NEW YORK: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Friday (Sep 28) said the acts of terrorism faced by the world will not end until the root causes are found and removed.
He said the solution to the crisis is for the world to recognise the Palestinians and at the same time stop Israel from breaking international laws.
"This present war against the terrorists will not end until the root causes are found and removed and hearts and minds are won.
”What are the root causes? In 1948, Palestinian land was seized to form the state of Israel.
"The Palestinians were massacred and forced to leave their land. Their houses and farms were seized," Mahathir said in his speech during the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly themed "Making the United Nations Relevant to All People: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies".
Mahathir said the Palestinians tried to fight a conventional war with help from sympathetic neighbours but the friends of Israel ensured this attempt failed and resulted with more Palestinian land seized and more Israeli settlements were built while the Palestinians were denied access to settlements built on their land.
"The Palestinians initially tried to fight with catapults and stones. They were shot with live bullets and arrested. Thousands are incarcerated.
"Frustrated and angry, unable to fight a conventional war, the Palestinians resort to what we call terrorism," he said.
Mahathir said since the world failed to act accordingly, the Palestinians and their sympathisers resorted to terrorism.
"The world does not care even when Israel breaks international laws, seizing ships carrying medicine, food and building materials in international waters. The Palestinians fired ineffective rockets which hurt no one.
"Massive retaliations were mounted by Israel, rocketing and bombing hospitals, schools and other buildings, killing innocent civilians including school children and hospital patients,and more," he said.
Mahathir said that not only did the world fail to stop Israel, but the country was rewarded by recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
He said Malaysia believed the only way to fight terrorism was by removing the cause.
"Let the Palestinians return to reclaim their land. Let there be a state of Palestine. Let there be justice and the rule of law. Warring against them will not stop terrorism. Nor will out-terrorising them succeed.
"We need to remind ourselves that the United Nations Organisation, like the League of Nations before, was conceived for the noble purpose of ending wars between nations," the Malaysian Prime Minister said.
"There is something wrong with our way of thinking, with our value system. Kill one man, it is murder, kill a million and you become a hero. And so we still believe that conflict between nations can be resolved with war".