Tuesday, October 06, 2015

500 protest in front US Embassy on 2nd October?

Another peaceful assembly in Kuala Lumpur - this time in front of the US Embassy (sadly the news report is not very clear about the issue/s that led to the protest)...

An urgent response like a peaceful assembly has to be done fast - the imposition of giving notices in advance, like 10 days - are obviously absurd...

For a peaceful assembly - there must not be any restrictions - maybe a request for organisers to just inform the police..

Now, in Malaysia - the police behave as though they have the POWER to say "YES' or 'No' to the exercise of the right to peaceful assembly. The police must remember their role - they are public servants. All they need to do is maybe to be around to ensure that the exercise of the right of peaceful assembly and protest is carried out without obstruction by others. Maybe, also to ensure smooth traffic flow..

Crowd protests at US embassy over Al-Aqsa intrusion

Shakira Buang     Published     Updated   

Approximately 500 people gathered in front of the US Embassy today in protest of the intrusion of the Al-Aqsa mosque by the 'Zionist regime'.

The protest was held as a reaction to the intrusion which had led to clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians.

The demonstration which was attended by 45 Muslim NGOs and started after Friday prayers.

Majlis Perunding Pertubuhan Islam Malaysia (Mapim) president Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid denounced the action by the Israeli regime in not respecting the mosque’s position as one of the most sacred for Muslims around the world.

Azmi submitted a memorandum to a security officer at the US embassy as part of the protest. The memorandum, he claimed, was made on behalf of 'all Muslims and political parties in the country'.

He also urged US ambassador to Malaysia Joseph Y Yun to stop making excuses and to forward the memorandum to US president Barack Obama.

“We ask that Joseph Y Yun stop making excuses. This memorandum is meant for Obama and he must take action as the US president has a huge influence over Israel,” said Azmi, to the cries of 'takbir' from the crowd.

Faxed to Obama

He added that Obama must also ensure that Israeli forces retreat from Jerusalem.

Azmi stressed that he and the other NGOs will not stop at this juncture and will submit the memorandum to Washington by way of fax.

“We will fax this memorandum to Washington so that the message will reach Obama. We will fax this memorandum this evening,” he said.

The demonstration which started around 2.30pm ended an hour later after the memorandum was delivered to the US embassy.

The protesters had brandished banners bearing the words 'Free Al-Aqsa mosque' and 'Free Palestine', among others, during the peaceful demonstration. - Malaysiakini

Al-Aqsa mosque anger misguided – Mahsa Amiri

The protest in front of the American Embassy in Kuala Lumpur on October 2 was to condemn the United States over its apathy towards the events in the Al-Aqsa mosque but it showed some inconsistencies, which a critical eye would not leave unnoticed.

First, it was not a routine event devoted to Quds Day, which is normally held on the last Friday of Ramadan.
This “Day of anger” concerned the recent clashes in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem after some radical Jewish groups called for the removal of Al-Aqsa mosque from the Temple Mount, which believers of both faiths used to visit.

