Wednesday, 7 Jumadil Awwal 1439 / 24 January 2018

Wednesday, 7 Jumadil Awwal 1439 / 24 January 2018

Dino views Trump's decision akin to 'Israel first'

Sabtu 16 December 2017 12:17 WIB

Red: Reiny Dwinanda

US President Donald Trump holds up a signed proclamation recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Wednesday (Dec. 6), in Washington.

US President Donald Trump holds up a signed proclamation recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Wednesday (Dec. 6), in Washington.

Foto: AP/Alex Brandon

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Indonesian senior diplomat Dino Patti Djalal views President Donald Trump's decision on Jerusalem as merely based on the United States (US) domestic political considerations, rather than a strategic plan forward.

Having served as the Indonesian ambassador to the US in the 2010-2013 period, Djajal admitted that he had sufficient knowledge of the US political establishments which made him feel that famous American journalist Thomas Friedman's opinion that Trump's decision was led by an obligation to please his Jewish campaign donors was correct.

"It is no secret that the Jewish lobbies are the most powerful among the American political establishments. You cannot be president in the US unless you have fund and support from the Jewish lobbyists," he said during a public discussion held by the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI) in Jakarta, Friday.

Trump's decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to Djalal, was ironically made by a man who always spoke about prioritizing the US' interests in his policy.

"In this, the Jerusalem question is actually akin to saying 'Israel first', not 'America first'," Djalal noted, referring to Trump.

In this regards, the former Indonesian deputy foreign minister also highlighted the significant difference between Trump and Barack Obama's administration over the US' relations with Israel.

Djalal stressed that since Obama came to power in 2009, he did not want to "be owned" by Israel.

Saying that Obama was not comfortable with the fact that Israel had a strong influence in the US political establishment, Djalal observed that Obama ran the US administration in a very independent way that made him unpopular with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"To be honest, I think that is what America should do, to have their own policies, independent with integrity, and not let any country own it," he added.

Responding to Trump's decision on Jerusalem, Djalal emphasized that the most realistic step to expect was the delay in the movement of the US embassy to Jerusalem. Although US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson affirmed that the process would take some two years, Djalal hoped that it would take more years, thus buying time for every peace effort to be made.

"The key to addressing this issue is how we get back to the negotiation table with Israel and Palestine, amid the fact that we are dealing with a man who has an enormous ego over Jerusalem," he remarked, again referring to Trump.

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