TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Middle East observer from University of Indonesia Yon Machmudi stated the presence of the presidential adviser Yahya Staquf at an event held by Israel Council on Foreign Relations (ICFR) might be politically beneficial to Israel.
Yon deemed the Yahya's departure for Israel was not a good choice and far from bringing the world’s peace. “There was no effort to criticize or condemn what Israel had done because the invitation came from an organization affiliated with Israel,” Yon told Tempo on Wednesday, June 13.
Yahya who was also an executive board member of the Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU) was invited by ICFR to Israel as a speaker on Sunday, June 10. The event was held at The David Amar Worldwide North Africa Jewish Heritage Center, Jerusalem.
According to Yon, Israel recently needed support from the public following the incident during the demonstration of commemorating Nakba which means "catastrophe" that claimed 109 lives and injured 20,000 Palestinians. During the demonstration, a Palestinian nurse Razan Ashraf Al-Najjar, 21, was shot dead by Israeli force while helping a demonstrator.
“Besides, it is related to the removal of Israeli capital to Jerusalem. They felt isolated by the world. Thus, they needed public supports,” Yon explained.
Yon stated Israel deliberately invited many Islamic figures to show that the country with the most populous Jews supported the world’s peace.
On the other hand, the arrival of Yahya at Israel was politically detrimental for Indonesia. “This also could be counterproductive to the statement and stern action of Indonesia that strongly support Palestine and did not recognize Israel sovereignty,” Yon said.
Presidential Special Staff for Communication Adita Irawati stated the departure of Yahya for Israel did not represent the government. “It’s on behalf of himself, not as a presidential adviser,” said Adita to Tempo via a phone call on Sunday, June 10.
The same statement conveyed by NU executive board chairman Said Aqil Siraj. He said Yahya attended the event as personal and did not represent the organization. “There is no string attached with NU,” he underlined yesterday in Jakarta, asserting that NU would always root for Palestine that he deemed as the nation tyrannized by Israel.
ALFAN HILMI | AHMAD FAIZ