KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — Muslim nations should use their strengths and realise their weaknesses in formulating strategies against the Israeli oppression in Palestine, says former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Speaking via a Skype call on the Dialog Tiga Penjuru programme broadcast by Astro Awani, he said Muslim countries needed to realise that they did not have the military might to face Israel.
“What we (Muslim countries) have is financial strength. Muslim nations control oil. The world supply of oil. So fight (Israel) using what is available (to us). Do not make more enemies by detonating bombs in European countries. That makes people angry,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said Muslims should stop thinking of taking revenge on Israeli actions against the Palestinian people, but instead use the raw materials they had to put pressure on Israel.
He added that Israel will conquer the whole of Palestine and not care about what the world thinks because they are protected by a superpower.
The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to the Middle East Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, who also appeared as a panel member in the programme, agreed with Dr Mahathir that Muslims should not look for enemies by bombing embassies, hotels and public places.
“This is the act of those who are ignorant of their religion. Muslims need to be made aware of this matter,” he said.
Commenting on certain Muslim countries that had established ties with Israel such as the United Arab Emirates, Sudan and Bahrain, he said efforts would be made to lobby the countries by holding meetings with their ambassadors online to unite against the oppression of Palestine.
Another panelist, namely Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Fellow Datuk Dr Afifi Al-Akiti said Muslim countries should emulate Ireland which is one of the most anti-Zionist western countries.
“Ireland has an internal policy of boycotting and restricting trade with Israel, while it is the government itself — and not non-governmental organisations — which sends aid directly to Gaza. Among the aid sent (by the Irish government) are in terms of finances as well as doctors and engineers to redevelop infrastructure in Palestine,” he said.
Afifi said issuing statements condemning Israel’s actions was insufficient, and among the actions that could be taken was to declare Israel an apartheid state. — Bernama