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Mahathir angers Israel

Jerusalem, Oct. 17 (Reuters): Israel today condemned the Malaysian Prime Minister’s remarks about Jews at an Islamic summit, accusing him of spreading the kind of “classic anti-Semitic propaganda” that led to the Nazi Holocaust.

Mahathir Mohamad’s address yesterday to a gathering of the 57-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference also drew sharp criticism from Britain.

Malaysia, hosting the two-day summit, expressed regret at the outcry, saying the remarks had been taken out of context.

“It is a shame that in the course of a speech ostensibly dedicated to solving problems in the Muslim world... Mahathir Mohamad could not restrain himself from resurrecting vile invectives, innuendoes and outright lies taken straight from classic anti-Semitic propaganda,” Israel’s foreign ministry said.

Mahathir, who retires on October 31 after 22 years in power, told the summit that Muslims should start using brains rather than brawn to defeat the Jewish state, accused Israelis of increasing arrogance and said this could be exploited to promote the cause of Muslim peoples.

“We cannot fight them through brawn alone. We must use our brains as well.”

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