BDS Malaysia on Singapore-Israel research collaboration

BDS Malaysia is utterly dismayed and disappointed with the signing of the research collaboration between the Singapore National Research Foundation and Hebrew University of Israel to form the Singapore-Hebrew University Alliance for Research and Enterprise (SHARE), during Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s visit to Israel.

BDS Malaysia would like to bring to the attention of PM Lee the fact that 170 Palestinian civil society organisations, including those representing academics, within historic Palestine and in the diaspora, have called on the world to show solidarity with and support for boycott, divestment and sanctions efforts against Israel. They also called on the international academic community to:

1. Refrain from participating in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions;

2. Advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions;

3. Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international academic institutions;

4. Work towards the condemnation of Israeli policies by pressing for resolutions to be adopted by academic, professional and cultural associations and organizations;

5. Support Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support.

This BDS call has also been supported by Jewish academics and activists. In 2014, over 200 Jewish academics and activists issued a statement calling for the dismantling of Israel’s apartheid regime throughout historic Palestine, in solidarity with the Palestinian call for BDS.

In reality, the effects of Israeli occupation and oppression of Palestinian academia are many and severe.  Palestinian scholars do not enjoy the same rights to academic freedom as Israeli scholars. Israel controls the entry of books into the occupied Palestinian territories and does not refrain from bombing universities and schools in Gaza. Palestinian academics face severe restrictions on movement via the system of checkpoints, permits and ID cards.  The severe restrictions on movement also obviously make travel abroad difficult for Palestinian students and academics. This is compounded by restrictions on the entry of foreign scholars to Palestine by Israel. The entry of research equipment, spare parts, and material, is also tightly controlled by the Israeli government, making scientific research essentially impossible. In short, Palestinian scholars are prevented from engaging with each other and the world in virtually all fundamental aspects of academic pursuit and research.

PM Lee mentioned Albert Einstein’s visit to Singapore in 1922. Surely PM Lee is aware then that Einstein said, “I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. Apart from the practical considerations, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power no matter how modest.  I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain – especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight without a Jewish state”. (

BDS Malaysia therefore calls on the Singapore government to join hands with the global BDS movement to isolate Israel as long as Israel continues to commit human right abuses towards the Palestinians.

Prof. Mohd Nazari Ismail, PhD.
BDS Malaysia

Celebrating the hero, Muhammad Ali (1942-2016) – BDS South Africa

Celebrating the hero, Muhammad Ali (1942-2016)

04 June 2016

The human rights and Palestine solidarity organisation BDS South Africa joins the peace-loving peoples of the world in mourning the loss and celebrating the life of boxing legend and activist, Muhammad Ali.

Ali is an inspiration for those us fighting for justice – be it in the struggle against racial injustice, economic exploitation or Israeli Apartheid.

According to news reports, in 1974 already, the former boxing champion told a press conference in Beirut, that “the United States is the stronghold of Zionism and imperialism.” On a later visit to two Palestinian refugee camps Muhammad Ali is quoted as saying: “I declare support for the Palestinian struggle to liberate their homeland.”

In 1985 the heavyweight boxer travelled to Israel in an attempt to secure the release of Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners held by the Israeli regime.

Ali’s determination and commitment to civil rights, anti-imperialism and social justice motivated many of our people (and our international allies) in the anti-apartheid movement. Today Ali inspires many Palestinian solidarity activists in the struggle and boycott of Israeli Apartheid.

Muhammad Ali – our champ, the peoples champ, the champ.

Hamba Kahle, Comrade Muhammad Ali. Lala ngoxolo.


BDS Malaysia on planned FIFA Congress 2017

BDS Malaysia salutes the decision of the Malaysian government to maintain its stance of not allowing representatives of Israel to attend any meeting in Malaysia including the planned FIFA congress in May 2017. This is in line and in the spirit of BDS Israel, an international call by civil societies across the globe to boycott and isolate Israel for its continued oppression of the Palestinians. 

