Solution to Palestine’s Independence is More Important
The Palembang football community, one of the city's candidates for hosting the 2023 U-20 World Cup, has rejected the Israeli team's attendance at the biennial event. Because, Israel is a country that colonizes Palestine.
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JAKARTA, KOMPAS – Amid controversies over Israel’s participation in the 2023 U-20 World Cup, which Indonesia will host next May, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo received a visit from Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia Zuhair Al-Shun at the State Palace in Central Jakarta on Friday (24/3/2023). However, Zuhair clarified that he did not discuss Israel’s participation in the U-20 World Cup during this meeting.
Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) chairman Yahya Cholil Staquf also stated he had not discussed the matter when he met with the President at the State Palace either. Jokowi met with Yahya after Zuhair’s visit.
Moreover, Yahya said he had no issue with the Israeli team’s participation. “The important thing is to strengthen Indonesia’s position in international and multilateral platforms,” he said.
When it comes to the issue of Israel and Palestine, Yahya continued, it is more important is to find a solution that will lead to Palestine’s independence. “What I hope for is that anyone who thinks of Palestine also wants to defend it. Don’t just say things without doing something. What needs to be done next, where this solution will go, this all needs to be thought about,” said Yahya.
According to him, strengthening Indonesia’s position on an international level was mandated by the proclamation of Indonesian independence. “If you look at the landscape of the existing problems, what needs to be strengthened first is internationalism and multilateralism. I believe this was the mandate of the proclamation made by the founding fathers of this nation,” he said.
What needs to be done next, where this solution will go, this all needs to be thought about.
Yahya said it was also important that all parties continued to put forward shared interests.
“We are not only thinking about Indonesia, or thinking partially, according to the interests of certain groups or certain countries, but we must start from the interests of all. We must position Indonesia as part of the existing international and multilateral platforms, which are built from shared interests.
Yahya also pushed for a more constructive solution to settle Palestinian and Israeli issues. “But if we strengthen Indonesia’s positioning through this FIFA issue, we have an increased moral obligation to continue to facilitate a solution for Palestine, which, I think, is more constructive than just protesting, sleeping, protesting, sleeping. That is useless,” he added.
During his meeting with President Jokowi, Zuhair conveyed his greetings as the month of Ramadan began. “We came this morning to convey our greetings to his excellency and the people of Indonesia. We wish everyone success in life,” he said.
According to him, President Jokowi also inquired about Palestine’s current political situation. The Indonesian government reiterated its full support for Palestine.
Previously, in a press conference at the Palestinian Embassy in Central Jakarta on Wednesday (15/3/2023), Zuhair stressed the Palestinian government and people believed the Indonesian government and people’s support for Palestine had not changed at all.
Regarding the U-20 FIFA World Cup, Zuhair said his party would continue to follow developments. “We know every federation has its own rules, including FIFA. Indonesia won the bid to host the U-20 FIFA World Cup and of course every country’s participation in this tournament has nothing to do with liking them or not. This is because the participating countries are part of a tournament and adhere to the applicable rules,” said Zuhair.
According to him, like other nations in the world, Palestine also adopts a policy not to intervene or interfere with the domestic policies and positions of other countries.
FIFA should also exclude Israel from the U-20 World Cup because of their occupation of Palestine
Meanwhile, the soccer community in Palembang, South Sumatra, one of the cities that will be hosting the U-20 World Cup, rejected the participation of the Israeli team at Bumi Sriwijaya.
“FIFA excluded Russia from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar because of their invasion of Ukraine. FIFA should also exclude Israel from the U-20 World Cup because of their occupation of Palestine,” said Ariyadi Eko Neori, former chairman of the Sriwijaya FC supporter group, Singa Mania, in Palembang on Friday.
South Sumatra Governor Herman Deru said his party would await directions or policies from the central government as this issue concerns state policy.
The FIFA delegation visited the Gelora Bandung Lautan Api Stadium (GBLA) in Bandung municipality, West Java, on Friday. This stadium will serve as a training ground for the U-20 World Cup athletes.
Bandung Mayor Yana Mulyana, who was also present during the inspection, hopes GBLA could serve as one of the training grounds. Apart from GBLA, continued Yana, the Sidolig Field was also designated as a training arena.
The FIFA delegation also inspected the Padjadjaran University soccer field and the Home Affairs Institute in Sumedang regency, West Java, as training grounds. The Si Jalak Harupat Stadium in Bandung regency was also inspected as one of the match locations. (WKM/DRI/RAM/RTG/JOS)