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There will be two benefits when Indonesia has a formal relationship with Israel

Indonesian government can only be an effective mediator if they want to establish a diplomatic relationship with Israel.

31 Mei 2018 16:29

Recognition is the key for the relationship between Indonesia and Israel. The Indonesian government always claim they are at the forefront in supporting Palestinians struggle against the Israeli occupation.

Indonesia always say the Palestine-Israel conflict should be resolved through negotiations. But unfortunately, Indonesia can not play an important role as a mediator if they have only relationship with Palestine. So, the main problem for Indonesia is there is no recognition to Israel.

Indonesian government can only be an effective mediator if they want to establish a diplomatic relationship with Israel as the form of recognition to the State of Israel.

The Deputy Speaker of Knesset Yehiel Hilik Bar argues that Indonesia will get two benefits when they have a formal relationship with Israel. "Two main reasons Indonesia should develop relations with Israei are to help the Palestinians and to build its own economy," said Bar in an exclusive interview with Faisal Assegaf from Albalad.co via WhatsApp today
   
Excerpts:

How much important Indonesia for Israel?

As one of the largest economies in southeast Asia Indonesia is of great importance to Israel it’s a huge market and israel‘s economy and Indonesia‘s economy are very compatible.

Since Indonesia gained its independence in 1945, who is Indonesian president most favored for Israelis?

All of Indonesia‘s presidents have had relations with Israel but the one who is outstanding is of course President Wahid who wanted to establish diplomatic relations with Israel after he was elected but  unfortunately it wasn’t politically possible at the time. He was a personal friend of for our former president and  prime minister , the late Shimon Peres and visited Israel both as the leader of the NU and after he had stepped down as President.

Can you compare about the relationship between Israel and Indonesia, when Soeharto era and post Soeharto era?

During Soeharto’s reign trade and joint projects were easier to complete because all what was needed was his agreement- in a democracy things are more complicated.

Do you see there is a good progress in relations of both countries in the era of President Abdurrahman Wahid aka Gus Dur?

There was more open interest but in actual fact there was  relatively little progress except for the legalization of trade with Israel.

Comparing all Indonesian presidents, who is more proactive to develop relationship with Israel?

I’m not an expert and cannot judge anyone but I know that Soeharto who did a lot and Wahid who tried very hard.

Is there any preference offered by Israel to attract Indonesian government to build a formal relationship with Israel?

Two main reasons Indonesia should develop relations with Israei are to help the Palestinians and to build its own economy.

During Indonesia's current goverment (President Joko Widodo), is there any proactive action conducted by Indonesia to promote relations with Israel?

Little of which I am aware of. Maybe there is, but I don’t know.

Otherwise, is there any proactive action from Israel to get closer with Indonesia?

Israeli businessmen are trying hard to develop trade and projects but this is very difficult under the present circumstances where visa access is limited and costly.

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