Research Article: 2021 Vol: 24 Issue: 6
Yusa Djuyandi, Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia
Luthfi Hamzah Husin, Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia
Rudolph Rainer Tjioediningrat, Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia
Citation: Djuyandi, Y., Husin, L.H., & Tjioediningrat, R. (2021). Indonesian role in Palestine-Israel security matters. Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues, 24(6), 1-8
A decent and fear-free life is the dream of all mankind. Life without war should be avoided by diplomatic efforts and not using violence and must also support the party that is legally right. This is inversely proportional to the conditions that occur in Palestine, how this country has always been a victim by the Israeli attacking state. This is even more tragic because the countries in the world seem to turn a blind eye to this. As a country with the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia from the beginning of independence supported the independence of Palestine. This research used qualitative method with descriptive approach. Data sources are gained through literature study, such as books, journals and news that are related to the Indonesian role in Palestine – Israel security matters. Various data which have been collected then also validated by triangulation technique. This research analyzes that the existence of big countries that support the existence of Israel, such as the United States continues to cloud the political atmosphere in the Middle East. This paper will prove that identity equality or ideo-syncretism is a major factor in the state's position in deciding advocacy efforts in a conflict and security. This paper also explains how Indonesia can act effectively in ensuring the existence of Palestine in the world and persuade Muslim’s countries to create security for the Palestinian people.
Ideo-syncretism, Security, Colonization, Diplomacy, Palestine, Indonesia.
The right to live and not be afraid is a fundamental right for every person in the world. The presence of the aggressor causes the emergence of conflicts of interest and sovereignty between nations. The emergence of conflicts over territory has led to the emergence of military activities that cause casualties and have a high potential for humanitarian violations.
One of the classic conflicts in the modern world is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The conflict caused by the re-emergence of the Israelites "claimed" the land that became their "promised land". This is in contrast to how Palestine has inhabited the region since the beginning of the Ottoman Empire. Each of these nation-states has a justification for their respective existence so that open conflict becomes inevitable.
The origin of this dispute occurred when the beginning of World War I the British government supported the Zionists who wanted to gather all the scattered Israelites in Palestine. The location of Palestine is considered land according to the belief that it belongs to their ancestors.
With the Balfour declaration, Israel has a justification for occupying Palestinian land as a "national home" for their people. However, the problem is in the declaration that there is no clear geographical boundary for the division of territory between Israel and Palestine. This led to the emergence of different interpretations between Israel and Palestine itself.
From a social point of view, the Balfour Declaration does explain that Israelis must not do anything harmful to Palestinians, but there are no more in-depth rules regarding the types of violations and what consequences can be taken so that Israel is free to act whatever because there are no restrictions (Hindun, 2018).
This is further exacerbated by the post-World War I increase in the arrival of Israelis to Palestine. This causes new problems for Palestine because there are no binding and clear rules between the two countries plus the number of Israelis is starting to get out of control. Then this led to a horizontal conflict that we later known as the Buraq Revolution of 1929.
The conflict escalated when after the Second World War there was a large-scale migration of Israelis to Palestine. At the peak in 1948, there was the construction of settlements for Israel supported by the United States. The United States also provides weapons assistance to fight the Palestinians. This caused many casualties on the Palestinian side because Palestine did not yet have strong combat equipment so that 700,000 Palestinians fled from their own land. It was also in 1948 that Israel proclaimed the independence of their country as a state (Nurjannah & Fakhruddin, 2019). This unbalanced condition causes the Palestinian people to always suffer defeat and setbacks. As a result of the Israeli military is supported by big countries such as the United States and Palestine, which the world has almost never seen, this conflict has become endless and has brought suffering to the Palestinian people.
The interesting thing about this phenomenon is how the United States always vetoes when other countries in the world will impose sanctions on Israel for violations against Palestine. This causes the role of the United Nations to be in vain in resolving conflicts between countries and ignores human rights issues as happened between Israel and Palestine. One of the high points is Jerusalem or Al-Quds is recognized as the capital of Israel by the United States.
The opposite happened on the Indonesian side, which from the beginning rejected the existence of Israel. This is evidenced by how Indonesia boycotted Israel, starting from the prohibition of Israel from competing in the 1962 Asian Games to not opening diplomatic relations with Israel. This is in contrast to the condition of Indonesia's treatment which provides good treatment to Palestine, from moral support to humanitarian support to Palestine.
