KUALA LUMPUR, 8 Jan 2009: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today Israel should be subjected to international sanctions because of its brutal onslaught on Gaza which has killed hundreds and injured thousands.
He said the world would be a better and more peaceful place if ethics and morality were given due weight in the conduct of international relations.
“Perhaps, the international community should include outrageous breaches of basic moral standards in the list which must be subjected to international sanctions. The point is, we should shift moral purpose from the sidelines of international conduct to centre stage.
“The escalating crisis in the Middle East is a case in point. It is absolutely immoral for Israel to continue inflicting upon the people of Gaza an entirely disproportionate and excessive deployment of its military power,” Abdullah said in his speech when opening the new campus of the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR), here.
“I know it is not fashionable or popular in these days of realpolitik to link morality with foreign policy. But I firmly believe that there is a place for ethics and rationality in a nation’s foreign policy.
“Any nation that pursues its narrow national interests without any regard for the equally legitimate interests of other nations will in the end be the loser, without friends or allies in times of need,” he said.
Abdullah said Malaysia’s foreign policy approach had been a pragmatic one, and it was also grounded on moral and ethical principles.
Later, elaborating more on the sanctions on Israel at the press conference, the Prime Minister said that the world should include more reasons to why a particular country could be sanctioned, and not just based on the reasons which existed today.
“Moral issues must be taken into account…atrocities…aggression, the way Israel does to Palestine (today). On the basis of what they (Israel) have done and if the reasons for sanctions are expanded to include issues of morality, I think Israel should be sanctioned,” he said.
More than 700 Palestinians have been killed and 3,100 injured so far since the beginning of Israel’s brutal onslaught on Gaza, which is widely and strongly condemned by the international community. — Bernama