Manipulating Anti-Semitic Sentiment
The average Malaysian has never met a Jew in person, though he’s probably used Michael Dell’s computers, installed Bill Gates’ Microsoft software and watched Steven Spielberg’s movies.
I’m personally guilty of all, and to top that off, I am also a fan of Mel Brooks – he of the History of the World Part I fame.
Dell, Gates and Spielberg are prominent Jews, but the truth is, not all Jews are smart nor are they dumb. Like every other race out there they are people; consisting of a mix of the good and bad.
For some, a Jew is simply an evil tyrant – one of the many who have brought on countless suffering on innocent Palestinian children.
Alas, but the mainstream media is just not considerate enough to drop the bias and perhaps admit that Hamas terrorists provoked attacks or “peace activists” on some aid flotilla may have employed some violence in dealing with Israeli soldiers, resulting in return fire.
After all, sensationalism sells and billowing smoke from “yet another Israeli attack” or a profusely bleeding child hovering between life and death makes for righteous anger.
This is not to say that the Israelis are innocent of wrong-doing.
What bothers me is that people are willing to be manipulated with so little information at hand. I have colleagues who spew hatred and venom against the collective race known as the Jews.
Worse are those who manipulate this sentiment to launch an attack against their enemies.
The B’nai B’rith asserts that Anwar Ibrahim spreads anti-Semitic propaganda and anti-Israel slander. Their belief is that Anwar Ibrahim is (in their words), “a purveyor of anti-Jewish hatred”.
Given his proximity with key U.S. officials, I hardly think it is so.
But Anwar Ibrahim, in my opinion, is guilty of playing up to the gallery. As anti-Semitism in Malaysia is at an all time high, associating the ruling coalition (Barisan Nasional) with Israeli spies and accusing them of being infiltrated by Israeli intelligence personnel is an impactful move.
The impact is two-fold, nevertheless. Anwar’s detractors have always been wary of his links with the U.S. His sudden burst of anti-Semitism isn’t necessarily going to warm them to him.
More unfortunate are his unquestioning supporters, who are now increasingly convinced that the Jews are the epitome of all evil known to mankind and beyond.
Those who have till now remained impartial are now introduced to a political leader’s nasty side, one that would enable him to spurn his friends to suit his personal ambition.
Given that the odds are indeed stacked against him – he is being accused of a ludicrous crime that isn’t a crime but for Malaysian laws, and his political career is in dire straits.
What may be acceptable for a ex-Premier, long past his use-by date but still enthusiastically milking his once glorious popularity, is no longer acceptable for one who aspires to lead a nation in the future.