Jewish Leaders Condemn Columbia University’s Hosting of Malaysian Prime Minister

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NEW YORK – Arthur Stark, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, issued the following statement:

“Columbia University stands in disgrace today, having hosted the unrepentant Prime Minister of Malaysia who, in keeping with his self-proclaimed “proud antisemite” status, defended his hate speech as a right. This would not be tolerated by the University from a leader who expressed such animosity and false assertions about any other group. Indeed, donors and supporters of Columbia University should send a strong message by denying them support. This is not the first such incident but must be the last.”

Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mohamad, who spoke at the college’s World Leaders Forum, has called Jews “hook-nosed,” said they “rule the world by proxy” and questioned the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust. He also has said that he is “glad to be labeled anti-Semitic.”

The 94-year-old leader returned last year as prime minister of the southeast Asian country after serving from 1981 to 2003.

In response to a question by a student who identified herself as a member of a campus pro-Israel group, Mohamad denied questioning how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust, but then went on to do so.

“Well, I have not disputed them, but I have said that ‘Who determined these numbers?’ If it is somebody who is in favor, you get one figure, if somebody who is against, you get another figure,” he said.

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