The Middle East Monitor in June 2015 reported that Human Rights Watch urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to add Israel to its annual "List of Shame" of children`s rights violators.
Jakarta, April 1 (Antara)- "As long as Palestine does not gain its independence, Indonesia will keep challenging the Israeli occupation," President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said in his opening remarks at an extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Jakarta on March 7, 2016.

The Presidents observation was a direct quote from the response the countrys founding father President Sukarno gave to a reporter who asked him in 1962 as to why Indonesia did not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

So far, all seven Indonesian presidents have been consistent in supporting Palestines struggle for independence.

Such a stance is, in fact, in line with the countrys Constitution, UUD1945, which states that Indonesia is against colonialism on Earth.

Therefore, Indonesia should ignore Israels wish to have diplomatic relations with Indonesia because the Jewish nation is still colonizing Palestine, El Nino M Husein Mohi of the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party said on March 31.

"I think up to now, the Republic of Indonesia has never recognized the existence of the Israeli state, and indeed there is no need to do so now," the legislator said, commenting on a statement of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu, while receiving a group of five Indonesian journalists on March 28, had said it was time for Israel and Indonesia to establish full diplomatic ties.

He hoped that the journalists visit would pave the way for establishing ties with the worlds most populous Muslim country.

The five journalists from Kompas, Tempo, Metro, Jawa Pos and Bisnis Indonesia visited Israel at the invitation of the Israeli foreign ministry, despite the absence of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Israel.

The Indonesian foreign ministry has regretted Israels politicization of the journalists visit.

"We regret if such a visit was misinterpreted or politicized for other interests as in principle, Indonesia maintains a firm stance to help Palestine gain independence from Israel," the foreign ministrys spokesman, Arrmanatha Nasir, noted on March 29.

Nasir said the government could not prevent media persons from visiting Israel but expressed regret over the fact that such a visit was misconstrued for vested interests.

The ministry did not receive a notification of the visit as Indonesia and Israel do not have diplomatic ties, he stated.

The visit, however, was deplored by Chairman of the House of Representatives Commission I, Mahfudz Siddiq.

"The visit obviously contradicts the stance that Indonesia has maintained from the beginning, which is against the Israeli occupation in Palestine, and Indonesia always supports Palestinian independence," Siddiq said on March 29.

Israel has never given any attention to international protests against its actions which continue to victimize Palestinian civilians," the lawmaker said.

He believed that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was worried about the stance of President Jokowi and the Indonesian government and therefore, the journalists visit was part of Israels efforts to find effective lobbyists.

"I also dont know how they were able to enter Israel, while two Indonesian foreign ministers, Marty Natalegawa and Retno LP Marsudi, were denied entry to Palestine by Israel," the MP said.

Israel stopped Minister Retno Marsudi from entering Palestine to inaugurate Indonesias first honorary consul on March 13, as the minister had refused to go to Jerusalem and meet the Israeli government officials.

However, the such injustice on the part of Israel failed to deter the minister from going ahead with her plan to install the new honorary consul, as the inauguration ceremony was finally held at the Indonesian embassy in Jordans capital.

Earlier too, in 2012, Israel had prevented the then Indonesian foreign minister, Marty Natalegawa, from entering the West Bank, Palestine, for a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

In the meantime, Deputy House Speaker Fahri Hamzah suspected that efforts have been on to weaken Indonesias commitment to support Palestine.

Before the journalists visit to Israel, there was a rumor that Indonesia would give a visa to Israeli athletes, he said.

"Besides, there was also a rumor about a meeting with the Israeli governments envoy that resulted in a commitment that the foreign minister (Retno Marsudi) must visit Israel first before going to Palestine," the legislator said.

Furthermore, there was also a rumor that Israel would be one of countries to be given visa free facilities by the Indonesian government.

But the government later denied that Israel was in the list of countries enjoying the facilities provided to boost tourism industry.

From September 2000 to February 2005, over 700 Palestinian children died at the hands of Israeli forces and settlers.

Since 2005, at least 1,277 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel.

Six major military offensives in Gaza alone have killed at least 1,000 Palestinian children since 2005, according to the data of the Defense for Children International (DCI)-Palestine (

Besides, Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world that systematically prosecutes between 500 and 700 Palestinian children each year in military courts that lack fundamental fair trial rights, the DCI-Palestine reported.

The Middle East Monitor in June 2015 reported that Human Rights Watch urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to add Israel to its annual "List of Shame" of childrens rights violators.

Israel, said the rights organization, should be on the list since it killed more than 500 Palestinian children during its offensive against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in 2014 alone.

According to the US-based HRWs UN & Crisis Advocacy director, Philippe Bolopion, "The Secretary-General can strengthen child protection in war by compiling his list based on facts, and not political pressure."

The Israeli offensive in Gaza in 2014 resulted in the killing of 539 Palestinian children; almost three thousand others were wounded.***2***



01-04-2016 22:31:48

Reporter: Fardah
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2016