Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Monday criticized Israel for being a "criminal" state.
"Israel is a criminal state and deserves to be condemned," Mahathir wrote on his personal blog post, citing Malaysia's solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The statement came days after the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) stopped Malaysia from hosting this year’s world championship after it did not issue visas to athletes from Israel.
Malaysia was awarded the right to host the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships two years ago.
Malaysia, a Muslim majority country in southeast Asia and a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause -- does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.
In his post "A Genocidal State", Mahathir said: "We maintain we have a right to bar Israelis from our country. When the world condemns us for this we have a right to say that the world is being hypocritical."
Mahathir said that Israel was created from a "slice of Palestinian land", with no referendum or a plebiscite being held, adding that the Palestinians were expelled from their lands without any "compensation" provided for the land and homes seized by the Israelis.
He also called on those who sympathize with the Palestinian cause to voice their condemnation for the "blatant inhumanity" of Israel.
"The whole world can see the injustice and the oppression of the Palestinians by the Israelis. But Israel is not even criticized by the people who talk so much about freedom from oppression and the rule of law," he said.
Noting that Malaysia is not "anti-Jew" or "anti-Semitic", Mahathir said the country reserves the right to condemn inhuman and oppressive behavior anywhere and by anyone.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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