Will the real Anwar Ibrahim please stand up? (Photo by Hussein Shaharuddin)
KUALA LUMPUR: Anwar Ibrahim lied. That is the verdict of veteran journalist and blogger Jailani Harun, who took aim at Anwar's attempt to clarify controversial remarks he had made in a recent Wall Street Journal interview.
In the WSJ interview, Anwar was quoted as saying, "I support all efforts to protect the security of the state of Israel."
The article added that Anwar had “stopped short of saying he would open diplomatic ties with the Jewish state, a step which he said remains contingent on Israel respecting the aspirations of Palestinians.”
Anwar’s remarks drew fire from several quarters, notably Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin, who asked, "Is this the stand of the the opposition Pakatan coalition, when the government does not even have diplomatic relations with Israel?"
Umno Youth international bureau chief Datuk Ahmad Zaki Zahid also criticised Anwar, asking, “Does PKR now agree and support attacks on Gaza based on the policy of protecting Israel’s security?”
Anwar reacted to the criticism with a post in his blog on January 28, saying, “I was firm in stating that the wishes and rights of the Palestinian people must be protected and that includes the right to form an independent and sovereign state of their own, and not to be continuously oppressed. I also posited that if these conditions are to be must be fulfilled, then by the same logic, the rights if the Israelis should also be respected.”
He added, “…my view runs concurrent with that of Resolution 1397 of the United Nations Security Council and the Arab Peace Initiative which promotes the Two-State Solution. What more, the same principle of the Two-State Solution approach had been addressed by the Hon. Foreign Minister at the General Debate Of The 66th Session Of The United Nations Assembly on 27th September 2011 in New York.”
According to Jailani, however, Anwar’s references to the ‘two-state solution’ were inconsistent with his earlier remarks.
“Read Anwar's interview with WSJ properly, every line and every single word he said,” Jailani wrote in his blog, Just Read, on January 29. "Nowhere in the story did he speak of the 'two state solution', a reference to Israel and Palestine.”
“He even said what he told WSJ journalist is in line with Malaysia's and UN policy with regards to recognising the state of Israel and Palestine."
“He lied again,” Jailani said.” This is NOT in the WSJ story. Now that he is under attack, he is changing his stand.”
Another blogger, who writes anonymously in the blog Jebat Must Die, echoed Jailani’s criticism of Anwar, saying “this latest statement to clear his name means absolutely nothing” because the ‘two-state solution’ was not mentioned in the WSJ article.
“We can take his words from the WSJ story word by word without changing anything and the result is still the same,” the blogger said, adding Anwar had “sealed his own fate with his own actions” and that his clarification “was just a cover up to assuage his supporters”.
“Anwar will play by the gallery since that is his second nature,” the blogger wrote in 'Two faced Anwar Ibrahim and the infamous Wall Street Journal article'.
“He will say one thing to an audience. And will say the complete opposite to another audience.”