(JTA) — Mahathir Mohamad, an avowed anti-Semite, was sworn in as Malaysia’s prime minister, nearly two decades after he last held office.
Mohamad led his opposition Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) coalition to a surprise victory in national elections on Wednesday. On Thursday he took his oath of office before the king, Sultan Muhammad V.
Mohamad is known for his anti-Semitic rhetoric. He wrote on his personal blog in 2012 that “Jews rule this world by proxy,” The Associated Press reported.
“1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews,” he said at the Organization of the Islamic Conference summit in 2003 in Kuala Lumpur. “There must be a way. And we can only find a way if we stop to think, to assess our weaknesses and our strength, to plan, to strategize and then to counterattack. We are actually very strong. 1.3 billion people cannot be simply wiped out. The Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million. ”
He has also said, “I am glad to be labeled anti-Semitic […] How can I be otherwise, when the Jews who so often talk of the horrors they suffered during the Holocaust show the same Nazi cruelty and hard-heartedness towards not just their enemies but even towards their allies should any try to stop the senseless killing of their Palestinian enemies.”
He wrote in his 1970 book “The Makay Dilemma” that “The Jews are not merely hook-nosed, but understand money instinctively.”
In 2007, Mohamad, who was no longer in office, announced the creation of a war crimes tribunal that would focus on victims of abuse in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.
At 92, he is the world’s oldest elected leader. He previously served as Prime Minister from 1981 until 1999.