JULY 21 — The United States Trade Representative Michael Froman is slated to be in Malaysia soon. As members of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement Caucus, we have been asked to attend yet another round of meeting with Representative Froman to discuss the matter and related concerns. At the same time, we are extremely concerned of the ongoing massacre of Palestinians in Gaza by Israel during this holy month of Ramadhan.
Save for a small note of regret and a reminder to Netanyahu to exercise restraint, President Obama has completely failed to intervene for peace. To date, since the commencement of Israel’s invasion on July 7th, the Israeli military have killed more than 400 and injured 2,800, the majority of which, according to the United Nations, are children and women. Israel’s attacks included 2,602 air strikes, with a total of 649 buildings bombed. 70 per cent of Gaza is now without electricity - survivors are left bereft of the water, food and shelter. Needless to say, the death toll increases by the hour.
It bears reminding that even before the invasion, 57 per cent of households in Gaza have no food security and 80 per cent of the population are dependent on financial aid. Over 90 per cent of the drinking water in Gaza is unsafe for human consumption. Palestinians have long endured such politics of dispossession and now they are being killed with impunity and without censure from the US.
Israel would not have ventured to commit the recent and all past atrocities in Gaza had the US taken a firm and committed stance towards securing justice and peace for the Palestinians. The US is thus morally complicit in causing the suffering of Palestinians by inaction for peace and by being Israel's main weapons supplier. We are reminded that as recent as the 28th of March 2014, the United Nations approved 4 resolutions condemning Israel’s continued occupation of Palestine. Till date, Israel has breached some 79 other UN resolutions passed between 1948 and 2009. Despite being a major trade partner of Israel, the US has consistently failed to take any punitive action or issue trade sanction against the Zionist regime.
In view of the above, we, the TPPA Caucus members from Pakatan Rakyat will suspend all our discussions with any representative of the US until further notice. We also urge all other Malaysian Members of Parliament to heed their conscience and support our position. We also demand that Prime Minister Najib and his administration to follow our lead and suspend all discussions on TPPA until the US take proactive steps to censure and also stop the Israeli invasion of Gaza. We urge Prime Minister Najib to follow Chile’s trade position and immediately sever all trade relations with Israel. We also ask the Prime Minister Najib to explain why the Barisan Nasional government engaged trade with Israel, as the 15th biggest trade partner in 2010.
*Nurul Izzah Anwar is a Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai.
** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malay Mail Online.