14 February 2018
BDS Malaysia is appalled and alarmed at the recent visit by Israeli delegates to the ninth World Urban Forum in Malaysia. The forum was hosted by United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat), a painful irony given Israel’s disgraceful expansion of illegal settlements on stolen Palestinian land and repeated demolition of Palestinian homes.
Their visit comes hot on the heels of a recent demonstration organized by the government where Prime Minister Najib expressed solidarity with the Palestinian people. This is indeed disconcerting and raises the question, “Is the Malaysian government serious in its call for Palestinian rights or are they just paying lip service?”
In light of this recent development, one is forced to conclude the Malaysian government’s words as hollow and merely empty political rhetoric.
The Israeli government and media are already touting the visit as a breakthrough towards normalising relations between Israel and Malaysia. The Israeli representative David Roet, has capitalised his trip here on social media and furthering the Zionist agenda.
If the Malaysian government was compelled by the UN into allowing the Israeli representatives in, this fact should have been made known and not swept under the rug. This would have allowed Malaysians of conscience who oppose the Israeli oppression of Palestinians to act accordingly.
Malaysia is amongst a handful of nations who have refused to establish diplomatic relations with Israel for good reason – it’s shameful and deplorable violation of every Palestinian right for over sixty years.
We call on the government to uphold its exemplary and bold stance. We further call on the Malaysian government to hold accountable the organisers of the conference and those responsible for this unacceptable breach.
We urge the Malaysian government to apologise to the Palestinians for this colossal betrayal and pledge to not repeat this grave mistake.
We also invite the Malaysian government to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS), against Israel and to put into place concrete actions towards this. It can begin by boycotting Israel, its institutions and its representatives. It can also act against corporations assisting Israel in its settlements expansion and demolition of Palestinian homes.
This sorry and inexcusable saga should never have been allowed and the Malaysian government needs to redeem itself with the Palestinian people who’ve always looked at it as one of their biggest champions.
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