Malaysia should lead boycott, mount pressure on Israel - analysts

14 Nov 2023 01:14pm
Atmosphere during the Solidarity Gathering for Gaza at the National Mosque, Kuala Lumpur, attended by participants on Friday on Oct 13, 2023. (PHOTO BY ROSLI TALIB)
Atmosphere during the Solidarity Gathering for Gaza at the National Mosque, Kuala Lumpur, attended by participants on Friday on Oct 13, 2023. (PHOTO BY ROSLI TALIB)

KUALA LUMPUR - Condemnation from leaders and the world community is no longer an effective ‘bullet’ to end Israel’s brutality against Palestine, instead more decisive action needs to be taken immediately to stop the Zionist regime’s crime against humanity, according to analysts.

In fact, they said world leaders must dare to take a more drastic step by boycotting and ending all diplomatic relations with the Zionists.

Director of the Hashim Sani Centre for Palestinian Studies at Universiti Malaya (UM), Prof Dr Mohd Nazari Ismail said that at a time when the international community is venting its anger against Israel by verbally criticising it, the Zionist regime continues to rampage in Palestine.

He said Malaysia, as a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which has been vocal and consistent with its stance against Israeli occupation, can play a role in leading the movement by inviting other countries to exert pressure on the Zionist regime.

"Criticism is not enough. The Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) has to call on international community to cut off diplomatic relations with Israel and boycott it in total.

"Malaysia needs to be more vocal in describing Israel as a country that has committed the crime of apartheid and genocide and therefore needs to be, we should spearhead the movement to boycott Israel,” he told Bernama.

According to Mohd Nazari, Malaysia has proven that its economy can grow without any diplomatic relations with Israel and hence other countries should emulate the country’s stance.

Prime Minister Anwar at the Extraordinary Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) on Saturday, urged member states to consistently push for an immediate ceasefire while humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza be hastened.

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In addition, the Extraordinary Joint Arab-Islamic Summit in Riyadh also passed a resolution demanding that Israel immediately halt the violence in Gaza Strip, as well as urging the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor to complete the investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel in all occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.

Commenting further, Mohd Nazari said efforts to implement the Arab Peace Initiative for a Two-State Solution to recognise Palestine as a sovereign state according to the Pre-1967 Borders are seen as no longer effective because Israel is clearly not interested in implementing it.

"What Malaysia should do is to call on the international community to boycott Israel because of the crime of apartheid and also the crime of genocide committed against Palestinians.

"As long as the international community talks about a two-state solution, Israel will continue to illegally occupy Palestinian territory and kill its people and drive them out,” he said.

Meanwhile, UM Head of Department of International and Strategic Studies, Prof Dr Khoo Ying Hooi said the extraordinary OIC Summit has also become a symbol of unity towards Palestine, but Arab and Islamic leaders need to form a strategy that brings a solution to the crisis.

He said more drastic measures such as economic sanctions against Israel could be done, and even Malaysia’s intent to use the stage of the 30th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders Meeting (AELM) in San Francisco this week is a great opportunity for Anwar to express the country’s firm stance regarding the crisis in Palestine.

"There are already leaders who are not happy with Malaysia’s actions (voicing the Palestinian issue) in this matter. We can expect a big protest going on (against Malaysia’s stance), but steps like this (voicing the stance) should be continued by the international community to put high pressure on certain powers,” he said.

In line with Khoo, Senior Fellow of the Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research Prof Azmi Hassan said the complaint to the ICC can be considered a more incisive step forward compared to calls for a ceasefire that had been made before.

"A complaint must be made to the ICC as was done against Russian President Vladimir Putin (for invasion of Ukraine on Feb 24, 2022) which prompted the ICC to issue an arrest warrant (on March 17, 2023) for Putin,” he said. - BERNAMA