Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Gaza Strip Tragedy
In 1948 the state of Israel was establised in teritory regarded by the Arabian people as belonging to Palestinians. Since then Arab countries have declared several wars against Israel, and every time the Indonesian government and people, including news media, would always take side on the Arabs.
In order to know the reason for such 'blind' support, we need to take a look at our country's historical & religious backgrounds:
1)The religion of the majority of Indonesian people is Islam which originated in Saudi Arabia
2)The basis of Islam is the Holy Qur’an which is (legitimately) written in Arabic
3)Many Indonesian Arabs become leaders of Islamic groups/ institutions in Indonesia
4)Our Constitution recommend our country's participation in preserving world peace
Such support is clearly shown when the Gaza Strip fighting between Palestine and Israel fighting broke almost two weeks ago, whereby according to The Jakarta Post the Chairman of the Indonesian Moslem Cleric (MUI) has urged Indonesian to boycott products Made in U.S.A as the supporter of Israel. Further, many radical Moslems has volunteered to go to the Gaza Strip to join the fight against Israel.
However, when fighting between both parties escalates from Rocket fire exchange to ground offensive by the Israeli causing more than 500 Palestinian dead, I noticed that there has been a shift in opinion. In this regards The Jakarta Globe has quoted the Chairman of the Indonesian Press Unity (PWI) Ichnasul Amal as saying that our news media were biased against Israel and “clearly siding” with the Palestinians. Further, the Chairman of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Nezar Patria was quoted as saying that our media should include peaceful perspective in their reporting, and it would not trigger religious tension.
In conclusion, I felt that although our historical & religious back grounds have placed Arabs as favorites, and we do not condone killing of innocent people, however we must also remember that the wars/fighting between Arab & Israel is caused by Territorial dispute over the Land of Palestine, thus not a religious dispute, which can only be settled through negotiations. On the contrary, radical emotional support would not not end the suffering of the Palestinians.