Palestinians should stop bombing: Mahathir
PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Thursday that the Palestinians should stop suicide bombings against Israelis because they lead nowhere.
Mahathir hinted in his speech at the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) that the Palestinians should drop all violence against the Israelis and negotiate even if the terms are unfair.
“I am aware that all these ideas will not be popular. Those who are angry would want to reject it out of hand. They would even want to silence anyone who makes or supports this line of action,” Mahathir said. “They would want to send more young men and women to make the supreme sacrifice. But where will all these lead to? Certainly not victory. Over the past 50 years of fighting in Palestine we have not achieved any result. We have in fact worsened our situation.”
He said the Holy Quran “tells us that when the enemy sues for peace we must react positively. True, the treaty offered is not favourable to us. But we can negotiate”.
Mahathir called on Muslims to emulate the Jewish response to oppression, saying the Jews had “survived 2000 years of pogroms not by hitting back, but by thinking.” “We cannot fight them through brawn alone, we must use our brains also.” Initial reaction to Mahathir’s speech was positive. “I think it was a very shrewd, very deep assessment of the situation,” said Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher.
“I think he elaborated a programme of action that is very wide and very important. I hope the Islamic countries will be able to follow this roadmap. This one is a good roadmap by the way.” —Agencies