BDA Malaysia wishes to remind everyone that Israel has kept Palestinians under a brutal military occupation and they have been subjected to countless atrocities for decades, including genocide and ethnic cleansing. Israel has also flouted international law on many occasions and continues to maintain an apartheid policy despite repeated condemnations by the international community.

The sacrifice of not being able to host the FIFA congress is minuscule compared to the sufferings of millions of Palestinians living in Israel, under occupation in the West bank and under siege in Gaza. Then there are those in diaspora unable to return to their land and homes despite being granted that right under international law.

Palestinian athletes, as with all other Palestinians, are subject to Israel’s injustice. Palestinian national footballer Mahmoud Sarsak was detained for 3 years without trial or charge. Zakaria Issa, a national striker was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment in 2003. Muhammad Nimr, a striker in the Palestinian youth football team was detained from 2007 to 2009.

Additionally the Palestinians are denied their right to free travel, needing Israeli permission to enter or leave. Their daily lives are a web of checkpoints, ID cards and permits. Commuting is time-consuming, and very difficult, due to often arbitrary decisions by individual Israeli soldiers. Daily training is an extreme challenge for Palestinian athletes and training facilities are severely compromised. For example, Mary Al-Atrash, who is representing Palestine in the 2016 Rio Olympics, is only able to train in a 25 meter pool, instead of a standard-sized 50 meter pool, due to restrictions on her movement. It has been estimated that Palestinians lose 3 million working hours per day to travel (American Anthropological Association Task Force Israel Palestine, 2015).

In 1970 South Africa was formally ejected from the International Olympic Committee and banned from virtually all international sports till the end of its apartheid policies in 1990s. Advocates for Boycott South Africa argued, “no normal sport in an abnormal society”, that is, as long as the regime prevented everyone from participating equally in society, it should be excluded from participating equally in the international arena.

Sports, especially football, widely accepted as a global sport, is closely tied to national identity, thus making sporting isolation a bitter pill to swallow, as shown with South Africa. Therefore, the international community must stand firm and show Israel that Israelis do not deserve to have a place among the civilized people of the world, as long as their government continues their current policies and practice.

Israel must honor its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully comply with the precepts of international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall 
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and 
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194

Prof Dr. Mohd Nazari Ismail
BDS Malaysia

Surat Terbuka Kepada Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohd Bakke Salleh, Presiden, Sime Darby Berhad

Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohd Bakke Salleh

Presiden dan Ketua Eksekutif

Sime Darby Berhad,


YBhg Tan Sri, 


Penglibatan Caterpillar dan Hyundai dalam Kekejaman terhadap Rakyat Palestine 



Susulan pertemuan kita pada 20 Julai 2016, BDS Malaysia masih menunggu untuk mendapatkan keputusan dan tindak-balas pihak Sime Darby, yang dijanjikan oleh Tan Sri.


Seperti yang dimaklumkan semasa perjumpaan kita, BDS (Boycott, Divest Sanction), adalah sebuah NGO global yang non-partisan ( ). Kami di Malaysia adalah sebahagian daripada usaha yang bergiat secara aman di peringkat antarabangsa bagi menentang kezaliman Israel melalui  aktiviti  boikot, pelupusan saham dan sekatan. Usaha  ini disokong oleh berbagai pihak termasuk para ilmuan, aktivis, pertubuhan bukan kerajaan, majlis perbandaran dan lain-lain dari merata pelusuk dunia.  


Usaha BDS ini adalah bagi menyahut seruan lebih daripada 170 organisasi masyarakat sivil Palestin, untuk perpaduan global, dan penggunaan boikot, pelupusan saham dan sekatan, untuk memberi tekanan kepada Israel agar mematuhi sepenuhnya undang-undang antarabangsa.


