Indonesians join in global wave of support for Palestine

Indonesians join in global wave of support for Palestine

A rally in solidarity toward Palestine in front of the US embassy in Jakarta (18/5/2021). (ANTARA/Genta Tenri Mawangi)

Bogor, W Java (ANTARA) - Joining in the global outpouring of support for Palestine, several hundred Indonesians staged a peaceful rally in front of the US embassy here on Tuesday, demanding an end to Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip.


Recent Israeli actions in Palestine have triggered a rash of protests around the world in the past week.


Initiated by the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI), Tuesday's rally called on US President Joe Biden to take immediate steps to end the "Israeli brutality” that has been responsible for the deaths of almost 200 Palestinians, including women and children.


The demonstration initiated by the KSPI was not only joined by labor unionists and workers, but also drew university students, youths, and members of multi-faith communities.


Sariat Arifia, an activist with the Al Azhar Solidarity for Palestine, told ANTARA that he joined the rally in front of the US embassy compound in Central Jakarta because it was a democratic way to fulfill the mandate of the Preamble to Indonesia's 1945 Constitution.


According to the Preamble, "freedom is the inalienable right of all nations so that colonialism must be abolished in this world as it is not in conformity with humanity and justice”, he pointed out.


Thus, Indonesia must contribute to the abolishment of colonialism in the world as part of collective endeavors to establish a world order based on freedom, abiding peace, and social justice, Arifia asserted.


What happens on the Gaza Strip and other parts of the Palestinian motherland is closely related to acts of Israel's colonialism, he remarked.


He further argued that apart from the fact that Palestine was among the first few nations to recognize Indonesia's independence on August 17, 1945, erstwhile President Soekarno has set down how Indonesia must respond to the Palestinian issue.


"As long as the freedom of Palestine is yet to be returned to the Palestinians, Indonesia will forever stand in defiance against the occupation by Israel," Arifia quoted Soekarno as saying.


The Israel-Palestine conflict recently grabbed international headlines again after Israeli forces raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the final days of the holy month of Ramadhan and launched airstrikes on Gaza.


According to Al Jazeera, prior to Israel's bombing of the besieged Gaza Strip, Israeli security personnel attacked worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque with "rubber-coated steel rounds, stun grenades, and tear gas”.


The raid was triggered by what Al Jazeera described as the Jewish government's plans to "forcefully expel Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem to make way for Israeli settlers".


Indonesian President Joko Widodo vociferously denounced the use of force against Palestinian worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is considered the third-holiest site by Muslims after Mecca and Medina. He also slammed the forced eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah.


"The forced evictions of Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem, and the use of force against Palestinian civilians at Al-Aqsa Mosque should not be ignored. Indonesia condemns these actions," Widodo posted on his Twitter account @jokowi following the Israeli action.


The head of state also highlighted that Indonesia has urged the UN Security Council to act swiftly on repeated violations committed by Israel. (INE)

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