Two-state solution: Indonesia`s clear message to the United States

Two-state solution:  Indonesia`s clear message to the United States

On the sidelines of the 33rd ASEAN Summit in Singapore, President Joko Widodo held a bilateral meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday (11/14/2018). (Secretariat President of the Republic of Indonesia Press Bureau)

Bogor, W Java (ANTARA News) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo emphasized the importance of a two-state solution to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli issue while addressing ASEAN leaders and US Vice President Mike Pence in Singapore on Thursday.

Speaking at the sixth ASEAN-US Summit on the sidelines of the 33rd ASEAN Summit in the city state, the Indonesian president, commonly known as Jokowi, has also called the two-state solution as the only peaceful way to ensure an independent Palestine.

Jokowi believes that the two-state solution will not merely end the Palestinian-Israeli conflicts but it will also help create peace and stability in the Middle East and entire world.

Hence, he urged all parties to pay further attention to a collective endeavor to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli issue through the two-state solution, as it was believed to be able to bring lasting peace and justice to the region.

For Indonesia, the Palestinian issue remains crucial for its diplomacy. The country has internationally been known as one of the staunch supporters of the Palestinian people`s unfinished struggle for independence.

Jakarta`s political stance on the Palestinian issue has also remained unchanged since the era of President Soekarno.

In 1962, this founding father of Indonesia had uttered a statement, which then served as a guiding beacon in the Indonesian foreign policy on Palestinian issues.

"As long as the freedom of Palestine has yet to be returned to the Palestinians, it will forever be for Indonesia to stand in defiance against the occupation by Israel," President Soekarno stated.

The two-state solution that the Oslo Accords offered 25 years ago is expected to pave the way for the permanent settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts. However, in factual reality, the independent state of Palestine remains uncertain until this time.

Instead of attempting to support the creation of the two states, which peacefully co-exist, Israel has made continued attempts to disrupt and hijack the peace process through its ongoing illegal settlement program and military approaches against Palestinians.

Having unlimited support of the US Government and its allies, as demonstrated by their recognition of Jerusalem City as the capital of Israel, Tel Aviv has continued to ignore the United Nations` rejection to its illegal settlement program.

The Israeli Government has made incessant attempts to occupy the land of the Palestinian people to be then used for building houses for its citizens.

According to Khalil Shikaki (2018), Israel`s unstoppable settlement program has hampered the implementation of the two-state solution.

As revealed in his article titled "Do Palestinians Still Support the Two-State Solution?" published by Foreign Affairs on September 12, 2018, Shikaki concluded that the inability to stop the construction of settlements was one of Oslo`s greatest failures.

Shikaki opined that this unstoppable crime has made the people of Palestine doubt "whether they have a viable partner for peace."

In response to this challenge, the United Nations is not sufficiently able to force Israel to "reverse course over" its construction of illegal settlements on the occupied land of Palestinians and to return Israel and Palestine to the negotiating table.

Amid the inability of the United Nations to stop the construction of Israeli settlements on the land of the Palestinians and cruelty of this Jewish state`s military might, the US Government has also become part of the problem instead of being part of the solution.

US President Donald Trump, perceived by the people of Palestine as "an unquestioning ally of right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu" (Reuters, 2018), has obviously shown his concrete support for the Jewish state.

Apart from the condemnation and rejection echoed by so many countries on his administration`s controversial policies, including the White House`s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel`s capital city, Trump has never shifted his political stance.

Instead of retreating from his decision, President Trump went on with it by officially moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May amid waves of protests in Palestine that ended with so many Palestinians dying and injuries to several of them.

The Israeli soldiers responded to the Palestinians` protests by shooting at them. According to Republika, Indonesia`s leading newspaper, the Israeli brutality had killed at least 52 Palestinian civilians and wounded more than 2,400 others.

Taking into account this factual reality, the US Government, under Trump`s leadership, has obviously been viewed by the Palestinians and so many nations across the globe as part of the problem related to the Palestinian-Israeli issue.

Hence, in this context, the message of a two-state solution that President Widodo sent across at the sixth ASEAN-US Summit in Singapore on Thursday is so meaningful and appropriate, as it was echoed in front of US Vice President Mike Pence.

Indonesia has again demonstrated its consistent support for the birth of an independent Palestine based on a two-state solution.

Editing by Andi Abdussalam