Matlamat gerakan BDS adalah untuk  Israel mengiktiraf Hak Asasi Negara dan Rakyat Palestin, dan mematuhi sepenuhnya undang-undang antarabangsa dengan:


1. Mengakhiri pendudukan dan penjajahan ke atas semua tanah Arab dan   merombak Tembok Pemisah

2. Mengiktiraf hak asasi warga Arab-Palestin di Israel untuk kesaksamaan sepenuhnya; dan

3. Menghormati, melindungi dan mempromosi hak-hak pelarian Palestin untuk kembali ke rumah dan harta tanah mereka seperti yang ditetapkan dalam resolusi PBB 194


Di antara aspek kezaliman rejim Israel ialah pemusnahan dengan rakus puluhan ribu rumah kediaman milik rakyat Palestin di Tebing Barat dan Semenanjung Gaza. Aktiviti tidak berperikemanusiaan ini kadangkala dilakukan walaupun penghuni masih berada di dalam rumah. Ini sering mengakibatkan kematian. Jentera yang paling kerap digunakan oleh rejim zalim Israel ialah yang dibekalkan oleh syarikat Caterpillar dan Hyundai. 


Di samping itu, jentera-jentera tersebut juga digunakan untuk membina ratusan penempatan haram Israel di atas tanah yang dirampas secara haram dari rakyat Palestin. 


Oleh itu BDS Malaysia sekali lagi menyeru Sime Darby sebagai pengedar jentera Caterpillar dan kereta Hyundai di Malaysia, untuk berganding bahu bersama kami, serta seluruh masyarakat dunia yang bencikan kezaliman dalam memberi tekanan kepada syarikat Caterpillar dan Hyundai.  Syarikat-syarikat tersebut  hendaklah memastikan bahawa jentera yang mereka keluarkan tidak akan digunakan oleh Israel untuk menzalimi rakyat Palestin dan mencabuli hak asasi mereka. Sime Darby juga perlu menyarankan syarikat Caterpillar dan Hyundai supaya memutuskan terus hubungan mereka dengan rejim zalim Israel.


Kami pasti semua rakyat Malaysia yang cintakan keadilan dan kedamaian menyokong usaha murni ini.


Sekian, terima kasih.


Yang benar,

Prof Dr. Mohd Nazari Ismail

Pengerusi, BDS Malaysia.

Kenyataan Akhbar BDS Malaysia Berhubung Isu Boikot McDonald’s

Kenyataan Akhbar BDS Malaysia Berhubung Isu Boikot McDonald’s

11 Disember 2017

BDS Malaysia sering menerima soalan berkenaan isu pemboikotan McDonald’s dalam usaha menentang kezaliman Israel. 

BDS Malaysia berhubung rapat dengan JK Nasional BDS (BDS National Committee, BNC) yang menjadi sekretariat kepada gerakan BDS antarabangsa. Di bawah adalah jawapan daripada BNC berkenaan isu boikot McDonald’s. (terjemahan disediakan di bawah):

“Effective BDS campaigns are based on accurate research. There is a lot of information online claiming that big companies give money to Israel. Sometimes these rumours turn out to be false.” 

“For example, some campaigners call for a boycott of Starbucks. But Starbucks doesn’t have any stores in Israel and officially confirms that it does not support Israel.”

“Companies such as McDonald’s are not priorities for the BDS movement at this stage. We focus on companies that play a clear and direct role in sustaining Israeli violations of international law and that we can have a tangible impact upon.”

“Kempen BDS yang berkesan adalah berdasarkan penyelidikan yang tepat. Terdapat banyak maklumat atas talian mendakwa bahawa syarikat-syarikat besar memberikan wang kepada Israel. Kadang-kadang khabar angin ini adalah palsu.”

“Sebagai contoh, beberapa kempen menyeru untuk memboikot Starbucks. Tetapi Starbucks tidak mempunyai kedai di Israel dan mengesahkan secara rasmi bahawa ia tidak menyokong Israel.”

