PRIME MINISTER Najib Razak will be able to resolve the Jerusalem controversy by speaking with US President Donald Trump as they are “friends”, said Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The former prime minister said Najib can rally other Muslim leaders to join his effort at an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Istanbul tomorrow.
“I feel the government of Malaysia under Najib is quite close to Donald Trump,” Dr Mahathir told reporters in Petaling Jaya today.
“I hope Najib will be present at the meeting in Turkey to go over the issue and include in his convoy, leaders from Islamic countries to meet Trump.
“Because Donald Trump is his friend, I am confident Najib can influence him,” Mahathir said.
Last Wednesday, Trump said the United States recognised Jerusalem – a city considered holy by Muslims, Christians and Jews – as Israel’s capital.
Trump is also planning to begin moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Dr Mahathir, who chairs the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan, maintained the issue was not a religious one.
“This is not about Jerusalem as a holy site for all three major religions, but because he took a course action that disregarded human rights.
“He has slighted not just the Muslims. The whole of Malaysia should show their displeasure at Trump,” he told a press conference at PKR’s headquarters.
Present were Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and other PH leaders.
“The decision to declare Jersulam as Israel’s capital has been a longheld one since president George Bush’s time.
“What Donald Trump did, by calling for Jerusalem to be made as the capital of Israel goes against the opinions of the rest of the world,” Mahathir said.
“Now we find a president who is so arrogant … This is a leader who does not care about the effects this would create at the international stage.
“The problem is Donald Trump himself. He is an unusual president. He has made all sorts of statements since he took office.
“I hope the Islamic world takes action to condemn this move,” Dr Mahathir said.
Meanwhile, Wan Azizah read a PKR statement, saying opposing the Jerusalem recognition is not an Islamic issue but one of human rights.
“Trump’s move goes against international law and cannot be accepted. This does not help with the Palestinian conflict,” she said, adding the UN passed Resolution 2334 last December declaring any claim by Israel over East Jerusalem is not valid.
“Trump’s declaration was announced during their (US) mid-term elections and it has interfered with the affairs in the Middle-East,” she said.
Mohamad Sabu called on “all races and religious leaders” to participate in a PH-organised rally, set to be held on Friday in front of the US embassy.
“In Egypt, we saw the coptic Christians protest the Jersulem issue. In Europe, issues such as the Rohingya sometimes exceed the participation in the Middle-East,” he said.
About a thousand people showed at last week’s protest in front of the US embassy, which included Umno, PAS, Bersatu Youth (Armada) members and civil society groups such as the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM).
Najib had strongly condemned the move and said Muslims around the world would never accept the decision as Jerusalem is one of the three holiest places in the religion after Mecca and Medina.
The EU, along with other major international powers, has repeatedly voiced deep concern over Trump’s declaration.