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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Anwar warns Umno: Don't twist my Israel remarks

Sulaiman Kamal | 8:22 AM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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KUALA LUMPUR — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim clarified today his recent remarks on Israel, saying he supported a “two-state solution” with Palestine that is part of a resolution recognised and adopted by both Malaysia and the Union Nations.
The opposition leader has come under fire from Umno and its media after an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, in which he expressed support for “all efforts to protect the security of the state of Israel.”
But the international business daily said Anwar stopped short of saying he would open diplomatic ties with the Jewish state, a step the former deputy prime minister said remains contingent on Israel respecting the aspirations of Palestinians.

“I stressed that the needs and rights of the Palestinian people must be guarded and that includes the right to their own country and to not be victimised. I also stated that if this is met then Israel’s rights should also be respected,” he said in a statement this evening.
According to Anwar, what he had said was in line with PKR’s principles of justice, and that a “two-state solution” was also recognised by the Arab-Peace Initiative.
The PKR de facto leader pointed out that Malaysia also supported the “two-state solution”, and that Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman had spoken about it during his speech at last year’s UN general assembly.
Anwar stressed that Malaysia’s acceptance of Israel’s claims hinged on whether or not the rights of the Palestinians were upheld.
“I am issuing a stern warning to anyone trying to twist my statement just so that they can say that I have betrayed the aspirations of the Palestinian people. PKR’s stand is to defend the rights of whoever it is that has been victimised,” he added.
Earlier today, Deputy Prime Minister and Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin demanded Anwar clarify his words as reported in the WSJ, saying the latter’s remarks ignored the plight of the Palestinians.
Before that, Umno Youth accused Anwar of defending “Israel’s Zionist regime” over his reported comments, saying it was Palestinians who needed protection, defending and humanitarian aid after being oppressed by Israel.
Muslim-majority Malaysia is an ardent supporter of Palestine and has no diplomatic ties with Israel.
Muslim politicians have long vied for support from Malays by denouncing what they say is inhumane aggression from Israel towards its neighbour.
Anwar has previously been attacked as a supporter of the Zionist movement due to his interaction with prominent Jewish figures in the West.
But the opposition leader had turned the tables on Umno and Barisan Nasional in 2010 when he claimed public relations firm APCO Worldwide, then contracted by Putrajaya, was responsible for both the 1 Malaysia and 1 Israel campaigns.

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