“Syarikat-syarikat seperti McDonald’s bukan keutamaan untuk pergerakan BDS pada peringkat ini. Kami menumpukan kepada syarikat-syarikat yang memainkan peranan yang jelas dan langsung dalam membantu Israel melanggar undang-undang antarabangsa juga syarikat-syarikat yang dirasakan akan terkesan dengan usaha kita.”


Senarai penuh syarikat-syarikat yang menjadi sasaran BDS boleh dilihat di sini:


Bagi kita di Malaysia, BDS Malaysia memfokuskan usaha kepada 5 syarikat berikut:


1. Caterpillar – pembekal jentera berat yang memusnahkan rumah-rumah rakyat Palestin dan untuk pembinaan penempatan haram Israel;

2. Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) – (sama seperti Caterpillar);

3. Hewlett Packard (HP) – pembekal teknologi IT dan komputer kepada tentera, polis dan penjara Israel;

4. G4S – pembekal teknologi keselamatan kepada tentera, polis dan penjara Israel;

5. Ahava – syarikat kosmetik yang mengaut keuntungan daripada mineral yang dicuri dari laut mati, kawasan milik Palestin yang dirampas secara haram sejak tahun 1967.


Prof. Nazari Ismail,
BDS Malaysia

BDS Malaysia mengutuk dengan sekeras-kerasnya pencerobohan terkini oleh rejim apartheid Zionis terhadap rakyat Gaza


13 NOVEMBER 2018

Boycott, Divestment, Sanction – Malaysia (BDS Malaysia) mengutuk dengan sekeras-kerasnya pencerobohan terkini oleh rejim apartheid Zionis terhadap rakyat Gaza. Setakat ini hampir sepuloh bangunan awam di Gaza yang tiada kaitan dengan ketenteraan, termasuk sebuah tadika, telah sengaja disasarkan dan dihancurkan oleh kapalterbang pengebom rejim Israel tanpa mengira ancaman tindakan mereka terhadap keselamatan orang awam.

Konvensi Geneva Keempat pada tahun 1949 jelas melarang serangan terhadap orang awam dalam zon peperangan. Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu pada tahun 1993 secara rasmi juga menyatakan bahawa semua keputusan Konvensi Geneva mengikat semua negara di dunia termasuk negara yang tidak menandatanganinya.

Oleh itu, BDS Malaysia menyeru PBB dan masyarakat antarabangsa untuk segera mengambil langkah-langkah yang diperlukan untuk memaksa negara apartheid Zionis menamatkan jenayah mereka di Gaza dan membawa pemimpin Israel yang bertanggungjawab dengan serangan ganas ini ke Mahkamah Jenayah Antarabangsa. Pelanggaran oleh Israel terhadap Konvensyen Geneva dalam hal ini amat jelas. Kegagalan masyarakat antarabangsa mengambil tindakan tegas terhadap Israel akan menggalakkan rejim Zionis apartheid  ini untuk terus bertindak dengan jenayah zalimnya.

Para pemimpin negara-negara utama Eropah barat telah berkumpul di Perancis pada hari Ahad, 11 November untuk memperingati tarikh berakhirnya Perang Dunia Pertama. Sentimen telah dinyatakan oleh mereka tentang bencana peperangan terhadap tentera dan orang awam. Bencana yang kini berlaku di Gaza sebenarnya berkait dengan Perang Dunia Pertama. Kerajaan-kerajaan negara-negara barat di Eropah mesti melaksanakan kata-kata mereka dengan menyekat keganasan dan jenayah yang dilakukan oleh Israel sekarang kepada rakyat Palestin di Gaza. Kegagalan mereka dalam hal ini akan membongkarkan sikap kepura-puraan mereka dalam membela rakyat Palestin dari kezaliman rejim Zionis.

Pengerusi, BDS Malaysia

BDS Malaysia condemns in the strongest possible terms the latest aggression by the Zionist apartheid state against the people of Gaza


13 November 2018

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions – Malaysia (BDS Malaysia) condemns in the strongest possible terms the latest aggression by the Zionist apartheid state against the people of Gaza. Up to now, almost ten civilian buildings of no military significance, including a kindergarten have been deliberately targeted by Israeli warplanes with absolutely no concern for non-combatant casualties. 

