Sunday, 10 Syawwal 1439 / 24 June 2018

Sunday, 10 Syawwal 1439 / 24 June 2018

Gus Yahya Staquf explains about the invitation from Israel

Senin 11 June 2018 06:41 WIB

Rep: Novita Intan/ Red: Reiny Dwinanda

Gus Yahya Cholil Staquf

Gus Yahya Cholil Staquf

Foto: Republika/Debbie Sutrisno
Israel Council on Foreign Relations invites Kiai Yahya to give lecture on Wednesday.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- KH Yahya Cholil Staquf admitted the invitation from Israel Council on Foreign Relations has been received for quite a while. He said it was a matter of credibility and he has been working on it for years.

"I have a message to be delivered globally and the platform will give me the chance," he said.

Kiai Yahya said he had a view point about Jewish. He wanted to convey it as honest as possible without any euphemism or diplomatic touch.

He felt the lecture at the David Amar Worldwide North Africa Jewish Heritage Center, Jerusalem was the one and only opportunity to deliver his message without being framed or stigmatized as anti-semitic. He was asked to speak about "Shifting the Geopolitical Calculus: From Conflict to Cooperation". However, the lecture has been cancelled.

Nevertheless, Kiai Yahya was scheduled to meet with several figures, among others the head of the Waqf Board of al-Aqsa mosque Ali al Awar, cleric Mohammed Dajani Daoudi, Catholic patriarchs, Greek Orthodox Christian and Lutheran, Egyptian Ambassador HE Hazem Khairat, and some intellectuals at Hebrew University.

"If there any of my actions harm the interest of our country or it has no benefit at all, I will take the consequences. But if it has any benefit, let's follow it up to generate real advantage," he said.

Meanwhile, Nahdlatul Ulama Chairman Robikin Emhas denied the largest Indonesian Muslim organization had cooperation with Israel. However, he acknowledged there was an invitation from Israel Council on Foreign Relations to General Secretary KH Yahya Cholil Staquf to give lecture at the David Amar Worldwide North Africa Jewish Heritage Center, Jerusalem.

The lecture was scheduled on Wednesday (June 13). "Gus Yahya represents himself, not in his capacity as katib aam (general secretary) of the Central Board of Nahdlatul Ulama," Robikin said to Republika.co.id, on Sunday.

Robikin believed Gus Yahya will give support to Palestine during the lecture, not otherwise. Gus Yahya will also give affirmation to the world, especially Israel, that Palestine is an independent country.

The Indonesian government has been consistent in supporting Palestine's struggle for independence despite foreign pressure calling for Indonesia not to side with Palestine. Earlier, President Joko Widodo said Palestinians are always in every breath of diplomacy of Indonesia.

He said the people of Indonesia will continue to fight for the Palestinians. "Indonesia strongly denounces the decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, as it violates various Security Council resolutions and the UN General Assembly," President Jokowi stated while opening a meeting of trilateral Muslim scholars of Indonesia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan at the Bogor Palace in West Java on Friday (May 11).

Israel and the Palestinians are currently embroiled in a decades-long conflict over a region called the West Bank, which is currently under Israeli control.

Israel continues to expand settlements in the West Bank, thereby denying the rights of Palestinians.

During the 1967 war, Israel had taken control of East Jerusalem and annexed the region, though it had been divided between Israelis and Palestinians for the first two decades of its existence.

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