Sunday, November 5. I sat at the forefront witnessing an interfaith and intergenerational peaceful action in support of Palestine. I say I sat at the forefront even though I didn’t attend the location because I sat in front of the television, barely at a distance from the screen that I had turned on since 05:00 AM. The live broadcast showcased various layers of community elements that had gathered at the location since I turned on my television. In my opinion, this action is excellent for bringing together diverse religious elements of society. 

This peaceful action in solidarity with Palestine is expected to yield results for the physically ravaged population of Gaza by Zionist Israel. The first hope is the realization of security for all Palestinians from bomb attacks and mass massacres by Israel. Indonesia and the world must urge Israel to cease its bomb attacks. This pressure must be sustained to compel Israel and its allies to adhere to the resolutions of the UN Security Council, including implementing a ceasefire. 

Secondly, the people of Palestine are hoped to swiftly attain the freedom and independence they have fought for over decades. Since President Soekarno’s era, Indonesia has consistently supported all efforts made by Palestine to achieve its independence. Indonesia strongly condemns all acts of violence, especially those that have claimed the lives of many civilians, particularly women and children. Based on its constitutional foundation, Indonesia is free and active in realizing world peace. 

This time’s action involved various elements of the interfaith community, as the Israeli Zionist forces are no longer targeting Muslims only, but also adherents of other religions. Israel’s attacks do not discriminate based on religion. Everyone is targeted, everyone is annihilated. The issue at play in this conflict is no longer religious, its about humanity. 

The poetry recited by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs Retno Marsudi, seems to have further fueled the spirit of the peaceful action participants. It’s fascinating to delve into this interfaith action, which momentarily takes us away from the Presidential Election issue that is adding to the heat amid extreme weather due to climate change, reaching up to 39 degrees Celsius during the day. 

Indeed, one of the prospective presidential candidates was present at the event attended by more than 1 million people from all over Indonesia. He also spoke, but it seems he did not carry the attributes of his party or his candidacy for president. He wore a white shirt and Palestinian attributes like the others. 

Humanity above all – picture by Gayatriveda

Humanity above all. All participants in the action focus on retaliatory attacks that resemble more of genocide and mass extermination, disregarding conscience and fellings. Every indiscriminate attack, including on journalists, leaving no safe space at all, is truly beyond our human understanding.

Encouraging news then came from the President of the Republic Indonesia, Joko Widodo, who announced leading the direct dispatch of humanitarian aid, including basic necessities and medicines to the people of Palestine. This collective aid, totaling 50,5 tons, is a collective contribution from various parties, including the public, various institutions, and organizations. 

I personally hope that the humanitarian issue is always prioritized in responding to the escalating conflict between Israel and Palestine, so that no party takes advantage in the midst of adversity. For example, radical terrorist groups who might exploit and use this issue for their group’s interests, from boosting the morale of their members to the sleeping cells and misuse of funds they collect.

Moreover, observed on social media, there is a flood of information about the Israel – Palestine conflict. Some disseminate inaccurate information, using narratives of suffering and sadness in Palestine but later using images from a scene in a movie that is unrelated to what is happening in Israel and Palestine.

Public awareness and community resilience become crucial factors that must always be prepared, as the series of provocative narratives being built can be extremely dangerous. For example, calls for boycotts and not valid information about the connection between the products to be boycotted and the Israel – Palestine conflict. Let’s not allow the anger of the public to be exploited for political identity and to make an intolerant society. 

How beautiful action is when demonstrators voice and prioritize humanitarian issues. Because truly, humans and humanity should be valued by all. Humanity is an element that erases all differences among fellow humans. Humanity also eliminates individual selfishness. Let us not lose our sense of humanity like the members of terrorist networks who justify the shedding of human blood just because they can’t accept differences.