Two diametrical phenomena in responding to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cause the writer to be interested in how this can happen to both countries. In this paper, the author argues that there is an idea-syncretism embedded in the society of the two countries that affects public perception and then influences the foreign policy of each country, in this case how United States and Indonesia responds in the Israeli and Palestinian conflicts.
This paper also explains how Indonesia should be able to act effectively in helping the Israeli and Palestinian conflicts. According to the author, this issue is significant to discuss because it sees the role of Indonesia, which has a foreign policy principle that should be able to solve humanitarian problems and problems of occupation of territories that occur in the world so that world peace can be achieved.
Some of the reasons described above become the basis for researchers to see and analyze Indonesia's role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. For the Indonesian people, the independence of Palestine is important and needs to be realized, because the Indonesian people also have the same feeling as a nation that has been colonized by other countries. The religious side or in the form of religious similarity is also an interesting thing, where the majority of Palestinians and Indonesians are Muslims. In a different position, the Israelis actually get more political support from their closest allies, especially the United States.
Regarding the novelty of this research, the researcher has explored various studies related to Indonesia's role in the issue of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. A study once examined the Israeli-Palestinian peace discourse carried out by progressive Muslim groups in Indonesia (Bachtiar et al., 2021), as for other research looking at the Indonesian Government's Foreign Policy in supporting Palestinian independence (Muttaqien, 2013; Saragih, 2018), other research analyzes the comparison of foreign policy between Indonesia and Turkey in the Palestinian issue (Pramuji, 2020). From the search results, it can be said that there is no research that examines the role of Indonesia in looking at Palestinian and Israeli security issues.
Israeli aggression against the Palestinians which led to the conflict between two countries (Palestine and Israel) has become a serious security problem. Security can be defined as the perceived or actual ability to prepare for, adapt to, withstand, and recover from dangers and crises caused by people’s deliberate (Jore, 2019). In the context of Palestine, security becomes an important thing because with security the Palestinian government, although with limited authority, is able to formulate a development agenda for its country and avoid any fear of aggression or occupation by Israel (Saidy, 2014). For a country, security construction is important, with a security system, the state can ensure that its national goals are achieved (Djuyandi, 2019), this condition also applies to Palestine.
In answering the phenomenon that occurs between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its relation to how other countries respond to this conflict, it is important for us to understand the idiosyncratic concept which is the main basis in understanding foreign policy, both the United States and Indonesia. In support of Israel or Palestine.
According to Alex Mintz, foreign policy can be determined by the leader of a country who is considering getting involved in international phenomena. Factors that influence not only come from rationality such as economic, political or other interests, but also come from international pressure, domestic influence, and psychology of state leaders. Idiosyncratic doesn't ignore the nature of policymaking either. International pressure, domestic influence, and leadership psychology can influence a country's foreign policy (Mintz, 2010). Rosenau also explained that idiosyncratic can also come from perceptions, personal characteristics, self-image, ideology, and everything related to the thoughts and decisions of state leaders (Rosenau, 1971). We can conclude from this that there are still things that are not "rational" that affect a foreign policy.
If it is derived further, this idiosyncratic is influenced by the culture, thoughts, and group identities/affiliation in the society (Coulter & Punj, 2007; Shteynberg, 2012). The development of culture in this society will create a collective awareness and consensus in assessing a phenomenon. This collective awareness will create a public perception in assessing how the government should act in policymaking, including foreign policymaking.
If it is related to the discussion raised, the author sees how the related values that are owned and embraced by the majority of Indonesian people have the same values as Palestine. In other words, Indonesia's presence in supporting the existence of Palestine is not only due to the goal of the Indonesian state which wants world peace but is also influenced by the solidarity that comes from the values held by the Indonesian people such as the struggle of fellow Muslims in the face of the Israeli occupation
If we look into the context of the discussion, we can also see what causes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There are at least three things behind this conflict, namely religion and politics. In terms of religion, the existence of Jerusalem or Al Quds is a land that is sanctified by three religions, namely Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Each religion has its own justification for claiming Jerusalem and its surroundings. The main problem in this conflict is the emergence of Israel which acts aggressively and invasively against landholders that are in accordance with the latest status quo, namely Palestine. The emergence of the desire to control the entire territory with the claim of "God's promised land" makes this unilateral claim to be detrimental to Palestine. The concept of "God's Promised Land" can be seen in the books of the Divine religion, such as the Bible, the Koran, and the Torah.
