Jewish group slams racist Malaysian newspaper editorial

Gov't backed paper: "The Jews will find ways to destroy our prosperity and well-being"; Simon Wiesenthal Center condemns "hateful lies."

Petronas Towers 311R (photo credit: REUTERS)
Petronas Towers 311R
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned the editors of Utusan Malaysia, following Monday's editorial in which the newspaper wrote  "Muslims and Malaysians should not allow any party, especially the Jews, to discreetly interfere in the country’s administration...The Jews will find ways to destroy our prosperity and well-being."
"When in doubt, 'blame the Jews' is an axiom of all anti-Semites", said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. "Sadly, this tactic was used by former [Malaysian] President Mahathir and is being deployed again to drive a wedge between the citizens of Malaysia, none of whom are Jews."
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"Apparently the editors of this newspaper did not get the memo about the Arab Spring, inspired largely by Muslims across North Africa, The Middle East, Gulf States and beyond demanding more freedom and democracy. It isn't World Jewry who are driving members of minorities to the streets, but the growing desire by minorities to have equal rights and opportunities," Cooper added.
"We urge responsible political and religious leaders of all faiths and responsible media outlets in Malaysia to condemn the spreading of these hateful lies. The Malaysian and Jewish peoples deserve better", he concluded.
The Malaysian government-backed newspaper also said in the editorial that foreign Jewish groups will try to use a current push for reform to interfere in the country.
"At a time when the drumbeats in the name of human rights are getting boisterous, it will give the best opportunity for pro-Jewish groups to interfere in any Muslim countries...the success and prosperity of Malaysia as a model Islamic nation has created jealousy to a certain country and this is made worse by Malaysia’s firm stand in fighting against violence by the Jews in Palestine."
"We probably think that this is a misplaced concern, but we must not forget the fate of certain countries which have been victims of the hidden hands," it concludes.
The editorial does not provide evidence of a Jewish plot.
Malaysia has no diplomatic ties with Israel and supports the Palestinian cause.
Some 20,000 people marched in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur on July 9 demanding electoral reform.