Riani Sanusi Putri, Antara, Jakarta – Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan or Zulhas responded to the boycott call against Israel-affiliated products in support of Palestine. The minister asserted that the Indonesian government is not boycotting any products.
"Concerning the lists of boycotted products, the government is not boycotting any," he said during a working meeting with Commission VI of the House of Representatives (DPR) on Monday, Nov. 27, 2023.
However, Zulhas said, the general public is welcome to boycott any Israel-affiliated products. "I think it is quite clear. We are not prohibiting [boycott] against any products as long as it's in accordance with the law," he added.
Earlier, the Indonesian Ulema Council or MUI adopted a fatwa or ruling, recommending Muslims in the country avoid transactions with Israel-affiliated products or products that support Israel's aggression in Palestine.
Through this fatwa, MUI also asked the government to take concrete steps to help support the Palestinian fight for liberation, including diplomacy in the UN and OIC. The measures are taken with the purpose of pushing Israel to halt its aggression in Palestine and pressure the UN to sanction Israel.
Meanwhile, according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), the country routinely imports products from Israel every month. The import value of Israel in Indonesia also reached US$146.2 million from January to August 2023.
The biggest Israeli products imported in general are machinery, electrical tools, and chemical materials. Meanwhile, foreign products suspected of supporting Israel's occupation of Palestine are Coca-Cola, Nestle, McDonalds, Starbucks, and Unilever.
Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia also ensured that investment in Indonesia does not plummet amidst boycotting calls. However, he admitted that he could not say for certain what would be the effects of the Israeli products boycott on the investment climate in Indonesia.