His speech at the Organization of the Islamic Conference summit, which he was hosting, drew criticism from Jewish leaders, who warned it could spark more violence against Jews.
Mahathir — known for his outspoken, anti-Western rhetoric — criticized what he described as Jewish domination of the world and Muslim nations' inability to adequately respond to it.
Excerpts from Malaysian prime minister's speech at Islamic leaders' summit:
"Our only reaction is to become more and more angry. Angry people cannot think properly. And so we find some of our people acting irrationally. They launch their own attacks, killing just about everybody including fellow Muslims to vent their anger and frustration."
"There is a feeling of hopelessness among the Muslim countries and their people. They feel they can do nothing right. They believe that things can only get worse."
"But is it true that we should do and can do nothing for ourselves? Is it true that 1.3 billion people can exert no power to save themselves from the humiliation and oppression inflicted on them by a much smaller enemy? Is there no other way than to ask our young people to blow themselves up and kill people and invite the massacre of more of our own people?"
"We are actually very strong. 1.3 billion people cannot be simply wiped out. The Europeans killed 6 million Jews out of 12 million, but today the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them."