The Indonesian mainstream media, especially some Islamic-leaning newspapers and TV stations, react harshly to the current war between Israel and Palestine. Through the media, we can see that some hard-liner groups have conducted ‘military training’ as a preparations for some people to go to Palestine for ‘jihad’ (holy war). The media also reported that the groups have raided some Jewish synagogues and blamed the Jewish in Indonesia to be ‘responsible’ to what's happening in the Gaza strip.
In some mosques, the Friday services also talk about it. Some even see that the conflict is a war between Islam and ‘the enemy of Islam’. Israel represents the Jewish, while the United States which usually in favor for Israel represents ‘the West’ and ‘the Christians’. In a nutshell, they seem to say that in Gaza strip ‘the enemy of Islam’ is currently destroying ‘us’.
Nevertheless, to my surprise, Indonesian bloggers seem to see the conflict differently. They have a much more mature way to see the conflict than most of the Indonesian mainstream media. Take for example a blog called ‘different is not war‘ who has a sound knowledge of the historical background of the conflict.
Bahkan lembaga Internasional sekalipun (dibaca: PBB) tak dapat menghentikan tragedi kemanusiaan di kawasan Timur Tengah khususnya dalam konflik Israel-Palestina. Kedua entitas politik ini telah “bertarung” di kawasan Timur Tengah semenjak berdirinya negara Israel pada tahun 1948.
Furthermore, he does not see all Israelis are ‘zionists’ who generaly agree with the use of violence against the Palestine.
Anindito Baskoro “Joe” Satrianto, who is a student at the Faculty of Islamic Religion Science, Indonesia Islamic University, also clearly states that the conflict between Israel and Palestine has nothing to do with religions.
Sampai saat ini aku masih nggak bisa nerima kalo besok diramalin bakal beneran ada perang besar antara Muslim dan Yahudi, sekalipun yang bilang gitu itu Nabiku sendiri… Maka seperti kata Hugo Chavez yang berani memulangkan dubes Israel dari negaranya, Israel-Palestina ini bukan konflik agama. Ini konflik kemanusiaan!
Gantyo Koespradono also writes about the societies in Palestine and Israel. He mentions that there are Muslims and Christians in Palestine, who both are fighting for their country's freedom.
Berdasarkan sejarah Palestina, generasi demi generasi, mayoritas warga Palestina Muslim dan penduduk Palestina Kristen hidup berdampingan secara damai. Mereka mencintai tanah air yang sama, mereka memiliki cita-cita nasional yang sama pula. Keduanya sama-sama memimpikan kehidupan yang aman dan damai sebagai bangsa yang majemuk…, mereka sama-sama berjuang demi tanah air Palestina yang merdeka, yang adil dan makmur…
He further mentions a lot of Christian Palestinian famous figures in history, such as Emil Habibi, George Habash, Azmi Bishara, and Hanan Ashrawi, who have played important roles in the Palestinian politics. Raymonda Tawil, a Christian Palestinian political activist, is also the late Yasser Arafat's mother in law.
In conclusion, the struggle of Palestinians is a fight for freedom and the war is not a religious conflict. Indonesian bloggers seem to be more informed and mature than most of the Indonesian media.