Indonesia unites for Palestine

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Rallies against the decision of the US administration to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel have been frequently held in several regions in Indonesia, and the largest one was being the one held in Jakarta on Dec 17, 2017.

Fully supported by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the Jakarta rally dubbed "Indonesia Unites For Palestine" or #Aksi1712 (#Action1712) wished to become the largest pro-Palestine rally in the world on that day, but similar major rallies, or even larger, were also held in other countries, particularly in Jordan and Pakistan.

The pro-Palestine rally was attended by members of many Muslim mass organizations, including Indonesias largest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and second largest Muhammadiyah.

Among prominent figures present in the rally were Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, former sports and youth affairs minister Adhyaksa Dault, noted poet Taufik Islmail, West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan, and politicians like Hidayat Nur Wahid, Fadli Zon and Fachri Hamzah, as well as prominent ulemas like Bachtiar Nasir, Abdullah Gymnastiar and Zaitun Rasmin.

A day prior to the rally, Maruf Amin, MUI Chairman, hoped that some two to five million people would join the gathering. On Dec 17, the National Monument (Monas) area was full. But no body came up with an exact number of the participants of the rally.

Spokesman of the Jakarta Police Senior Commissioner Argo Yuwono said the number of the rally participants was recorded at 80,000. Head of the Central Jakarta Police Senior Commissioner Roma Hutajulu estimated the number was some 200 thousand.

Commissioner General Syafruddin, deputy chief of the National Police (Polri) said he expressed appreciation to more than 100 thousand participants who joined the rally peacefully and orderly. General Tito Karnavian, in Nov 2016, said the National Monument (Monas) area could accommodate some 600-700 thousand people.

The Jakarta Police said that some 20 thousand police officers were deployed to guard the pro-Palestine rally on Dec 17.

Bachtiar Nasir, one of the initiators of the rally, said the most important is that the pro-Palestine rally has united every element of the country, particularly Muslims who are so far divided by domestic politics. "Today is the day of Indonesian unity," Nasir said.

Maruf Amin in his address during the rally said Indonesian people reject the US Governments policy on Jerusalem and demand President Trump to revoke his decision.

He stated that the Indonesian people always support Palestine in the fight for independence, and recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

Amin called on the Indonesians to boycott American and Israeli products if US President Donald Trump does not revoke his move on Jerusalem.

Speaking in the rally, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said Trumps decision is wrong and fatal. "We are aware that President Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel capital is not only wrong, but also fatal," he said.

The Governor reminded that Palestine and Egypt were among the first nations to recognize Indonesias Independence proclaimed in 1945. Therefore, Indonesia is consistent in supporting Palestine in the fight against Israeli colonization.

"Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia, Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. Jakarta belongs to Indonesia, Jerusalem belongs to Palestine," the governor said, adding that Indonesia rejects Trumps unilateral decision on Jerusalem.

Another speaker, Zukifli Hasan, chairman of the Peoples Consultative Assembly (MPR), said that solidarity with the struggle of Palestinian people is part of the implementation of Indonesias state ideology Pancasila and Constitution.

"The Constitution states that colonization on Earth must be eliminated because it is against humanity. Defending Palestine is an implementation of the Constitution," Hasan said.

What is happening in Palestine is colonization by Israel, and colonization is a gross crime and a crime against humanity, he said.

By supporting Israel colonialist, Trump has betrayed the US Constitution which states that freedom is human rights, he added.

Regardless of religion, race and background, most of the Indonesian people stand with the Palestinian people, he said.

At the end of the rally, the protester issued a petition calling for boycott of US and Israel products and review of US business an investment in Indonesia if President Donald Trump does not revoke his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel capital.

Anwar Abbas, MUI secretary general, read out the 10-point petition that was presented to the US Charge d?affaires to Indonesia on Dec 18.

The Indonesian Muslims demanded Trump to cancel and revoke his unilateral and illegal decision on Jerusalem because it has violated the UN resolutions and human rights, hurt justice, and jeopardized peace efforts.

If Trump does not immediately revoke his policy, the US will lose legitimacy as a peace broker, Anwar Abbas said.

The Indonesian protesters in the petition also call on the world community to reject Trumps move and urge member nations of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) particularly those having diplomatic relations with Israel, to cut the ties.

They call on the United Nations (UN) to hold an extraordinary meeting to freeze the US UN memberships or to relocate the UN Headquarters out of the US, if the US administration does not cancel its Jerusalem decision.

The Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) should form a special committee to review the US businesses and investment in Indonesia, Abbas said while reading out the seventh point of the petition.

Besides, they also call on Indonesia and other countries in the world to increase assistance for Palestine, particularly in the fields of education, health and development.

In the tenth or final point, they pray for the freedom of Palestine.

Source: ANTARA News

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