Malaysia slams West for failing to stand up for Gaza

March 7, 2024 by AAP
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Malaysia has urged Australia to reinstate funding to a United Nations organisation helping Palestinians in Gaza and condemn human rights violations with the same consistency it has against Russia.

Former Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans attend as Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim delivers the 2024 Gareth Evans Oration at the Australian National University in Canberra, Thursday, March 7, 2024. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim used a major speech in front of Australian diplomats and the foreign minister to express disdain at the selective application of international law and outline his views on China in the region.

The application of international and humanitarian law had become trumped by politics, he said.

“Unfortunately, the gut-wrenching tragedy that continues to unfold in the Gaza Strip has laid bare the self-serving nature of the much-valued, much-wanted, rules-based order,” he said on Thursday.

Israel had been given a blank cheque over its occupation of Palestine over decades and the killing of more than 30,000 Gazans since Hamas’ attack, he said.

“Why, for example, has the West been so vociferous, vehement and unequivocal in condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine while remaining utterly silent on the relentless bloodletting inflicted on innocent men, women and children?” he said.

The prime minister also hit back at suggestions that South Africa’s case at the International Court of Justice seeking to ensure Israel acted in line with genocide prevention laws were vexatious.

Testing the application of the law before 17 judges was consistent with a rules-based order, he said.

Australia has consistently defended Tel Aviv’s right to self-defence after Hamas – which it designates a terrorist organisation – killed 1200 people and kidnapped more than 250 on October 7, according to Israeli tallies.

It has also called for Israel to act in accordance with international law and for a humanitarian ceasefire so aid can be delivered.

Mr Ibrahim raised funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in the Near East directly with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Australia needed to assist the agency in delivering aid to Gaza, he said, after it froze funding in January in response to allegations from Israel that a small number of agency staff had taken part in the October 7 attack.

“The investigations can carry on, they are not stopping, but assist UNRWA because UNRWA is the most effective on the ground to help the besieged civilians,” he said.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong has flagged an imminent aid package for Gaza.

Both Australia and Malaysia needed to use their diplomatic clout to advocate for the release of hostages, an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and a pathway to peace that included a Palestinian state, Senator Wong said.

She also criticised hateful, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic language used in Australia as she warned against pushing people to adopt “an absolutist position” on issues and to instead consider and respect different viewpoints.

Mr Ibrahim also used his speech to reflect on China in the Indo-Pacific, saying it was important for countries to consider Beijing’s viewpoint as it was only natural for the Asian power to be more forthright in asserting its interests as it continued to grow.

“A growing economy naturally leads to greater diplomatic influence and a more formidable military,” he said.

Beijing viewed adverse reactions against its economic, military and technological rise as “an attempt to deny their legitimate place in history”, and Australia needed to work with Malaysia to urge the US and China to conduct themselves in a manner that would not threaten peace, he said.



One Response to “Malaysia slams West for failing to stand up for Gaza”
  1. Naomi Be says:

    Malaysia is very well known for its abject antisemitism and terror support.. so no surprise here

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