PUTRAJAYA: Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah is disgusted by the statement issued by Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon who accused Malaysia of opposing the Olympic spirit and labelled Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed an ‘anti-Semitic”.
“For more than half a century, Israel has continued to disregard the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, while committing inhumane policies and practices that are in clear violation of international laws. Israel has no right to talk about moral values when they themselves are the exact opposite,” he said in the statement.
“I wish to reiterate that Malaysia has and will always be a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause, underpinned by its long-standing commitment towards the restoration of Palestinians’ rights and freedom.”
On Thursday, Israel accused Dr Mahathir Mohamad of “rabid anti-Semitism” after he said his country would not host any more sports events involving competitors from the Jewish state.
Last week Dr Mahathir said Israeli swimmers would not be allowed into Malaysia for a tournament later this year that serves as a qualifying event for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah on Wednesday insisted the country would “not host events” that have Israeli participation.
“It is about fighting on behalf of the oppressed,” he added.
Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon hit back at the “shameful” decision to bar athletes from the country and said the move “totally opposes the Olympic spirit”.
“We call upon the International Paralympic Committee to change this wrong decision or change the venue of the event.”
Kuala Lumpur has rejected pleas from the world sporting body to find a solution to the row. — AFP