From a political point of view, this also creates chaos because the unclear arrangements after the Balfour Declaration regarding the transfer of the Jewish people to the Palestinian territories have led to different interpretations between Palestine and Israel. This also causes there to be no binding rules between Israel as immigrants, Palestine as landowners, and Britain as the mandated state. The rules made next did not pay attention to how the Palestinians lived and were not disturbed as a result of the entry of the Israelites into Palestine.
This research used qualitative method with descriptive approach. Data sources are gained through literature study, such as books, journals and news that are related to the Indonesian role in Palestine – Israel security matters. Various data which have been collected then also validated by triangulation technique, this step must be followed to ensure that the data was correct and to minimize subjective opinion. Triangulation is done by comparing data from books, journal and news. After being validated, then data analysis is carried out by utilizing the appropriate theories.
Israel and Palestine Conflict Background
If we look at the history that led to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we can see why the Israelis really want the land, there are at least two reasons why the Jews want the land, namely religious and socio-cultural.
From a religious point of view, it can be broken down into two things, namely the matter of holy places and how Judaism makes Jerusalem the "Promised Land of God". Jerusalem is a holy land because there are many spiritual journeys and the background of early Jewish development in Jerusalem, such as how King David, Solomon, and how the development of worship also developed in Jerusalem. In addition, why Jerusalem is also called the "Promised Land of God" because when the Prophet Moses brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, God promised the Israelites would be able to occupy and manage the land of Canaan. The land of Canaan in question is where Palestine is today.
From a socio-cultural perspective, we can refer to the writings and ideas put forward by Theodor Herzl in his book entitled "A Jewish State". Herzl explained that there was an urgency why the Israelites had to come together and form a state because of the emergence of unfavorable treatment for the Israelites, such as the emergence of anti-Semitism. The existence of this anti-Semitism makes the Israelites an oppressed group wherever they are because other human beings perceive their presence as a threat and a group ready to sabotage the property of the country in which they live (Herzl, 1917).
Departing from these two aspects, this is why the people of Israel in the early 20th century gathered and wanted to build a state. Back to the course of history, after the emergence of the idea initiated by Theodor Herzl, emerged later from the British government to make placements for the people of Israel to create a "home nation". This is stated in the Balfour Declaration made by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom Arthur Balfour to the Rothschild to immediately prepare a "national home" for the Jews residing in Palestine. This declaration was made on November 2, 1917, and announced a week later on November 9, 1917. This caused resistance, even from the Jews themselves. This can be seen from the statement of the Minister of Colonies, Edwin Montagu who is also of Jewish descent. Edwin Montagu argues that what the British government is doing is a "naughty creed" because this policy actually has an ulterior motive, namely Arthur Balfour is an anti-Semitic person who does not want a Jewish presence in England so that support for Jews in Palestine is a viable solution. Mutual benefit between the British and the Jews. Furthermore, according to Montagu, this is also bad for the Jews because most of the Jews, who live outside their land, have been trying to assimilate the culture for generations and are trying to be recognized for their existence. So, if they are supported to go to Palestine, this means that Britain does not support the pluralism that should be built and does not support the existence of Jews (Gilbert, 2017).
Furthermore, after the Balfour Declaration, this led to an escalation in the arrival of Israelis to Palestine on a large scale. As of 1920, there have been 8.2 thousand Jews who moved to Palestine. At its peak in 1925, there were 34.4 thousand people immigrating to Palestine (The Government of Palestine, 1946). With the increasingly massive arrival of Jews to Palestine, the greater the social friction that occurred between the two. At its peak in 1929, there was the Buraq riot. This riot created the first open friction between Palestine and Israel.
The escalation of the German Nazi Party with one of its anti-Semitic understandings created its own fear for the Jews. This can be seen in 1935 and 1940 which recorded the peak of the Jewish exodus to Palestine at 61.9 thousand and 27.6 thousand people because after that the Holocaust occurred which wiped out Jews throughout Europe during the Second World War. After the Second World War in 1948, the United Nations issued a solution for Israel and Palestine both to be their respective countries and Jerusalem to be a special territory under the United Nations. But this was rejected by the Palestinians because they were trying to fight British interests at that time in the Middle East. In return, Palestine mobilized Arab states to prevent the formation of Israel, but what happened was in the Arab-Israeli War of 1948. In this war, Israel won a landslide victory by controlling almost all of the former British occupation of Palestine and 700,000 Palestinians fled for refuge.
In 1967, the Six-Day War erupted in which Israel launched an offensive across its borders and succeeded in capturing the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights, and the Gaza Strip. Even in the pursuit of a peace agreement, Israel still tries to claim the territory it has occupied on the grounds that there are already Israeli settlements that have been built.
