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All eyes on Rafah: Thousands rally in Jakarta to condemn Israeli atrocities

Jakarta Globe - June 1, 2024

Medikantyo Adhikresna, Jakarta – Thousands of pro-Palestinian supporters held a mass demonstration on Saturday in front of the United States Embassy on Jalan Medan Merdeka Selatan, Central Jakarta, condemning Israeli atrocities in the Rafah refugee camp.

The protest, themed "A Billion Curses for Zionist Israel," was organized to show sympathy and support for the Palestinian people, particularly following an Israeli airstrike on May 26 in Rafah, Palestine that killed at least 40 Palestinians, including many women and children. The hashtag #alleyesonrafah has been shared over 47 million times on social media to draw global attention.

The crowd began gathering at 6:00 a.m. Jakarta time, with many participants wearing Palestinian flags and chanting anti-Zionist and anti-US slogans. A total of 1,120 police personnel were deployed to secure the demonstration.

Several religious leaders, celebrities, and politicians delivered speeches from atop a command vehicle, including Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) member Mardani Ali Sera.

"The turnout is extraordinary. May our commitment to defending Palestine continue to thrive and remain steadfast, and may we soon witness Palestinian independence," Mardani said.

He also urged the crowd to voice their support on social media and thanked them for their enthusiasm. Following his speech, the crowd responded with chants of "Allahuakbar (Allah is Great)!" and various slogans.

Other speakers encouraged the crowd to continue boycotting Israeli products and to stop consuming goods from companies affiliated with or supporting Israel. Several orators also criticized the US government for failing to curb Israel's actions.

The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) urged the government to rally military aid with other countries to support Palestine in stopping Israel's atrocities.

"Considering the heinous mass killings and evident genocide in Gaza, the Indonesian government must initiate military aid with other nations, especially Islamic countries (OIC), to stop the brutality and barbarity of Zionist Israel," said MUI Fatwa Chairman Asrorun Niam Sholeh in a statement on Friday.

He further stated that Muslims are obligated to fight for independence and defend national sovereignty. In peaceful times, jihad means diligently engaging in beneficial activities to elevate Allah's religion. In times of war, jihad entails the duty of Muslims to take up arms to defend their nation's sovereignty. Every citizen must strive to achieve independence and oppose all forms of colonization, supporting other nations in their fight for freedom, such as the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation.

"The state must cease cooperation, both direct and indirect, with colonialist countries and impose sanctions on those who overtly or covertly support, sympathize with, and cooperate with the oppressors," he stressed.

Niam declared that the MUI, as the umbrella organization for Indonesian ulama and Muslims, will lead efforts to ensure peace and independence for every nation still under occupation, particularly Palestine. He also pledged to pursue dialogue among religious leaders worldwide.

Meanwhile, Slovenia's government on Thursday endorsed a motion to recognize a Palestinian state and asked the parliament to do the same. The country is set to become the 10th member of the 27-nation European Union to officially recognize a Palestinian state.

More than 140 countries recognize a Palestinian state – more than two-thirds of the United Nations.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/all-eyes-on-rafah-thousands-rally-in-jakarta-to-condemn-israeli-atrocitie