US in­ter­ests un­der threat as Trump ag­gra­vates Mus­lims

The Jakarta Post - - WORLD - In­dra Bu­di­ari and Tama Salim — Safrin La Batu and Mar­guerite Afra Sapiie con­trib­uted to the ar­ti­cle.

US pres­i­dent’s Jerusalem an­nounc­ment out­rages most of civ­i­lized world Global lead­ers in dismay, await­ing con­se­quences US in­ter­ests, cit­i­zens at risk of back­lash

United States Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is in hot water for a move that for­eign pol­icy prac­ti­tion­ers and ex­perts say is en­dan­ger­ing Amer­i­can lives and in­ter­ests in the Mus­lim world.

World lead­ers were left in dismay as Trump re­versed two decades of US pol­icy on Wed­nes­day by rec­og­niz­ing Jerusalem as the cap­i­tal of Israel in a plan to move the US em­bassy there. The an­nounce­ment came in spite of fran­tic warn­ings from nations around the world, in­clud­ing In­done­sia, which said it may lead to dire con­se­quences in a volatile Mid­dle East and else­where.

Speak­ing on the mar­gins of the Bali Democ­racy Fo­rum (BDF) in Ser­pong, Ban­ten, Vice Pres­i­dent Jusuf Kalla crit­i­cized the US’ uni­lat­eral ac­tion, say­ing the move would “heat up” ten­sions glob­ally.

“What they have done will, in­di­rectly but cer­tainly, heat up ten­sions not only within the Mid­dle East but also around the world,” Kalla said on Thurs­day.

Pres­i­dent Joko “Jokowi” Wi­dodo had ear­lier come out with a mes­sage of strong con­dem­na­tion in re­sponse to Trump’s state­ment and asked Wash­ing­ton to re­con­sider its de­ci­sion. He also urged mem­bers of the Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Is­lamic Co­op­er­a­tion to dis­cuss the mat­ter. An ex­tra­or­di­nary sum­mit is ex­pected on Dec. 13.

The eastern sec­tor of Jerusalem was an­nexed by Israel in 1967 in a move not rec­og­nized in­ter­na­tion­ally. Pales­tini­ans claim East Jerusalem for the cap­i­tal of the in­de­pen­dent state they seek.

Trump’s de­ci­sion stirred out­rage across the Mus­lim world, with protests break­ing out in parts of Jor­dan and Pales­tinian group Ha­mas call­ing for a new “in­tifada against the con­querors,” Reuters re­ports. In Jakarta, In­done­sia’s largest Mus­lim or­ga­niza- tion, Nadhlatul Ulama, staged a rally in front of the US em­bassy.

“The de­ci­sion will just harm the US. In many coun­tries in the world, pres­sure [from the peo­ple] for their gov­ern­ment to kick out the US am­bas­sador will in­crease,” said Helmy Faishal Zaini, the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s sec­re­tary-general.

In­done­sia, home to the largest pop­u­la­tion of Mus­lims in the world, is a staunch sup­porter of Pales­tinian self-de­ter­mi­na­tion. In a show of sol­i­dar­ity for Pales­tine, For­eign Min­is­ter Retno LP Mar­sudi opened the BDF wear­ing a scarf with a Pales­tinian mo­tif and taunted the US for not un­der­stand­ing democ­racy.

The US Em­bassy in Jakarta sparked out­rage on Thurs­day when it in­di­cat­ing Wash­ing­ton had con­sulted with US al­lies and part­ners, in­clud­ing In­done­sia, be­fore Trump made his an­nounce­ment. US en­voy Robert J. Dono­van was sum­moned to Ser­pong to clar­ify and rec­tify the sit­u­a­tion.

Mean­while, Mid­dle East ex­pert Reza Wid­yarsa of Ga­jah Mada Univer­sity said he was con­cerned that Trump’s an­nounce­ment would be used as jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for mil­i­tants to tar­get US as­sets.

“If I were an Amer­i­can busi­ness­man with in­vest­ments in the Mid­dle East, I would be hav­ing a heart at­tack right now,” Reza said. “For the Mus­lim com­mu­nity the whole gamut of groups from mod­er­ates to hard­lin­ers will come to­gether on this is­sue. They may choose to boy­cott Amer­i­can prod­ucts at the very least.”

Phillips Ver­monte of the Cen­tre for Strate­gic and In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies (CSIS) said Trump demon­strated “US ig­no­rance.”

“With such an an­nounce­ment, Trump just proved the one thing we feared the most — that the US [...] has be­come a se­cu­rity threat to many nations,” Phillips told The Jakarta Post on Thurs­day.

Dewi For­tuna An­war of the In­done­sian In­sti­tute of Sci­ences urged all con­cerned gov­ern­ments to make it clear to US mis­sions around the world that Trump’s pol­icy is “reck­less, en­dan­gers global peace and also en­dan­gers Amer­i­cans them­selves over­seas.”

Reuters/Mo­hamad Torokman

Pres­i­den­tial dis­as­ter: Pales­tinian protesters run from tear gas fired by Is­raeli troops dur­ing clashes near the Jewish set­tle­ment of Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ra­mal­lah, on Thurs­day dur­ing a protest against United States Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s de­ci­sion to rec­og­nize Jerusalem as the cap­i­tal of Israel.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Indonesia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.