KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia can do more to counter the misrepresented narrative of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, says a Jewish academic.
Dr Peter Slezak, an associate professor of Philosophy at the University of New South Wales, said the narrative was being dominated by the Zionist movement, and was heavily misrepresented by the international mainstream media and intellectual culture.
“When there are some terrible events elsewhere, like five people are run over, or somebody blows up, then it becomes news. But these happen on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis at the West Bank.
“They shoot two innocent unarmed children a week in the West Bank, on average. These are the statistics from the Defence of Children International.
“But two children a week, or the fact that the houses of the Palestinians are being demolished – they are not in the news.”
Slezak was speaking to reporters after his talk entitled Solution to Israel-Palestinian Conflict – Proposal from a Jewish Secular Academic, held at Universiti Malaya here today.
As one of the biggest supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, it was “very important” for the Malaysian government to internationalise its efforts to help the Palestinians and bring their plight to international attention, he said.
This would make a significant difference to the decades of conflict between Israel and Palestine, added Slezak.
“The international population should be more familiar with the issue, the history, and the current facts of the conflict. For the most part, there is a great deal of ignorance on the situation.
“You can’t see this in the international mainstream media, and we need to find a way to reverse the misrepresentation in the mainstream.
“When the public is sufficiently outraged by the horrors ongoing there, governments worldwide will have to respond.”
BDS is a Palestine-led movement calling for a boycott against Israel, as well as Israeli and international companies involved in the violation of Palestinian human rights.
It calls for sanctions on countries that are working with Israel, which would end any form of military trade or free-trade agreements and expel the country from international forums such as the United Nations.