The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 expressively prohibits the harming of civilians in a war zone and the United Nations in 1993 have officially adopted the position that all provisions of the Geneva Convention are binding on all nations of the world including non-signatory countries.

BDS Malaysia therefore calls on the UN and the international community to immediately take all necessary measures to force the Zionist apartheid state to end its criminal bombing of civilians in Gaza and bring the Israeli leaders behind this barbaric onslaught to account before the International Criminal Court. The violation by Israel of the Geneva Convention is blatant and clear in this case. Inaction by the international community in the face of overwhelming evidence will only invite further outrages from the apartheid state.

The leaders of the major countries of western Europe gathered in France on Sunday, 11th  November to commemorate the centenary since the end of the First World War. Sentiments were expressed by them about the horrors of war for both soldiers and civilians. The horrors of war now happening in Gaza have their roots in the First World War. The governments of those western European nations must walk the talk, express their utter revulsion to what Israel is doing now to the Palestinian people of Gaza and do everything within their means to get the apartheid state to stop its criminal actions. Anything less will just betray their hypocrisy in the case of blatant injustices done to the Palestinians by the Zionist regime.

Chairman, BDS Malaysia


17 Disember 2018


BDS Malaysia ingin menyuarakan perasaan terkejut dan kecewa terhadap tindakan kerajaan Australia di bawah Perdana Menteri Scott Morrison mengiktiraf Baitul Maqdis Barat sebagai ibu negara Israel. Keputusan ini menjadikan Australia `Pak Turut’ kepada kehendak puak Zionis Israel.  Disamping itu keputusan ini adalah sebenarnya bertentangan dengan pendirian kerajaan Australia sendiri selama ini yang mengatakan bahawa penyelesaian masalah di Palestin hanya boleh dicapai melalui wujudnya dua negara iaitu Palestin dan Israel. Walaupun solusi dua negara (two-state solution) adalah sebenarnya mustahil kerana Zionis Israel telah terbukti mahu merampas semua tanah milik Palestin, namun tindakan Scott Morrison ini telah mendedahkan sikap kepura-puraan pentadbirannya mengenai isu ini secara keseluruhan.

Hakikat sebenarnya ialah jika puak Zionis Israel terus mendapat sokongan walaupun sedang giat melakukan penindasan apartheid terhadap rakyat Palestin, mereka  tidak akan berusaha untuk mencari keamanan sejati dan adil dengan rakyat Palestin, sama ada dalam kerangka dua negara atau satu negara atau bahkan sepuluh negara.

Meskipun kerajaan Malaysia dan banyak negara lain telah membuat perisytiharan bahawa keputusan mengenai Baitul Maqdis harus menghormati resolusi PBB  demi mencapai keamanan yang adil dan saksama antara Israel dan Palestin, namun pentadbiran Morrison telah memilih untuk tidak menghormati Malaysia dan negara lain dengan mengabaikan semua pengisytiharan tersebut.

Oleh yang demikian, BDS Malaysia menyeru kerajaan Malaysia untuk bertindak lebih tegas terhadap kerajaan Australia dan bukan setakat mengeluarkan kata-kata kutukan terhadapnya. Antara langkah yang perlu dilakukan:

  • Kementerian Luar Malaysia perlu memanggil Pesuruhjaya Tinggi Australia dan meminta beliau menyampaikan pendirian Malaysia yang amat tidak bersetuju dengan keputusan pentadbiran Morrison.
  • KL perlu menurunkan status hubungan diplomatik semasa dengan Canberra.
  • KL harus menyemak semua hubungan perdagangan dan pertukaran dengan Australia.
  • BDS Malaysiajuga  menyeru semua rakyat Malaysia:
  • Mengambil bahagian dalam demonstrasi aman yang dirancang untuk petang hari Jumaat, 21 Disember di hadapan Suruhanjaya Tinggi Australia KL untuk menyatakan secara terang-terangan kegusaran dan bangkangan kita terhadap keputusan pentadbiran Morrison mengenai status Baitul Maqdis.
  • Mengelakkan dari membeli produk daging, tenusu, pertanian dan produk lain yang berasal dari Australia sehingga kerajaan Australia merubahkan pendiriannya berkenaan Baitul Maqdis.

