Malaysia urges nations to break ties with Israel

Malaysia urged countries Thursday to cut off diplomatic ties with Israel to show they care enough about the lives of Muslims under attack in Lebanon. "This is one incident in history where the world seems to close its eyes ... as if the lives of Muslims or the Arabs or the Lebanese are not as important as others," Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar told a news conference. Countries have the right to maintain relations with whomever they choose, but Israel's four-week-old military offensive that has led to widespread Lebanese civilian casualties warrants a strong diplomatic response, Syed Hamid said. "Definitely the view of (many in) the international community is that Israel has breached international law," Syed Hamid said. "If that is so, it is only proper for countries ... to cut diplomatic relations with Israel, especially countries in the Middle East."