On the surface it seems to be a silly issue for UMNO (in the person of either Najib or more prominently, Dr M) and Anwar Ibrahim to be quarrelling over. In the acrimonious circumstances which always surround the question of Israel, it’s not a case of “Anything you can do, I can do better” but rather “Anything you did, I did (or will do) less (or not at all)”, wakakaka.
Once a French diplomat (to Israel) was caught unaware saying (to a friend) that Israel was just a ‘shitty little country’, much to the political embarrassment of his nation. But in the scheme of things global, he was actually correct. In terms of size, natural resources or strategic location, Israel shouldn’t matter much.
Then, why does such a ‘shitty little country’ exert disproportionate influence and effect on many nations, but notably those nations which have the majority of their population belonging in faith to one of the Abraham-ic religions, like the USA or Malaysia?
Well, I’ve actually provided the answer to that question, namely, it’s all about religion or political movements with a religious overlay, namely, Zionism* (especially Christian Zionism), fundamental Christianity and Islam.
* a Jewish initiated political movement which is to be differentiated from Judaism, where many (non Zionist) Jews do not support (Jewish and Christian) Zionists in wanting to have a State of Israel.
Christian Zionism has an even greater religious influence/involvement where some Christian Zionists believe the gathering of 'Hebrew's (or Jews) in Israel is a pre-requisite condition for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. These Christian Zionists actually believe that Jews are God's Chosen People.
What then is the emotive-(including religious)-political significance of the State of Israel?
To Christian Zionists, as mentioned above, that State signifies the return of the ‘Hebrews’ to the so-called Holy Land*, which in turn is a sign of Jesus returning soon – for more read this. Thus for Jesus' Second Coming, the land of the ‘Hebrews’ (read that as Israelis) must be defended regardless – in practical terms, with American arms, intelligence and total political support plus US$4 billion annually.
Last year, when the USA tightened its budget and trimmed down allocations for virtually every program affecting its citizens and institutions, only one allocation was exempted, and not only spared but bizarrely increased, namely aid for Israel. Such is the hold of a 'shitty little country' over the mighty USA.
* I wonder how a land can be deemed ‘holy’ when it has been the most blood-drenched piece of semi-desert estate in world’s history. Why would Jesus want to return there, a place of unbelievable violence for more than 3,000 years? Perhaps Christians should pray for Him to go to, say, New Zealand or Seychelles or Tahiti in his Second Coming.
To Israeli-Jewish Zionists, a religiously shackled USA is a wonderful God-given convenience, enabling them to manipulate and control a religiously blind, obedient but powerful USA to Israeli needs, to be exploited for all it is worth so as to facilitate their restoration of the Kingdom of their legendary King David, stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates – and with whatever it takes!
In this, former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon had openly boasted to his Foreign Minister Shimon Peres “Don't worry about American pressure, we the Jewish people control America." For more on Israeli control of the USA, read here.
Naturally, as Israel controls the USA through religion, it always vets any archaeological findings to ensure those do not undermine Christian faith. Politically and economically, it would not do to disprove Christian beliefs, which are the foundation stone of invincible and blind US support and aid for Israel, wthout which it cannot survive.
To the Muslims especially the Palestinians, the State of Israel means Nakba (catastrophe or cataclysm), from whence the Palestinians were driven from their homes by Zionist invaders. The geographical ethnic cleansing of Palestinian residency from the West Bank (Israelis' biblical Judea & Samaria) and Jerusalem to facilitate Israeli lebensraum including the Israeli complete occupation of their holiest city continues till today.
The above USA-supported Israeli persecutions, coupled with vested interests among some neighbouring Arab nations to ensure the Palestinians do not have their own independent republican State (which will be a bad example to the kingdoms of absolute monarchs), have placed them in their current ghetto-rized State-less status as Middle-East vagrants. The sad outcome of the Nakba is reflected in the lamentation of "When one doesn’t have anything, how then can one lose anything anymore?"
