Indonesia joins Saudi call for OIC to thwart Israeli annexation plan

Indonesia urged member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to respond collectively to the Israeli prime minister’s vow to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank if he is re-elected next week. (Reuters)
Updated 12 September 2019

Indonesia joins Saudi call for OIC to thwart Israeli annexation plan

  • In a statement issued on Wednesday, its Foreign Ministry slammed his plan as “contradicting international law and various UN resolution”
  • Netanyahu said that if returned to power in the election on Sept. 17, he would extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea

JAKARTA: Indonesia urged member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to respond collectively to the Israeli prime minister’s vow to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank if he is re-elected next week.
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, described Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow as “dangerous.”
In a statement issued on Wednesday, its Foreign Ministry slammed his plan as “contradicting international law and various UN resolutions, as well as threatening the continuation of the peace process.”
Also on Wednesday, the OIC said at Saudi Arabia’s request, it will hold an emergency meeting of foreign ministers in Jeddah on Sunday to discuss Netanyahu’s controversial vow.
He said in a televised speech on Tuesday that if returned to power in the election on Sept. 17, he would extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea.
The move would reshape the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict and reduce Palestinian land to enclaves encircled by Israel.
“Indonesia is urging a resolution to the Palestinian issue based on a two-state solution and internationally agreed parameters,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah.
Dr. Luthfi Assyaukanie, international relations lecturer at Paramadina University in Jakarta, told Arab News that Indonesia is “highly regarded by OIC countries,” and its “role in the politics and foreign policy of other Muslim states is becoming increasingly important.”
Indonesia is a vocal supporter of Palestinian independence, which has been part of its foreign policy since the early 1960s.
Officials regularly quote a 1962 vow attributed to the country’s first president, Sukarno, that “Indonesia will challenge the Israeli occupation until the Palestinian nation becomes independent.”
Palestinian statehood is among Indonesia’s priorities for its 2019-2020 membership in the UN Security Council.
In May, at a council briefing, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi reiterated the Indonesian government’s stance that “there is no alternative to the two-state solution.”
In 2017, Indonesia fiercely opposed US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, since the Palestinians see the city as their future capital.
Indonesia also condemned the consequent relocation of the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.  
When in October 2018, Australia’s then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his government would also move its embassy to Jerusalem, an immediate backlash from Indonesia — Australia’s biggest regional partner — was seen as key in making him eventually drop the plan. 


UK’s Boris Johnson likens himself to The Incredible Hulk

Updated 15 September 2019

UK’s Boris Johnson likens himself to The Incredible Hulk

  • Johnson said he will meet the Oct. 31 deadline no matter what
  • “The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets,” he told the Mail

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has compared himself to The Incredible Hulk in a newspaper interview emphasizing his determination to take Britain out of the European Union next month.
Johnson faces considerable legal and political hurdles but told the Mail on Sunday he will meet the Oct. 31 deadline no matter what.
“The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets,” he told the widely read tabloid, invoking the comic book and film character known for formidable but destructive strength.
Johnson remains defiant even though Parliament has passed a law requiring him to seek an extension to the deadline if no deal is reached by mid-October. He has also lost his working majority in Parliament and been told by Scotland’s highest court that his decision to suspend Parliament was illegal.
Johnson portrays himself as more convinced than ever that Britain will break with the EU at the end of October.
He will have a lunchtime meeting in Luxembourg on Monday with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to try to modify the Irish backstop that has been a main sticking point, but EU leaders did not seem impressed by Johnson’s invocation of the Hulk.
The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, said the comments showed a lack of maturity.
“Even to Trumpian standards the Hulk comparison is infantile,” he tweeted. “Is the EU supposed to be scared by this? The British public impressed?“
Juncker, who has downplayed hopes of a breakthrough at Monday’s meeting, also expressed alarm that many people in Britain seem to feel a British departure without a deal with the EU would be a positive thing.
“It would be terrible chaos,” he said in an interview with Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio. “And we would need years to put things back in order. Anyone who loves his country, and I assume that there are still patriots in Britain, would not want to wish his country such a fate.”
The Oct. 31 deadline looms large because Johnson has not said he will seek another extension if no deal is reached, despite legislation passed by Parliament shortly before it was suspended.
Britain’s Supreme Court this week will rule on whether Johnson overstepped the law when he shut the legislature for a crucial five-week period.
The Liberal Democrats, who have been enjoying a revival, voted overwhelmingly at their party conference Sunday to end the Brexit process entirely if they come to power.
Party leader Jo Swinson said Article 50, which triggered Brexit, would be revoked if she becomes prime minister.
The party gained an important member Saturday with the defection of Sam Gyimah, a former Conservative minister. He is the sixth legislator to switch allegiance and join the Liberal Democrats this year.
Johnson also continues to take flak from former Prime Minister David Cameron, who called the 2016 referendum on Brexit.
Cameron said in an interview published Sunday that Johnson didn’t really believe in Brexit when he broke ranks and led the campaign to take Britain out of the EU. Cameron had been expecting Johnson’s help during the hard-fought campaign.
Cameron says of Johnson: “The conclusion I am left with is that he risked an outcome he didn’t believe in because it would help his political career.”
Cameron is giving interviews to gain publicity for his upcoming memoirs.