The Washington Post’s Ishaan Tharoor has previously warned about a “a rising tide of anti-Semitism.” Yet when the journalist sat down to interview one of the world’s leading antisemites, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, such concerns seemed to dissipate. The Post’s September 28, 2018 interview of Mahathir failed to inform readers — much less confront the Malaysian politician — about his blatant antisemitism.
Malaysia itself is a hotbed of antisemitism, as the journalist Jon Emont detailed in a 2016 Tablet article entitled “How Malaysia Became One of the Most Anti-Semitic Countries on Earth.” He noted that in the Muslim-majority Southeast Asian nation “blaming Jews for all manner of machinations, crimes, and failures is a normal part of Malaysian politics, even though very few of the country’s citizens have ever laid eyes on a Jew.” A 2014 survey by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) found that more than 60 percent of Malaysians hold antisemitic beliefs.
Mahathir, who previously served as prime minister from 1981 to 2003, is far from the only Malaysian politician to traffic in hatred. But he is among its most infamous purveyors.
In a 2003 speech before the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Mahathir said that, “Jews rule the world by proxy. They got others to fight and die for them.”
He then added: