Top UK Jewish Group Condemns Cambridge University’s Decision to Host Antisemitic Malaysian Prime Minister
A leading British Jewish group has condemned Cambridge University’s decision to host the notoriously antisemitic prime minister of Malaysia.
The Cambridge Union debating society will welcome Mahathir Mohamad, who has a long history of antisemitic statements, including calling Jews “hook-nosed” and denying the Holocaust.
Sheila Gewolb, senior vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said in a statement, “The decision by Cambridge University Union to host Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, a notorious antisemite who has made no secret of his distaste for Jews and Israel, is deeply disheartening.”
“By inviting this divisive figure, Cambridge Union is creating a hostile environment for Jews, giving a platform to a person who has repeatedly denied the scope of the Shoah, spread antisemitic tropes, and made straightforward racist comments,” she charged.
Mohamad’s antisemitism is well-known. He once famously said that Jews were “not merely hook-nosed, but understand money instinctively.”
During a BBC interview last year, Mohamad defended this slur, stating, “There are many races in this world, I have said nasty things about them but they never accused me of being anti-this or anti-that.”
“They are hook-nosed,” he said of the Jews. “Many people call the Malays flat-nosed. We did not object. We did not go to war for that.”
In a speech to the UN General Assembly the week before, Mohamad had denied the Holocaust, saying, “The Israelis are special, you cannot even mention that in the Holocaust it was not six million.”
Mohamad has also said he was “glad to be labelled antisemitic,” and equated the Jews with the Nazis.
“Today the Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them,” he asserted in 2013.
In 2010, he stated, “Jews had always been a problem in European countries. They had been confined in ghettos and periodically massacred. But they still remained and still thrived and held whole governments to ransom.”