In the following years, there were still many incidents of attacks carried out by Israel against Palestine and continued to try to eliminate Palestine from the Middle East. Even today, attacks on Palestine are still continuing, causing casualties to Palestinians.
Indonesia and Palestine Relations Facing Israel Existence
When we talk about Indonesia's role in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we can see how Indonesia plays a role in supporting Palestine to survive from the diplomatic side. According to the author, there are at least three main reasons, namely from the idiosyncratic side, the political side, and the state constitution.
From the idiosyncratic side, we all know-how from the beginning of the development of Indonesian society, we cannot separate Islamic values from social life in Indonesia. At least if we look at the statistics, until 2018 there were 86.7 per cent of Indonesians who were Muslims. This has become a strong justification for how existing interests, including political interests, also have values of solidarity among Muslims; especially Palestine is also a Muslim-majority country. What can be seen is how the public reacts to solidarity for Palestine. During the administration of President Abdurahman Wahid, who wanted to normalize relations with Israel, the Indonesian people were immediately opposed. The end of this problem also caused one of the factors for President Abdurahman Wahid to step down from his presidential position.
From the side of the state constitution, it is clear how the Preamble to the 1945 Constitution states two things that are the main basis, namely "independence is the right of all nations, therefore colonialism in the world must be abolished" and the aim of the Indonesian state "to participate in carrying out world order based on independence lasting peace and social justice". With the first basis, we can see how Indonesia opposes the colonialism of a nation. If we interpret it in this case, Israel is considered as an occupier of the Palestinian nation so that Palestine deserves to get great support for independence as a nation. Next, the goal of the Indonesian state at the point of maintaining world order, we can interpret as Indonesia also wants to take a role in creating peace throughout the world, including the Middle East region.
From a political point of view, in the pursuit of Indonesian independence, Palestine was one of the first countries to recognize Indonesia's independence and existence as a state entity. Not only that, but Palestine also has a strong influence with Arab countries which with its influence in the Arab League invites Arab countries to support Indonesia's independence. Departing from this, we can conclude that there is a "moral obligation" given by Palestine to Indonesia in helping as a fellow third world country. In addition, we can also see how Indonesia's role in defending Palestine in international political confrontation with Israel. The rejection of Israel's existence can be seen in 1948 when Israel declared their independence; Soekarno accepted the arrival of the Grand Mufti Haji Amin El Husni. In addition, Indonesia and Palestine in the Non-Aligned Movement and the Asian-African Conference rejected Israel's presence in the forum in 1955. Another thing can also be seen from Indonesia's willingness to withdraw from the 1958 World Cup qualifier which brought Indonesia and Israel together. On that occasion, Indonesia was not willing to fight Israel. Even though FIFA had offered to play at a neutral venue and not play the national anthem, FIFA rejected the proposal and caused Indonesia to withdraw from the competition. At its peak at the Asian Games, Indonesia also banned Israel from playing in the Asian Games which took place in Jakarta in 1962 (Kumparan, 2021).
The next more obvious political support was that Indonesia became the first country to support Palestinian independence when Palestine declared its independence in Algeria on November 15, 1988. One year later, Indonesia opened the Embassy of the State of Palestine in Jakarta. Other support can be seen during the administration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who succeeded in making Palestine a non-member state observer at the United Nations with Indonesia as a co-sponsor. During the administration of President Joko Widodo, Indonesia opened the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Indonesia in Ramallah (Kumparan, 2021).
Why has the Peace Process Never Taken Place between Palestine and Israel?
Although there are several countries in the world that support peace efforts between Palestine and Israel, this will be very difficult to happen. According to Siti Mutiah Setiawati, a lecturer at Gadjah Mada University, there is three reasons why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is difficult to resolve, namely religious claims, international law, and international politics (Dzulfaroh, 2021).
In religious claims, we can see how Israel and Palestine have their own and contradictory justifications. According to Siti, if the narrative that developed in this conflict is not based on religious claims, this is a big mistake because from the beginning the designation of Palestine as Israel's "home state" stems from their religious belief that the Palestinian territory is the homeland promised by Allah to their nation which is written in the book of the Israelites' covenant. This means that the higher the level of international diversification, the more complex the business environment and the more complex accounting information. This means that the higher the level of international diversification becomes increasingly complex business environment, the information is complicated accounting.
