Malaysia, with a population of 33 million people, is ranked the world's second most active social media supporter of Palestinians. It is also one of the countries that believe in the justness of the Palestinian cause. According to Malaysian Foreign Minister Zambry Abdul Kadir in an interview with Al Jazeera Channel, the foreign policy of his country aims to criminalize the apartheid policy adopted by Israel which he considers a crime against humanity and one of the ethnic cleansing forms.
In addition to that, the Malaysian passport includes a statement that reads, "This is valid in all countries of the world except Israel." On the other hand, the holders of Israeli passports can only enter Malaysian with an entry permit signed by the Foreign Ministry of Malaysia.
This article raises a question: What is the secret behind the absence of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and Israel?
Malaysia is amongst the democratic countries that do respect its people and orientations. It is also an Islamic country that contributes to the region's development project, witnessing remarkable economic and scientific growth. This can be attributed to the unity of the Malaysian nation on strategic issues, freedoms, and human rights. This thus can summarize the Malaysian perspective on Israel and Israel's perception of Malaysia.
On one side, Malaysia believes that Israel is an entity of racial discrimination, practicing forms of apartheid against the Palestinian people and occupying their lands. It also executes heart-rending crimes of murder and mass assassinations, similar to what happened in the repeated aggressions in the Gaza Strip and the invasion of the West Bank cities. Additionally, by proceeding with its settlement project that undermines political solutions, it continues to violate international law.
Although the International Security Council issued Resolution No. 2334 in 2016 pertaining to criminalizing settlement, Israel intentionally steals Palestinian lands to build settlement units instead.
The sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque and the City of Al-Quds, with its Islamic and Christian locations, are deeply embedded in the hearts of all Malaysians. The Malaysian people perceive the Judaizational measures adopted by the Holy City, as well as Itamar Ben Gvir's incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque and his attempts to divide Al-Aqsa temporally and spatially.
Recently, Israel has entered a newfangled phase, in which it brought 5 red cows from outside. According to Zionist legends, the cows will be slaughtered and burned in a short period of time, allowing a new phase, the construction of the Alleged Temple over the debris of the Dome of the Rock, to begin.
The aforesaid had led to the prevailing perception among the Malaysian people and their political system that Israel is an occupying entity, making it impossible to establish any normal ties with it. Nevertheless, Israel, represented by its Mossad responsible for external operations, has repeatedly violated Malaysian sovereignty. And this was evident in the assassination of Fadi Al-Batsh, a Palestinian engineer and academic, in April 2018 in Kuala Lumpur.
In September 2022, the Mossad repeated its sovereignty-violating acts, but the operation failed. Malaysian reports revealed details of Mossad's abduction of a Palestinian computer programming expert in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian police managed to rescue him, and the Malaysian involved were interrogated about Mossad's involvement.
The Zionist ideology is based on the following principle: "Anyone who is not a Jewish Israeli is an enemy of Israel." There are, however, certain regimes that Israel might tolerate and consider friends if they contribute to protecting Israeli interests. Israel thus seeks its network of relations with countries, organizations, or individuals to contribute to the building of the Zionist project over the land. To those who don't know, the Zionist project and the national security of Israel went beyond Israel or even went beyond the Nile to the Euphrates.
Now, we move to the second question, what do Malaysians possess for a soft response to the Zionist crimes?
Undoubtedly, Malaysia is a Muslim country that primarily concerns with the reconnaissance project through soft power represented in the quality of education, upgrading the social capital of its people, building sustainable development, military power to protect its interests, and the geographical dimension between Malaysia and Palestine. This allows Malaysia to be a leading nation in supporting the Palestinian cause through three paths.
First: To strengthen the steadfastness of the Palestinian people. This can never be accomplished without political, media, developmental, relief, or financial support. And this is what Malaysia with its people and government does through unlimited support provided by Malaysian organizations within the Palestinian territories, mainly Cinta Gaza Malaysia and others.
Yet, there is another aspect that Malaysia might focus on. This aspect can be represented in the establishment of industrial cities over Malaysian lands, employing working hands from Gaza, particularly. As a result, the rates of unemployment in the Palestinian territories and Gaza would decline.
Second: To increase the proportion of scholarships provided for the Palestinian people, as the Malaysian experience is worth considering. The development of social capital in Palestine's advanced education in unique fields such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, information technology, communication engineering, and military and security sciences constitutes a significant soft response to the occupation entity.
Third: To safeguard the Malaysian nation from the plague of normalization by having Malaysian media adopt a policy of isolating Israel by highlighting the plight of the Palestinian people and the crimes of the Zionist occupation.