth Chief, Khairy Jamaluddin (pic) today dared Opposition Leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibahim (pic) to repeat his statement yesterday in the Dewan Rakyat about 1Malaysia.
In his statement yesterday, Anwar claimed that APCO played a role in creating the 1Malaysia concept. Anwar also claimed that the 1Malaysia concept is a clone to 1 Israel concept.
“I have asked Anwar to show evidence on his allegation towards the government and APCO but until now he still has not shown any proof. This is a very serious allegation,” said Khairy.
“I also asked Anwar to point out evidence whether it is true or not that APCO was appointed by Ehud Barak. But I didn’t get any reply from him. In the Dewan Rakyat I’ve asked Lim Kit Siang the same question but he ignored it. It’s clear that they were lying,” he added.
“If his allegation is true, I dare him to repeat the same statement outside the Dewan Rakyat with evidence. He should not hide behind the ‘Parliamentary Privilege’”, he added.
“For now Government cannot take any action towards him because he made that statement inside the Dewan Rakyat. We can only take legal action against him if he repeats it outside the Dewan Rakyat,” said Khairy that is also the MP for Rembau.
Meanwhile, in its statement to the media, APCO said that it had no role of any kind in creating the 1Malaysia concept, which was fully formed, and made public prior to APCO’s engagement.
“It is also incorrect that APCO represented the Government of Israel or the Israeli Prime Minister as has been alleged in Malaysia’s Parliament. The statement in Malaysia’s Parliament that APCO was involved in such a campaign is false,” according to a press statement released by APCO.
The list of conspiracy theories is a collection of the most popular theories related but not limited to clandestine government plans, elaborate murder plots, suppression of secret technology and knowledge, and other supposed schemes behind certain political, cultural, and historical events.
While a conspiracy is defined by law as an agreement between two or more people to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act, a conspiracy theory attempts to attribute the ultimate cause of an event (usually major political, social, historical, or cultural events), chain of events, or the concealment of causes from public knowledge, to a secret and often deceptive plan by a group of people or organizations. Such theories usually go against a general consensus or cannot be proven using the historical method.
Purposely excluded from this list are proven historical conspiracies, e.g. the conspiracy to assassinate U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and members of his cabinet in 1865.
THE ZIONIST CONSPIRACY
I’ve interacted with numerous Jews, and their attributes depends largely on the individual. I have noticed that among religious and Zionist Jews, there is a deep seated sense of superiority. They feel that they are the “chosen ones,” and by virtue of this fact are inherently superior to Gentiles. On one extreme, this leads to a kind of religious imperialism. They seek to bring Gentiles under the dominion of the Rabbis through the Noachide movement, and certain segments of the Lubavitch Chasidic movement would actually like to use military intervention to overturn religions and cultures they deem offensive.
I’ve noticed that these kinds of Jews don’t mind spreading lies and misinformation when it suits their agenda, even when discussing other movement of Judaism. They have no problem manufacturing “facts,” even right on the spot. These Jews have formed activist organizations that have learned that if outlets of information, such as the media (both national and local) are controlled by the power of the purse, it is easier to enforce these manufactured facts on an unwitting population to both aid the Zionist agenda, as well as stifle any free political discussion on that and other “taboo” topics.
They seem to have a predisposition toward cultural subversion, and indeed subversion of any established order. In any reactionary movement, you will find a disproportionate number of Jews, even in two diametrically opposed movements. I’ve seen Socialist Jews, and Capitalist Jews; Communists, anti-Communists; Zionists, anti-Zionists; Orthodox Judaism, anti-Judaism. Even in Israel, we find small neo-Nazi movements headed by Jews. It is also well-known that most efforts toward “civil rights” and similar misguided movements are headed by Jews.
Then there are the assimilated Jews who care nothing for their heritage, and who don’t think of themselves as Jews at all. I’ve actually come across a good number of truly self-hating, anti-Semite Jews. However, if we were to draw a line in the sand and they had to choose sides, the majority would side with their own. We can see that by the overwhelming Jewish support of Israel, even by non-religious, non-observant Jews.
So, there you have it. The top characteristics I’ve seen in Jews have been: a sense of moral and intellectual superiority; xenophobia and blatant anti-Gentile racism; cultural imperialism; intellectual dishonesty; the demand for double standards, to their benefit; and a deep seated urge toward subverting established cultures and traditions, at times even their own.
By Adib Zalkapli
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon (picture)confirmed in Parliament today that the government had engaged Apco Worldwide, an international public affairs and media relations company, to boost its image overseas.
The Malaysian Insider understands that the contract is worth some RM20 million but Koh, in a written reply to a question from DAP’s Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching, did not divulge the exact amount.
“Apco Worldwide was tasked with promoting and improving Malaysia’s image overseas,” said Koh, who is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
He justified the appointment by asserting that a foreign firm would ensure that the country’s communication practice was in line with international standards.