According to international law, this peace effort becomes difficult because Israel does not want to follow UN Resolutions 242 and 338 which require Israel to leave the territory it occupies, which includes the Golan Heights, Gaza Strip, and the West Bank. The situation becomes even more difficult because in the peace effort Israel at best only gives limited authority to the Palestinians over the occupied territories. It became clear that Israel never recognized the existence of Palestine; even if Palestine existed they only placed Palestine as a government that was structurally subordinate to Israel.
In international politics, there are two important phenomena, namely the intervention of the United States and the absence of strong consolidation even between Arab countries. When we see how the United States provides assistance to Israel in the form of money, weapons, and the concept of diplomacy, this causes Israel to become much stronger than the Arab countries that oppose it. This has also caused many Arab countries to struggle with Israel because their countries have started to normalize relations for various purposes, such as technology, defense, and others.
Apart from that, we can see how the comparison of Israel and Palestine has two different ways of diplomacy. According to Mu'tuali, Middle East expertise from Universities Indonesia, there is a difference where Palestine is still using empathetic diplomacy, carrying the narrative of imperialism and colonialism, while Israel has used partnership diplomacy. This partnership diplomacy creates dependence and subsequently produces its own bargaining power for countries that want to fight against Israel.
Two other reasons put forward by Mu'tuali why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is difficult to end. First, because of the different perception of independence between Palestine and Israel. Reporting from Haaretz in Mu'tuali, Israel has only recognized Palestinian independence on three conditions, namely Palestine cannot form an armed force, Hamas is not in government, and Palestine cannot own Jerusalem. Second, because the United States is increasingly clearly defending Israel's interests. According to Noah Chomsky in Mu'tuali, the direction of US foreign policy in the Middle East is starting to show a single standard, namely Israel's security (Muta’ali, 2021).
From some of these reasons, we can conclude that there are two main factors that affect the difficulty of conflict resolution, firstly Israel and Palestine as the main actors who never had a middle point in conflict resolution, and secondly the presence of the United States which clouded the Middle East political atmosphere.
What Indonesia should do to Solve Israel and Palestine Conflict and Create Security?
Reflecting on what happened and the reasons behind the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the author believes that Indonesia can play a role in accelerating the resolution of this conflict. There are at least two things that can be done by Indonesia in accelerating the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, namely promoting this issue in Muslim state organizations such as the OIC, and raising this issue in the UN General Assembly.
According to the author, with solidarity among Muslims, Indonesia should have a great influence in raising the issue of human rights violations against Palestine, which is also a Muslim-majority country. Although Muslim countries, especially Arab countries, have begun to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel, the author sees how Indonesia has a considerable influence both in terms of economy and international politics, especially in humanitarian issues. With these conditions, it is hoped that Arab countries can also collectively provide assistance to Palestine, both in multilateral and bilateral forums.
Furthermore, international forums such as the United Nations can also be maximized. How about Indonesia's role in the UN General Assembly where each country gets one vote, this is a separate force to keep this thing echoed consistently in international forums.
In addition, Indonesia, which is often trusted as a member of the UN Security Council, should be an important momentum to raise the issue of military aggression carried out by Israel against Palestine by bringing up a solution such as wanting the deployment of UN peacekeepers to be placed in conflict areas. With these solutions, the author believes how Indonesia can play a role in accelerating the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Indonesia believes that conflict can be stopped and security in the Palestinian territories can be realized if many countries are also able to promote Palestinian sovereignty by giving them the right to manage their country's security or by deploying peacekeepers to protect Palestine from Israeli aggression (Iswara, 2021).
Life without oppression from others is a must for every human being and every nation. The existence of a nation that is aggressive and wants to eliminate the existence of other nations in that place is a serious violation of humanity. The presence of attacks from nations that make unilateral claims without considering a mutually beneficial solution will only lead to endless disputes. The existence of Israel which is present in the land of Palestine is actually not the absolute fault of the Jews, because the British had previously given a promise. But what should be noted is how Israel in the end acted arbitrarily against the Palestinians who were the predecessors and the people who had settled in the region. Endless disputes because the two countries do not use the same benchmark and the justifications of each country are contradictory, making this conflict endless. In addition, this is further exacerbated by the ignorance of the world's major countries to resolve this humanitarian problem. These two factors led to the increasing number of human victims who fell and this is a bad record in the history of mankind.
Indonesia with all the factors to help Palestine as a victim in this conflict can mobilize its strength to ensure that no nation is still colonized. This is also in line with the constitutional basis, the course of political history, and the common identity they have. With consistent efforts to support Palestine, the author believes this conflict will soon be over.