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Jakarta Post

Indonesia criticizes Israel’s reluctance to open up about Palestine

  • Dian Septiari
    Dian Septiari

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, January 22, 2020   /   01:15 pm
Indonesia criticizes Israel’s reluctance to open up about Palestine Indonesian Ambassador to the United Nations Dian Triansyah Djani (second left) speaks to colleagues during a UN Security Council briefing at the UN headquarters in New York, on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (Courtesy of/Indonesian Mission to the United Nations)

Indonesia and other countries expressed clear frustration over Israel’s apparent dismissal of peace efforts in its conflict with Palestine, after an Israeli envoy blatantly ignored the issue when it was raised during a United Nations Security Council briefing session on Tuesday.

At the Security Council’s open debate meeting on the situation in the Middle East, UN Undersecretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo and Assistant Secretary-General Ursula Mueller briefed member states about the extent to which Israeli actions have hampered the peace process.

They said that various actions by Israel had violated international law, including construction of illegal settlements and blockades of the Gaza Strip, according to a statement issued Wednesday by the Indonesian Mission to the UN.

The “unprecedented rate of expansion” of illegal Israeli settlements last year led to housing demolitions and violence against Palestinians in Gaza, Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour said at the briefing. As many as 5,500 Palestinians including women and children were arrested last year as a result of the expansion, he said.

Speaking directly after Mansour, Israel’s representative to the UN Danny Danon used his time to instead focus on Iran and its regional ambitions.

US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft sided with Israel, pointing out that Israelis had won 13 Nobel prizes while drumming up Iran’s destabilizing role in the Middle East.

The “shameful” snub riled other council members including Indonesian Ambassador to the UN Dian Triansyah Djani, who said he found it would be difficult to find peace if Israel continued to cold-shoulder the Palestinian delegation and not answer to any of their bereavements.

“Not even once was the word ‘Palestine’ mentioned, thus showing that there is no intention whatsoever to have dialogue of finding a peaceful resolution. I find it bewildering, shameful and does not serve the purpose of peace,” Triansyah said in the meeting.

Israel’s reluctance to address the conflict was best described, Triansyah said, by its most recent action in Al Jaba village, Bethlehem, where Israeli authorities forcibly uprooted 147 olive trees belonging to Palestinian farmers on New Year’s day 2020.

“For Palestinians and many communities, the olive tree represents peace and resilience. In the current context, the olive tree may also represent the two-state vision, a vision of peace in the Middle East,” he said. Triansyah then called on the Security Council to honor its obligations to safeguard this vision for the sake of stability in the region.

As a staunch supporter of Palestinian statehood, Indonesia has vowed to promote the Palestinian agenda as part of its 4+1 list of priorities at the Security Council. It has been actively lobbying its partner countries and has used its strategic position as a nonpermanent member of the council to canvas support for Palestine as it continues to face a decades-long dispute in the Middle East.

Other countries on the Council, including Belgium, Estonia, South Africa, Norway and Peru, expressed their support for a two-state solution as a viable and sustainable solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, while calling on Israel to end its illegal settlement policy in the West Bank and East Jerusalem that violates UN resolution 2334 (2016).