Thus, to UMNO and Anwar Ibrahim, Israel with its blood-soaked history of violence, hostilities, racial animosities and hatred, spilled blood and unfulfilled vengeance a la the viciousness and genocidal episodes of the Old Testament represents political opportunities to indict their political opponents’ lack of sympathy for their Muslim* Palestinian brethrens (or friendliness with Israel) as evidence of their lack of fitness or lack of worthiness to be leaders of Malaysia.
* there are Christian Palestinians as well.
Now, in Malaysia, with agama (religion) being one of the tripodal mantra of UMNO, this invariably means Israel and its persecutions of Palestinians are highly emotional issues. Thus, political support of the Heartland for a politician can be influenced by the perceived stand of that politician for or against Palestinians and/or Israel (and Jews*).
* unfortunately many Malaysians (not just Malays) are unable to differentiate between Jews and Israelis, or between Zionists (which include Israelis, Jews and Christians) and non-Zionist Jews, etc. To them, a Jew = Israeli = Zionist.
As mentioned in a previous post, Anwar Ibrahim has many close associations with leading political figures in the West, especially the USA. For example, one of his friends is Paul Wolfowitz, the former Deputy Secretary for Defence in President Bush’s Administration with very strong Israeli connections, and the man who strongly advocated an attack and invasion of Iraq when 9/11 happened, even though there was no evidence to link Saddam Hussein to the Twin Towers attacks.
In 2010, Anwar unusually joined an anti-Israeli demonstration outside the U.S. embassy in Kuala Lumpur, perhaps to disprove UMNO propaganda about him being an Israeli agent and Jew lover. He alleged there was ‘Zionist influence’ in Malaysia, and that Israeli agents had infiltrated Malaysia's security forces. Did he mean Apco Worldwide?
His anti-Zionist attacks shocked his American friends. Thus when he was subsequently in Washington, he sure as hell had a lot of explaining to do, including to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman. Wolfowitz was the one who defended Anwar, stating: "What Anwar did was wrong, but considering that he's literally fighting for his life - physically as well as politically - against a government that attacks him as being a puppet of the Jews, one should cut him some slack.”
Presumably “cutting him some slack” means allowing Anwar some latitude in his politicking in Malaysia even if it requires anti-Israeli posturing, because the worldviews of the locals are very straightforward black and white.
I believe Anwar made a poor choice of words in saying in an interview with Wall St Journal that he supported "all efforts to protect the security of the state of Israel". Anifah Aman cleverly pounced on the (my) underlined phrase as Anwar supporting even Israeli mass military attacks on Gaza as exemplified in the barbarous and horrendous Operations Cast Lead.
Of course Anwar didn’t mean that but alas, the harm’s done.
Anwar is now striking back at Dr M for the latter's meeting with Yitzhak Rabin and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres in Paris on July 6, 1994. However I opine that international meetings between enemies or representatives of States with no diplomatic relations have not been not unusual in international forums or circles, nor should such be interpreted as the parties being pally buddy.
But for the life of me, I cannot understand why Najib’s government stupidly chose Apco Worldwide to be its PR agency, nor why the PDRM and the former IGP RMP selected an Israeli company to provide our men in blue with electronic equipment?
Nonetheless, UMNO obviously see great profit in tarring and feathering Anwar with an Israeli tag, while PKR have been correct in retaliating by highlighting Najib's connection with an Israeli Apco, but puhleeeze lah, ordinary Malaysians have had a surfeit of this bullsh*t, and are getting pissed off by the brouhaha over a ‘shitty little country’ when far more urgent and important issues affecting their livelihood, properties and future require urgent addressing by both BN and Pakatan.
Also read: Malaysians split over Palestine and Lebanon posted in 2006
UPDATE (03 Feb 12):
DPM Muhyiddin tightening the 'Israeli' screws on Anwar Ibrahim in MKINI's Muhyiddin doesn't rule out Jewish interference