Thousands join inter-faith rally in Jakarta calling for end to Israeli-Palestine war

Viva – November 5, 2023
Inter-religious rally at National Monument in Central Jakarta – November 5, 2023 (Viva)

Bayu Nugraha, Jakarta – Thousands of protesters took part in a rally organised by the Indonesian People's Alliance to Defend Palestine at the National Monument (Monas) in Central Jakarta on Sunday November 5. During the action they conveyed six demands..

The six demands, which were read out in turns by a cross-section of religious figures including Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) Chairperson KH Cholil Nafis, Dr Candra Setiawan, Prof Dr Philiph Wijaya, Reverend Jimmy Sormin and Prof Dr Sudarnoto Abdul Hakim, were as follows:

1. Demanding an immediate end to the war and an international investigation into humanitarian and war crimes by Israel to be submitted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

2. For the sake of humanity, peace and justice, we strongly oppose Israel's occupation of Palestine and strongly condemn the politics of apartheid, genocide, holocaust and terrorism that continues to be committed by Israel. Thus we call on the governments of Islamic countries, Arab countries, to cut diplomatic ties or not open diplomatic ties with Israel until the state of Palestine is independent and standing firm as a sovereign state. As a form of solidarity with Palestine, the Indonesian nation should, as a nation that loves peace and justice, boycott and not purchase Israeli products or products such as clothing, food and beverages that contribute to Israel.

3. We express our appreciation to the United Nations (UN) for its decisions and resolutions on Israel including [declaring Israel] to be a gross human rights violator. However the UN needs to take concrete and firm steps in upholding its resolutions by abolishing the right of veto by countries that demonstrate double standards over the Palestinian problem.

4. We support and respect Indonesia's firm and consistent stand since the era of [Indonesia's founding] president Bung Karno until now, the era of President Joko Widodo, in continuing to reject the Israeli occupation, supporting Palestinian independence, and appreciate the firm diplomatic stand taken by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, both at the Conference of Islamic Organisations (OKI) and the UN General Assembly. We urge the Indonesian government to collaborate with OKI country members, ASEAN, as well as countries such as Russia, China and Bolivia, which have taken a firm stand against Israel.

5. We express our thanks to all parties that have assisted the Palestinian nation and Gaza with diplomacy and demonstrations, funds and prayers. We hope that all of this can open the world's conscience, save humanity and common sense to help open people's hearts and create just and peaceful policies in the Middle East region and throughout the world with an independent Palestine and expel the Israeli invaders from the Earth.

6. We call on the various religious communities to say a prayer to Allah the Almighty to provide material and spiritual strength to the people of Palestine in bearing this suffering and creating an independent nation and state.

As has been reported, thousands of people took part in the Defend Palestine action at the National Monument in Jakarta between 6 and 10 am on Sunday November 5.

Aside from the thousands of people from various parts of the country that took part, a number of social figures were also reported to have attended the Defend Palestine action. They included Retno Marsudi, Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy and House of Representatives (DPR) Speaker Puan Maharani.

Also present was former vice president Jusuf Kalla, the former chairperson of the Islamic mass organisation Muhammadiyah, National Awakening Party (PKB) Deputy Chairperson Jazilul Fawaid, Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS) President Ahmad Syaikhu and former Jakarta Governor and presidential hopeful Anies Baswedan.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Tokoh Lintas Agama Bacakan 6 Tuntutan Aksi Bela Palestina di Monas, Ini Isinya".]