Treasurer Josh Frydenberg scolding Mahathir seem to be the fighting words of a proud Jew and Australian, but unfortunately history proves otherwise.
First , many who know Mahathir ,and that would include senior figures in Australia (Bob Carr does not count,but ask Bob Hawke), would not consider Mahathir anti-semetic despite his public statements.
They would understand that his reference to hook-nosed
Jews is in the same vein as his description of his own Malay Muslim coreligionist as being " unproductive, corrupt and dishonest”.
However there are ongoing attempts in Australia to undermine Mahathir in every way. The latest attempt, which appears to be linked to an umbrella effort to insulate Australian personalities from Malaysia's 1MDB scandal, has involved the NSW Department Of the Attorney General And Justice asserting as credible claims on the "Thirdforce" website that Mahathir paid this writer US 1 Million ,which was then used to fabricate stories about ex-PM Najib which were ultimately put to air by ABC 4 Corners.
This comes after the fact that Australia's ex-PM Turnbull went out of his way to honour ex-PM Najib despite the US DOJ's actions in seizing assets that were acquired by Najib's relatives and associates with money stolen from the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund, even as Mahathir led an ultimately successful campaign to remove Najib , given that theft.
Mahathir had on many occasions just prior to the Turnbull-Najib public display of affection called on Australia to join with the US, Switzerland and Singapore to help recover money stolen from 1MDB, but to no avail.
Having ignored him for so long , the Australian pretense that Mahathir's opinion matters is laughable, Moving the Australian embassy to Jerusalem matters to Malaysia and Mahathir as much as Australia's same sex marriage laws.PM Scott Morrison and Treasurer Frydenberg know this.
The real question here is why the government they lead is now looking for excuses not to make the move. That has to do with Australian opposition to Israel in favour of Palestine ,which can be found even among Australian Jews. Readers should not be surprised that there would be among Australia's Jewish population opposition to moving the Australian embassy to Jerusalem. For an example of that muddle headed thinking, consider their treatment of Raphi Israeli.
See Also Alex Turnbull was involved in Australian policy discussions: Australia's shielding Najib,attackingMahathir,in sharper focus.
Australia attacks Mahathir, backs Anwar for PM: Australian interference in Malaysian elections discovered by former IGP Rahim Noor in 1994
Raphael Israeli: Muslim apologist, thy name is coward
AS an Israeli, one becomes used to the bias of the world's media and the frustrations of being misrepresented in the face of hysteria. But as a visiting academic to the land of the fair go, I didn't expect to find the same thing here.
At the end of last week, the Australian Jewish News interviewed me about my research into Muslim communities in Europe. Having spent much of my life studying and writing about this subject, I was asked by a reporter about my views and how relevant they were to Australia. He pressed me as to whether the violence that Europe was experiencing with its Muslim population could happen here.
I said it could happen anywhere, including Australia, that Muslim immigration occurred unchecked.
The response in the media has been less than friendly. Sydney radio broadcaster Mike Carlton and The Sydney Morning Herald implied that I was a racist, and I have been denounced by some leaders of the Jewish community.
I came to Australia to speak about Islam and the Middle East and to share the fruits of my books and research. But I've been dragged into an argument on a sensational issue that was not part of my schedule here. The many audiences who were to attend my lectures throughout the land were deprived of hearing them, except that private organisations, Jewish and non-Jewish, picked up the sponsorship of those lectures and I will end up giving more lectures than previously planned.
I am vastly rewarded by the multitude of supporting voices and the outpouring of calls and emails, from Jews and non-Jews, in Australia and abroad, and by the pressing queues of learners who've signed up for my classes. (There have also been a few hostile callers, some of whom identified themselves as Muslims or Muslim converts who typically use abusive language instead of a civilised voice of reason.)
I have been researching Islam in Europe and have come to some disturbing findings about the new third Islamic invasion of Europe: specifically, the Muslim neighbourhoods that breed violence and trouble and the home-grown European Muslims who have sworn to change Europe to their tune, to Islamise it and to use violence, if necessary, to that end.
So much so that erstwhile proponents of immigration such as France, The Netherlands and Britain have had to revise their laws, introduce new restrictions and shelve the marvellous utopia of multiculturalism as simply unfeasible and counterproductive.
There is nothing racist about adopting those policies, much less about describing them in a scholarly fashion. Moreover, it's fair, honest and educative to infer from those data to other parts of the Western world, such as Australia, which face the same issues.
I do not wish to play the victim and I appreciate that Australia is noted for robust debate. But when a scholar who has no axe to grind honestly describes and analyses what policy-makers in Europe have done, and draws a straightforward conclusion about Australia, to be abused and branded as a racist is extraordinary.
Shouts and abuse are not a policy, nor do they encourage public debate. If someone wishes to dismiss data by providing alternative sets of facts and arguments, that is a debate, but by shooting the messenger instead of addressing the issue, no public cause is served. It is a fact that since 2000, Jewish facilities were attacked by Muslims in Europe and Australia, but never the other way around. To state that is racism?
Some, of course, prefer to hide behind hollow slogans of "inter-communal harmony", "inter-faith co-operation" and "multiculturalism" instead of exposing Muslim violence and inflammatory rhetoric and act, together with Muslim moderates, to uproot these phenomena.
Aware of the European parallel, I am neither surprised by the Muslim leaders' attempts to shut off any debate in Australia and intimidate anyone who raises his voice against such actions, nor by the Australian press complicity in that process. Only yesterday I received threats from a Chechen Islamic website. So much for civilised debate.
But I am stunned by the behaviour of some Jewish leaders, who didn't seek to find out what I had said but instead relied on a report in the Australian Jewish News that misrepresented the context (not distorted or falsified) of what I said. Instead of supporting free debate in this country, these Jewish leaders have elected to shamefully disown it in statements that were geared to placate Muslims.
People who lack courage and stamina to stand up for principles, who whisper in my ear that they agree with me but then act in public to protect their positions and the illusions they are trying to cultivate in this society, do not act in a Jewish, Australian or even civilised fashion.
Raphael Israeli, a professor of Islamic, Middle East and Chinese history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, has been brought to Australia by the Shalom Institute of the University of NSW.