Several people were injured. Outraged by the accident, Malaysian activists from more than 40 non-governmental organisations decided to pass the note of protest to the American embassy, the main ally of Israel, which according to their idea must take immediate action against Tel Aviv or at least issue a statement. It appears that with the passage of time protesters appealing to the Palestinian cause find themselves in the snarl of various struggles and causes under the same flag.
Initially, the Palestinian struggle was by no means a Muslim struggle. It was a purely nationalist struggle for land and sovereignty against another nationalist-, not religious-oriented group calling for the creation of an independent Jewish state.
Let’s remember that the leaders of the Zionist movement not only were not a strong believers, but rather irreligious people who accepted that religion might only be the factor attracting more supporters.
The main proof to it was that several options of location for the establishment of the state of Israel had been explored before Palestine was eventually picked.
You need to visit Madagascar with its authentic culture or Cyprus with its traditionally relaxed Greek spirit to contemplate that they might have been picked from the list instead of Palestine. Would there be a chance to label the struggle as Islamic then? Would Muslims in Malaysia bother then?
The struggle for Palestine was “Islamised” not without Iran’s effort, whose Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 introduced the Quds Day which gathers protests annually worldwide.
Would the main proponents of rooting out Shia minority in the country or punishing Iran for alleged proselytising consider that the nature of the protest they are expressing was defined by the enemy of their version of Islam?
So here is the first inconsistency – in Malaysia, drawn into the endless discussion about race and religion, can we decide, is it the struggle for Palestinian lands or for Muslim lands? If we are to talk about the latter, then should we exclude non-Muslim Palestinian Arabs from the list of beneficiaries?
“The attacks on the Al-Aqsa mosque done by Jewish settlers were intended to incite Muslim anger”, says the memorandum delivered by the representatives to the embassy.
Why then non-Muslims were also encouraged to take part in the demonstration and deliver a speech? If the struggle is Muslim, why it is so important to show that non-Muslims are concerned, too?
For whom exactly they must be concerned – for Muslims, for Palestinian inhabitants, or should they be outraged with injustices?
If we are returning to the humane side of the conflict and being concerned about human losses, demolished houses, displaced people, how can the struggle be reduced to Muslim anger?
Or if it is solely Muslim, why were there no protests on other occasions, let’s say American intervention in Syria or the Saudi-led coalition destroying Yemen?
The second inconsistency is that the message was addressed to the American embassy. However, the whole meeting was mostly conducted in Bahasa Malaysia.
Of course, the protesters were barred from approaching the embassy close enough for the American diplomats to hear, but the message was still addressed to an English-speaking audience.
In fact, however, it turned into what it was called – fuelling the anger.
Third, quite a number of participants were apparently Arabs – that is, foreigners from Palestine or elsewhere, but having the speeches delivered mostly in Bahasa many alleged beneficiaries of the event might not have understood their content.
It was very ironic to see many protesters with yellow ribbons on the heads and necks, remembering that this colour adopted by Bersih 4 protesters was banned more than a month ago, and now again it found its way into the street protest.
The cause, which is to fight against oppression, is noble.
The big question about this protest is if the participants were aware about the history, structure of the conflict, its actors, beneficiaries and nature, to see the United States as the main evil-doer in the whole story?
No need to be an intelligent professor with degrees and study the subject inside out. It is enough to have a proper self-respect to not allow the others manipulate one’s emotions and be able to earn a bit information about the cause.
In the middle of a national corruption saga (where the very Muslims along with the other citizens were misled about the public spending), the major indifference to the consequences of signing the TPPA by Putrajaya, and eventually, the whole complexity of the Palestinian struggle, the last thing that would help is to provoke people’s anger by blocking Jalan Tun Razak.
Returning to work after Friday prayers or doing some reading on the subject would probably prove more effective.
And if after that, the emotions about injustices in Palestine were still there, feasible things must be done – attempts to push the Malaysian government to change its foreign policy, to boycott the Israeli goods, to donate for charity for the Palestinian cause.
American foreign policy is unlikely to be affected by the public rallies, while Malaysian minds are manipulated and distracted from the real problems of their society which require immediate solutions.
It’s time to be angry, not at Al-Aqsa, but at the fact Malaysians have procrastinated too long to care about what matters for them most. – October 4, 2015.

* Mahsa Amiri reads The Malaysian Insider.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/al-aqsa-mosque-anger-misguided-mahsa-amiri#sthash.5b7a8PPU.dpuf

Malaysia and Israel are ‘booming’ trade partners, says Israeli paper

Monday September 15, 2014
11:46 AM 
Israeli media has reported that trade between Malaysia and Israel has been valued at US$1.5b despite not having diplomatic ties, Sept 15, 2014. — Reuters picIsraeli media has reported that trade between Malaysia and Israel has been valued at US$1.5b despite not having diplomatic ties, Sept 15, 2014. — Reuters pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — Malaysia has been trading with Israel quietly in a  “blossoming” relationship over the years despite lacking diplomatic ties, the Times of Israel reported, citing data from Israel’s statistics bureau.

The paper said official data published by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics  “tells of a booming, but very discreet, trade relationship that is blossoming between the two countries”, with trade reaching US$1.529 billion (RM4.8 billion) for 2013 or almost double that of 2012.

“Every shipment is duly recorded in Israel’s foreign trade statistics but studiously ignored by Malaysia. In addition to the officially recorded movement of goods, there is a heavy current of trade flowing beneath the surface, making it hard to calculate the value,” the report said.

According to the report, a large amount of the trade boom between the two countries can be traced to Kiryat Gat south of Israel, where global giant Intel has a plant churning out computer chips which are then exported to a second assembly plant in Malaysia.

Trade relations between Israel and “hostile” Muslim countries like Malaysia and Indonesia have been ongoing for decades through third party players like Singapore and Turkey, which explains why trade records leading to Israel are nowhere to be found in their official data, the report added.

For Malaysia and Indonesia, Singapore is often the middle-man for trade, the paper said.

“Israel’s embassy there says that most trade is done this way, and in the case of Indonesia, with the embassy’s assistance, “ it added.

Including deals done through a third country, the estimated value of trade between Israel and Indonesia ran as high as high as US$250 million last year, ten-times the US$24.9 million of direct trade detailed in official figures, it said.

“Israel does a lot of trade with many countries that we do not have formal diplomatic relations with and we are more than happy with this,” the report quoted foreign ministry spokesman Paul Hirschson as saying.

“It is no secret that we have periodically engaged in dialogue with these countries. We would like nothing more than to establish diplomatic relations and representative offices”.

Hirschson was also quoted as saying that trade relations with Malaysia is “pleasantly surprising”.
Like most Muslim countries, Malaysia has no diplomatic ties with Israel.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed had said that Putrajaya has no control over Malaysian goods that end up in Israel.

He added that it is common international practice for multinational companies that invest and operate in Malaysia to do the same in many other countries, including Israel, as part of their global supply and value chain.- Malay Mail
- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/malaysia-and-israel-are-booming-trade-partners-says-israeli-paper#sthash.nIyVevG2.dpuf  

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