Perlu dinyatakan bahawa semua keputusan di atas adalah dibuat atas dasar sikap perpaduan kita dengan semua rakyat Palestin yang  berhak hidup dengan damai dan bermaruah di negara mereka sendiri. Hak mereka  ini telah dinafikan semenjak 70 tahun yang lalu. Keadaan yang zalim terhadap rakyat Palestin selama ini sebenarnya adalah merupakan krisis moral paling buruk di zaman moden kita.

Perlu juga dinyatakan bahawa semua langkah di atas tidak bermakna kita bermusuh dengan rakyat Australia. Ia hanya mencerminkan pendirian kita yang tidak bersetuju dengan tindakan pentadbiran Morrison sahaja yang telah memilih untuk menggadaikan maruah dan mengorbankan kepentingan negara Australia semata-mata untuk menyokong hasrat Donald Trump serta memilih untuk mencontohi sikap jelik Israel yang tidak menghormati resolusi antarabangsa serta tidak menghormati  perasaan negara jiran.

Sikap pentadbiran Morrison yang menerima bulat-bulat serta menyokong  projek penjajahan serta perkauman yang zalim terhadap rakyat Palestin – yang sebenarnya merupakan kaum asal di bumi Palestin,  juga mendedahkan sifat hipokrit nya. Dalam erti kata yang lain, semua kenyataan kesedihan dan penyesalan yang diungkapkan oleh kerajaan Australia selama ini mengenai jenayah penipuan dan keganasan mereka yang lalu terhadap penduduk asal Australia sendiri adalah jelas kosong dan sebenarnya tidak bermakna langsung.

Sudah tiba masanya pentadbiran Morrison disedarkan dengan beberapa kebenaran ini walaupun ianya  mungkin sangat pahit bagi mereka.

Pengerusi, BDS Malaysia




Boycott, Divest, Sanctions Malaysia (BDS Malaysia) is utterly aghast that the Australian government under Prime Minister Scott Morrison has seen it fit to play to the Zionist tune and recognise Jerusalem, albeit only the western half, as the capital of Israel. Doing so and at the same time still declaring that it believes in the two-state solution only betrays the hypocrisy of the Morrison administration over the whole issue. As long as they are rewarded for maintaining their apartheid state and oppressive policies towards Palestinians, the Zionists will not be moved to seek a genuine and just peace with Palestinians whether it is within a two-state or one-state or ten-state framework.  

BDS Malaysia also notes that in spite of prior intimations and indications from the Malaysian government that a decision on Jerusalem should be avoided out of respect for the UN resolutions regarding its final status and for a just and permanent peace between Israel and Palestine to be achieved, the Morrison administration has chosen to ignore all of them. 

That being the case, BDS Malaysia calls on the Malaysian government to respond firmly in ways which entail more than mere words of condemnation: 

  • The Malaysian foreign ministry should summon the Australian High Commissioner for Malaysia’s displeasure to be firmly conveyed to the Morrison administration.
  • KL should downgrade its current diplomatic relations with Canberra. 
  • KL should review all current trading links and exchanges with Australia. 

BDS Malaysia calls on all Malaysians 

  • To participate in the peaceful demonstration planned for the afternoon of Friday, 21st December in front of the KL Australian High Commission in order to publicly express our dismay and opposition to the Morrison administration’s decision regarding the status of Jerusalem.
  • To avoid buying all Australian meat, dairy, agricultural and other products. Do not ask if that will have any discernible impact on the situation. Just do it. The boycott will cease once the Australian government reverses its position on Jerusalem.

