JOHOR BARU: An Umno leader wants Israel to be declared an "apartheid state" in light of the atrocities committed against Palestinians.
Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said Malaysia must take a decisive stand on the matter.
“Previously, Malaysia firmly and clearly declared to the world that we do not recognise the illegal state of Israel in our passports.
“Now, we must take a more decisive and radical step by officially declaring Israel as an apartheid state. It cannot be seasonal criticism.
“The world must see the genocide of the Arab community, requisition of property and homes as well as large-scale ethnic cleansing by Zionists as a systematic apartheid, as war crimes rather than self-defence," he said in a statement on Sunday (May 16).
He said this would place pressure on Israel.
“By recognising Israel as an apartheid regime, it will change the position of the regime in world forums and could have more serious implications.
“This includes severance of diplomatic relations and a ban on participating in various world events such as the Olympics,” he said.
He added that Malaysia also needs to review its stand on the "two-state solution" in the Palestine and Israel issue and ensure that its position is in line with the aspirations of the people here.
“Circumstances have changed a lot. Though there was previously a two-state solution, more and more Palestinian territories have been illegally occupied and the Arab population has been chased away by the Israeli regime.
“A re-evaluation of Malaysia’s stand on the two-state policy is justified, especially as parties supporting the government are against it," he said.
He also commended Malaysians for being aware of the issue and for contributing to increased awareness and understanding of the matter.
“However, as a country with a clear and independent foreign policy, our stance and voice must be louder. It must go beyond mere condemnation.
“I and all Malaysians sincerely hope that the Malaysian Government will take a clearer, decisive and radical step in this issue,” he said.