This chapter explores the role that Israel plays in contemporary Malaysian politics. The chapter indicates how while Malaysia and Israel maintain no diplomatic relations and hardly any direct interactions, the constructions of Israel are surprisingly significant in Malaysia’s internal politics and international relations. Focusing upon the prominence and surprising veracity of anti-Israel beliefs together with antisemitism, the chapter explores how such discourses are closely connected to the internal persecution of minorities and the construction of Malay supremacy. The chapter then proposes that pushing for a dialogue with Israel has become a means by which the substantial non-Malay, non-Islamic, and/or politically radical citizens critique authoritarian Malaysian politics. Finally, moving on to the watershed Malaysian general election of 2018 (GE18), the chapter indicates how in contrast to many Islamic countries internationally, antisemitism and anti-Israel beliefs seem to have become more potent in Malaysia despite the supposed liberal breakthrough represented by the GE18.
|Title of host publication||Israel-Asia Relations in the Twenty-First Century|
|Subtitle of host publication||The Search for Partners in a Changing World|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2023|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (all)