We do all the above in solidarity with all Palestinians for whom the right to live in peace and dignity in their own state has been denied these past 70 years. The perpetuation of the gross injustice against Palestinians is indeed the worst moral crisis of our modern times. 

In taking all the measures above, we bear no enmity whatsoever towards the people of Australia. 

The Morrison administration has chosen to sell its soul and sacrifice the national interests of Australia on the altar of Trumpism.

It has chosen the same path of lawlessness and disrespect for international resolutions and close neighbours that has been taken by the pariah Zionist apartheid state.

By unashamedly and unquestioningly supporting an ongoing settler-colonist racist project called Israel which unrelentingly victimises the indigenous Palestinian population, the Morrison administration has rendered hollow and hypocritical all the words of sorrow and contrition expressed by the Australian government over the past dispossession and inhumanity inflicted on Australia’s own indigenous population. 

It is time the Morrison administration is taught some home truths.

Chairman, BDS Malaysia




Chancellor Kurz raised concerns about antisemitism in his meeting in Vienna with Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.  Bearing in mind the horrific culmination of European antisemitism during the Second World War, we accept his legitimate fears of antisemitism rearing its ugly head anywhere. 

But we would like to point out that antisemitism is a disease peculiar to European Christianity and other western societies but not to Asia. The anti-Israel movement in Malaysia, of which Boycott, Divest, Sanctions Malaysia (BDS Malaysia) is a part, is not in any way antisemitic. Just like the Austrian chancellor, we abhor all forms of antisemitism and do not wish to be associated with any of them. We have no problems whatsoever with anyone of Jewish ethnicity or, for that matter, any ethnicity. One’s ethnicity is no more and no less an accident of birth. But we do have problems with Zionists whether they are Jews or non-Jews because of the undeniable suffering of the Palestinian people at the hands of Israel, one which after seven decades has gone on for far too long.

Barring Israelis from our country cannot be interpreted as a kind of antisemitism. We do it because we do not want to be exploited by the Zionist propaganda machine as an example of a Muslim-majority country which finds Israeli oppression of Palestinians acceptable. Our boycott of Israel in all areas continues because of this and because of our support for the Palestinian cause. 

We are not anti-Jewish at any level. Vocal critics of Israel such as Miko Peled, Dr Peter Slezak, Ms Anna Baltzer and the leader of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, Ms Zohar Regev have all visited Malaysia. We couldn’t care less that they are Jews. But we cared a great deal that their voices as individuals who are demanding a just and genuine end to the conflict be heard by the Malaysian public. Mr Peled’s visit was hosted by Dr Mahathir himself. So much for Dr Mahathir’s antisemitism.

We would respectfully direct Chancellor Kurz’s attention to the following concerns. 

1. Having declared Austria to be a friend and partner of Israel, is that an endorsement or moral support for the apartheid and heinous policies of the Israeli government against Palestinians? If it is not, Austria should speak up and publicly object to those policies. What are friends for if they do not point out the error of one’s way? If it is, then Austria is in no position to lecture others about the racist nature of antisemitism.    

2. The Israeli government for self-serving reasons is in the habit of branding all criticisms of its actions and policies as antisemitic. While an antisemite correctly means a person who does not like Jews, it is becoming to mean a person the Israeli government does not like such is the ease it uses that accusation against its critics. Chancellor Kurz should be concerned that in his opposition to antisemitism he does not become an unwitting party to such dishonest attempts to stifle free speech and legitimate criticisms of Israeli actions.

3. The Israeli government claims to speak and act in the name of all Jews in the world, despite clear evidence that it does not. This deliberate conflation of ‘Jew’ and ‘Israeli’, especially involving acts which are clear violations of the human rights of Palestinians, plays no small part in fueling antisemitism. Rising antisemitism suits the Israeli government if it leads to higher Jewish emigration to Israel. Surely this is a matter which Chancellor Kurz should address his concern about to the Israeli government.