Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of Malaysia's political opposition, has become known over the past decade as one of the foremost advocates of liberal democracy in Muslim countries. His many friends in Washington include prominent members of the neoconservative movement -- such as Paul Wolfowitz, the former World Bank president and U.S. ambassador to Indonesia -- as well as such Democratic grandees as Al Gore.
Lately, Anwar has been getting attention for something else: strident rhetoric about Israel and alleged "Zionist influence" in Malaysia. He recently joined a demonstration outside the U.S. embassy in Kuala Lumpur where an Israeli flag was burned. He's made dark insinuations about the "Jewish-controlled" Washington public relations firm Apco Worldwide, which is working for Malaysia's quasi-authoritarian government.
Therein lies a story of the Obama era -- about a beleaguered democrat fighting for political and personal survival with little help from Washington; about the growing global climate of hostility toward Israel; and about the increasing willingness of U.S. friends in places such as Turkey and Malaysia to exploit it.
Nevertheless the trial is not going well for Anwar. If it ends in another conviction, Anwar's political career and his opposition coalition could be destroyed, and his life could be at risk: His health is not great. Yet the opposition leader is not getting the kind of support from the United States as during his first prosecution, when then-Vice President Gore spoke up for him. Obama said nothing in public about Anwar when he granted Najib a prized bilateral meeting in Washington in April.
After a "senior officials dialogue" between the two governments this month, the State Department conceded that the ongoing trial again had not been raised, "because this issue was recently discussed at length." When it comes to human rights, the Obama administration apparently does not wish to be repetitive.
Anwar meanwhile found his own way to fight back. Hammered for years by government propaganda describing him as an Israeli agent and a Wolfowitz-loving American lackey, he tried to turn the tables, alleging that Apco was manipulating the government to support Israeli and U.S. interests. He also said that Israeli agents had infiltrated Malaysia's security forces and were "directly involved in the running of the government."
Najib describes Israel as "world gangsters." But he quickly turned Anwar's words against him; Apco has been peddling the anti-Israel statements around Washington.
Anwar is like Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom he regards as a friend and fellow traveler. Both know better than to indulge in such stuff. Both have recently begun to do it anyway -- after a year in which the Obama administration has frequently displayed irritation with Israel. "If you say we are growing impatient with Israel, that is true," Anwar told me. "If you say I am not too guarded or careful in what I say sometimes, that is also true."
Anwar, who was in Washington for a couple of days last week, spent a lot of time offering explanations and apologies to old close friends, not to mention House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman and a Jewish leader or two. He said he regretted using terms such as "Zionist aggression," which are common coin for demagogues like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "Why do I need to use it if it causes so much misunderstanding?" he said. "I need to be more careful."
Sila lihat anwar www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rrVwkU2YVI
Below is from anwar ibrahim's blog:-
Ribuan orang menyertai demontrasi Pakatan Rakyat di ibu negara selepas solat Jumaat bagi membantah serangan berdarah tentera Israel terhadap flotila bantuan kemanusiaan pro-Palestin Isnin lalu.
Kumpulan itu membanjiri Masjid Kampung Baru untuk menunaikan solat Jumaat sebelum berarak beramai-ramai ke kedutaan Amerika Syarikat di Jalan Ampang, sejauh hampir 5 kilometer.
Dipimpin Ketua Pembangkang Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, mereka bergerak lancar apabila tidak dihalang polis, seperti kebiasaan dalam demontrasi besar Pakatan Rakyat sebelum ini.
Memorandum bantahan mereka berjaya disampaikan kepada wakil kedutaan Amerika Syarikat kira-kira jam 3.30 petang tadi tanpa sebarang insiden yan tidak diingini.
Selain itu, satu lagi kumpulan NGO melibatkan jumlah yang lebih kecil turut berarak daripada Masjid Tabung Haji dan berarah menyerahkan memorandum bantahan kepada kedutaan tersebut.
Berikut kronologi perhimpunan tersebut:
2.00pm Demonstrasi anti-Israel bermula di Masjid Kampung Baru tanpa sebarang sekatan daripada pihak polis, walaupun amaran telah dikeluarkan semalam.
Diketuai Ketua Pembangkang Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, ribuan orang bergerak berarak pantas sambil bertakbir dan melaungkan slogan anti-Israel.
2.30pm: Berbeza dengan perhimpunan pembangkang, perhimpunan Pemuda BN di Masjid Negara telah pun tamat dan hanya menarik 200 penyokong.
Pada masa yang sama, kumpulan Pakatan kini sudah berarak sampai Jalan Sultan Ismail dan melintas Hotel Rennaisance.
Slogan anti-Israel seperti “hancur Israel” dan “Khaibar ya Yahud” (perang Khaibar wahai Yahudi) dilaungkan.
Sementara satu lagi demonstrasi oleh sekumpulan aktivis NGO di Masjid Tabung Haji pimpinan Lifeline4Gaza sejak jam 2 petang tadi juga berarak ke kedutaan Amerika Syarikat di Jalan Ampang.
2.55pm: Anwar dan pemimpin kanan Pakatan tiba di bangunan Tabung Haji dengan trak pikap. Mereka kini berada kira-kira 100 meter daripada kedutaan AS.
3.40pm Anwar berucap kepada ribuan rakyat Malaysia setelah berjaya menyerahkan memorandum kepada wakil kedutaan itu.
Dalam masa yang sama, beberapa orang kelihatan membakar bendera Israel dan gambar Perdana Menteri Israel Benjamin Netanyahu.
Dalam ucapannya Anwar berkata rakyat hari ini menunjukkan tentangan yang begitu hebat menentang kezaliman Israel.
“Saudara-saudara adalah pahlawan rakyat,” kata anwar.
Katanya, dalam pertemuan dengan wakil kedutaan sebelum ini, beliau menegaskan mengutuk tindakan Israel tanpa tolak ansur.
“Amerika telah berlembut menyebabkan keganasan Israel. Kita minta Amerika mengekang kezaliman dan mendengar suara rakyat,” katanya.
Anwar menjelaskan kedutaan Amerika berjanji akan membawa memorandum mereka ke Washington minggu depan.
3.50pm Kumpulan tersebut bersurai setelah mengutip kain rentang dan sampah yang dihasilkan.