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Indonesia: Don't Normalize Relations With Israel

25 March 2016

By Khalid Amayreh

Israel's deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Wednesday Israel and Indonesia were having diplomatic contacts for the purpose of ''normalizing relations''. Hotovely, a fanatical, racist settler that denies the very existence of Palestine and Palestinians, justified barring Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi from entering the occupied West Bank earlier this week in order to meet Palestinian Authority (PA) officials in Ramallah. The decision to prevent Marsudi's entry to the West Bank was sparked when the Indonesian official refused to meet with Israeli government officials in Occupied Jerusalem, Marsudi was reportedly traveling to Ramallah to dedicate an honorary Indonesian consulate to the PA and to meet PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki and President Mahmoud Abbas.

The PA has been trying hard to assert itself as a ''state'' despite the fact that it is absolutely and completely languishing under Israeli military occupation. In turn, Israel demands that any foreign official visiting Ramallah also visit Israel. Such visits, however, often imply recognition, at least de facto, of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, including Jerusalem where al Masjidul Aqsa, Islam's third holiest site is located. Indonesia is the largest Islamic state in terms of population and Israel has been quite eager to normalize relations with the South East Asian country. Unfortunately, the PA doesn't fully realize the harmful implications and ramifications of inviting foreign officials to the West Bank as Israel achieves political and diplomatic gains exceeding by far whatever symbolic benefits the PA may arguably make. An Appeal to Indonesia Indonesia must remain an asset not a liability for the Palestinian struggle for freedom and independence.

The Palestinians are still languishing under Israel's nefarious military occupation. The so-called Palestinian Authority has absolutely no authority and no sovereignty of any kind, and Israel is trying rather constantly to transform the PA into a police state without a state. Israel continues to torment and murder Palestinians on a daily basis. Israel continues to adopt a ghoulish apartheid system as outstanding policy toward the Palestinians. Israel continues to narrow Palestinian horizons in every conceivable respect. Israel also continues to desecrate the Aqsa Mosque almost on a daily basis by allowing fanatical Talmudic settlers to break into the exclusively Islamic sanctuary and hold provocative Talmudic rituals. More to the point, Israel has effectively decapitated any remaining chances for the establishment of a viable Palestinian state, especially one that is territorially contiguous and having East Jerusalem as its capital as Israel has already dotted the West Bank with hundreds of colonies inhabited by hundreds of thousands of fanatical anti-Islam settlers.

Hence, normalization of relations between the criminal entity and the largest Islamic state in the world would be tantamount to unknowingly stabbing the Palestinian people and their enduring just cause in the back. Indeed, moves, especially by Muslim states to recognize Israel and normalize relations with it before ending the Nazi-like occupation, would benefit Israel and harm the Palestinians immensely. We say so because Israel would get what it has been seeking for decades without ceding one centimeter of the occupied territories back to their legitimate proprietors. Hence, we appeal to our big sister Indonesia to put on hold any plans or thoughts or afterthoughts to recognize the criminal state of Israel and normalize relations with it. Please don't stab your brothers in Palestine in the back.

Khalid Amayreh is a veteran Palestinian journalist and current affairs political commentator living in Occupied Palestine 


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