“Are we going to let the incident in Al-Aqsa continue to recur? We let this happen anymore”, a loud voice affirmed by Retno L.P. Marsudi, Indonesian Foreign Minister in the Opening of Extraordinary Meetings of the Executive Committee of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) in Istanbul, August 1, 2017. Retno attended the meeting as a form of Indonesian support over the conflict in Palestine and al-Aqsa mosque. Dr. Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen, Secretary-general OIC expressed his appreciation to the Indonesians for their serious commitment to this issue. It was specifically addressed in the private talks at the opening of the Istanbul meeting.
OIC has 57 country members, it is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations (UN). The establishment of the OIC was related with the incident that occurred against Al-Aqsa Mosque, ie the arson attack against al-Aqsa by Denis Michael Rohan, a Zionist Jewish from Australia on August 21, 1969. A month later, precisely on September 25, 1969 OIC was established at a conference of Islamic countries in Rabad, Morocco. Make Jeddah as a secretariat office, the OIC is expected to be a collective voice in protecting the interests of the Islamic world on various international issues, in the form of peace and harmony between countries in the world.
Seeing the OIC’s Action Program until 2025, this organization still prioritize Palestine and al-Quds issue as the first priority to be solved. It’s deserve to be appreciate because the Israeli occupation never stop and keep their hard efforts to change the geographical and demographic character of the realities of Palestinian land. Through various unilateral adverse actions, consisting of land annexation, house demolition, ethnic cleansing, bloody attacks, settlement building, Judaization of al-Quds city and isolation from its environment in Palestine.
Muslims in the world need to gain diplomatic support over international issues, particularly for Palestine and al-Aqsa mosque issue. High-level political lobbies are needed so that when Palestine get the liberation then Islamic countries agree and solidly support and defend Palestinian independence. Do not let the unity of these Islamic countries made political institutions to suppress the rise of Islam in the world. Therefore, the support of elite level diplomacy is needed without denying support for popular resistance.
Reflecting from the experience of fighting for Indonesian independence, both from the level of popular resistance and international support diplomacy. Indonesia struggled to gain independence from various occupiers of the world, ranging from Portuguese, Dutch, British to Japanese. Once independence is gained, Indonesia needs international recognition. Herein lies the role of international diplomacy of Indonesia initiated by H. Agus Salim, Muhammad Natsir and Muhammad Hatta succeed. From the lower levels, the people neck and neck did the resistance and from the top level, the government help each other to lobby the various countries to recognize the independence of Indonesia and defend it.
The enemy of Islam will not be willing to unite the Islamic countries, because it will hinder their global project. Therefore, the support of OIC countries in solving the Palestinian and al-Aqsa mosque issues is also being awaited by Muslims. Hopefully there is a real step forward from the OIC in terms of international diplomacy, namely by pressing countries that still support the Israeli occupation and its project in Palestine. (Salman Alfarisy)