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Middle-East War and Indonesian Blogger Divided Responses

Categories: East Asia, North America, Indonesia, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, U.S.A., Arts & Culture, Citizen Media, Digital Activism, Politics, Protest, War & Conflict, Blogger Profiles

Echoing the international media headlines on current conflicts in the Middle East between Israel-Lebanon and Israel-Palestine, Indonesian bloggers post similar topics with various comments and responses; pros and cons, supports and condemnation to either sides.

Among Indonesian Muslims bloggers, condemnation towards Israeli atrocities against civilians people in Lebanon almost pouring in in unity.

Ummi Hani [1] regards the blinded attacks as the dead of sanity and common sense [2] on the part of Israel. Triaji thinks that what Israel has been and is doing as an “unforgivable war crime” against humanity. [3] Sun of Day wonders why Israel has the heart to kill so many civilians many of them are women and children [4]. He suspect that Israel has another goal in mind: making Lebanon as another Palestine.

Agusti Anwar [5] at Opinion Counts writes [6]:

Indeed, the conflict of Israel-Palestine has never had a chance to get better but worse every time. The recent attack by Israel in Qana’ of Lebanon, causing death and casualties among civilians has brought the worst of Israel out. Most of the 54 deaths found under the rubble are innocent children. Hundreds of thousand scattered and displaced for safety. In the face of his collapsing nation, Lebanese PM Fuad Siniora, a Christian, was so furious and condemned Israel as war criminal. Many quarters in the international community condemned this inhuman aggression by Israel, another evil brink putting humanity in its cynical verge.

Dhika [7], from Indonesian Muslim Blogger [8]Community calls for action [9] to all Indonesian Bloggers by putting a “Indonesian Bloggers Condemn Israel” banner in their respective blogs. His rationales are as follows [10]:

August is an important month, 61 years ago our country, Indonesia, declared its independence. As describe in our Preamble of 1945 Basic Constitution, we believe that every country has rights to freedom. Israeli aggression against Palestine and Lebanon is an infringement to human rights. The indiscriminate Israeli military aggression is a gross violation of international laws, including humanitarian law that clearly prohibits the targeting of civilian populations (non-combatants). Dozens of children were killed in the Israeli raid in Lebanon and Palestine. The civilian population is bearing the brunt of the Israeli military operations. No other word, Israel is the root of the problems in Middle East.

We believe that every problems has a solution, but not by killing children and civilian population. This action is a moral action to show to the world that we, Indonesian Bloggers, condemn Israeli atrocities’ and their aggression should stop immediately.

Having said that, as Agusti Anwar pointed out, Indonesia is a country with a divided voice, sadly on religious line. [6] Although in minority, there are some voices which justify the Israeli action in the Middle East.

Patung at Indonesia Matters [11], for example, complains the Indonesian media “bias” [12]in covering the current Middle-East conflict:

One of the most striking factors in Indonesian press reports of the conflict is the level of bias and partisanship. Detiknews.com in particular seems unable to mention the name of Israel without partnering the word with “brutal”. Even the state news agency, Antara, is not immune.

He thinks that such media bias could lead into further radicalising of Indonesian Muslims. [12]

Any radicalising of Indonesian Muslims can be blamed just as much on the press reaction to events in the middle east as on the events themselves. Needless to say, repeated terrorist attacks by Hamas and Hizbullah, now and in the past, have not excited the interest of Indonesian media to anywhere near the same extent, nor have they provoked such creative use of emotion-stirring adjectives in reporting.

Comments in above post questioning Indonesian Muslim anger towards the conflict:

From Magy:

Why is it so important for muslim and Arab countries to unite? Why do RI have to bond with a certain part when there is no such need? Why can RI not be open and bond with EU, Japan, the US, China and India AND the Arabs? Why just the Arabs? I don’t think this make sense.

From Tony:

Strange Country: fighting in the Middle East with the Arabs and in Maluku against Indonesian, solidarity with people living 10,000Km apart while evicting and oppressing neigbours such as Ahmedyyah followers, Papuan, Timorese etc. It seems to me religion is more important than nationality.

From O. Bule:

As my Indonesian relatives put it, ‘Crazy Arabs, what can you say about them?’ There is no need for Indonesia to go down the same insane road as the Arabs follow; to do so would be foolish. Let the Arabs and Israelis figure out a way to live together on their own.