To justify the hefty fees it is charging, The Malaysian Insiderunderstands that Apco Worldwide staff are now generating press releases and conducting media training for the government.
Because of the value of the contract, Apco Worldwide has set up an office for the first time in Malaysia. Its personnel are mainly from the United States, and the main focus of their job remains to improve Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s image.
It is also understood that the government has hired a separate firm in the United States to act as its lobbyist with the Obama administration.
“Appointing an international communication firm is a common practice by governments of other countries,” Koh said in his written reply to Parliament today.
He also said that inaccurate reports in foreign media had affected the international community’s confidence in the country as a stable investment, trade and tourist destination, resulting in the need to appoint Apco.
“Apart from Apco, the ministry and government agencies also appoint other local and international firms, for short and long term to provide communication services,” he said.
“Because the expenses for this service depend on the implementation of the programmes and communication projects planned from time to time according to needs, the total cost cannot be determined for the time being.”
The Malaysian Insider had reported in July that Apco was also tasked with promoting Najib’s image for his first 100 days in office and later to boost the administration’s standing worldwide.
Najib is not the first prime minister, however, to use expensive foreign help to boost his image and that of his administration.
Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi also used a foreign-based public relations firm to help project a positive image of himself as a progressive Muslim leader, and Malaysia as a modern Muslim nation.
The Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad administration had used disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Just exactly who is Jack Abramoff? Interestingly, Wikipedia said:
Ex-Malasian Leader Says He Paid Abramoff
Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Monday that disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff was paid $1.2 million to organize his 2002 meeting with President Bush, but denied the money came from the Malaysian government.
Mahathir told reporters he was aware a payment was made to Abramoff, but he didn’t know who made it. He said he had been persuaded by the U.S. think tank Heritage Foundation to meet with Bush at the time.
“It is true that somebody paid but it was not the (Malaysian) government,” Mahathir said. “I understood some people paid a sum of money to lobbyists in America but I do not know who these people were and it was not the Malaysian government.”
Mahathir said the Heritage Foundation believed he could help “influence (Bush) in some way regarding U.S. policies.”
Mahathir visited the White House at a time when this Southeast Asian country had emerged as a key U.S. ally in the war on terror, following Mahathir’s crackdown on suspected Islamic militants although he had been consistently critical of Bush’s foreign policies.
Abramoff, once among Washington’s top lobbyists, pleaded guilty last month to charges that he and a former partner concocted a fake wire transfer to make it appear they were putting a sizable stake of their own money into a 2000 purchase of casinos.
Abramoff also has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an investigation into his ties to members of Congress and to the Bush administration.
Interesting remarks on APCO’s appointment in Malaysia to make Najib and pals look good by Ben Bland in theHartal MSMblog. Hartal says Bland is a freelance journalist based in Singapore, reporting for publications such as The Daily Telegraph, The Economist, the FT weekend magazine, Monocle, Asia Sentinel and the British Medical Journal. He was a stock market reporter at The Daily Telegraph and Dow Jones Newswires in London, before leaving the City to Southeast Asia.)
You have to wonder what sort of internal debate went on in APCO before they decided to take on the job. Here’sUnspun’s totally fictitious and facetious account of what might have been:
APCO Dove: I don’t think we should take the job as there’s nothing we can do to change them, and if we can’t change them then there’s no way to make them look good.
APCO Hawk: Of course we should take it. The money is good and it will give a big boost to our reputation in that part of the world where we haven’t been able to make as much headway as in the US.It may even make people forget that we’re closing down…I mean scaling down…in Indonesia.
Dove: Yes, but what sort of a reputation will we have if we take this job? Najib and his goons are just in plain denial. No amount of spin we put into this will be effective unless we convince them to change their ways.
Hawk: It doesn’t matter. Think of the money we’ll get. And the opportunities it will create for us. We’ll be plugged in to all the important people in Malaysia from No.1 down. And by the time they realize that the PR is ineffective, we’ll have made our money anyway.
Dove: I’m still uneasy about all this. I’m worried our own reputation would suffer if we take them on….
Hawk: Dove, Dove have courage son. We’re like lawyers who take the view that even the worst criminal deserves a good defense. We’re here merely to tell their story in a good light.
Dove: But there is nothing to tell. There are not good stories to tell because Najib and his boys are morally and intellectually bankrupt…
Hawk: You are too pessimistic. At the end of the day the fees will go toward our bonuses and nobody will remember our sins. Look at Burson Marsteller for instance, until that bitch Rachel Maddow tagged them with the“When Evil needs public relations, Evil has Burson-Marsteller on speed-dial” soundbite everyone had already forgotten all the hopeless causes they championed…and got away with. people never learn from history. That’s our saving grace.