UMM Expert: Iran and Israel War Impacting Indonesian Citizens in the Middle East

Author : Humas | Thursday, April 18, 2024 05:07 WIB

Prof. Gonda Yumitro, SIP., MA., PhD, as a lecturer in International Relations at Muhammadiyah University of Malang (UMM) (Photo: Riri Humas)

The tension currently unfolding in the Middle East between Iran and Israel remains a hot topic of discussion. Launching an open attack on Israel is the first time Iran has done so, even though it has to pass through the sovereign territories of Iraq, Syria, and Jordan. Responding to this, Prof. Gonda Yumitro, SIP., MA., PhD, a lecturer in International Relations at Muhammadiyah University of Malang (UMM), stated that Indonesia's influence as a diplomatic country would not be affected by geopolitical issues as long as the conflict does not escalate.

He urged people to look back at the history of 1979, when Ruhullah Khomeini's Revolution ousted the Shah and established the Islamic Republic of Iran. One of Khomeini's main identities was rejecting American imperialism and its ally, Israel. Since then, relations with Israel have been severed. "The conflict in that year disrupted the once warm relationship between Israel and Iran. Yesterday's attack serves as a reminder that Iran has sufficient power," he said.

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However, according to Gonda, Iran's attack on Israel could backfire. For example, it could affect Muslim communities in Palestine and Indonesian citizens living in the Middle East. Currently, many countries support Israel because of the destruction they see happening. Although Iran's attacks did not cause damage to Israel's core.

"If the attacks continue, the impact of the war will spread further. Therefore, allies are strongly warning Israel not to retaliate against Iran's attacks. There will be many losses, not only for Iran and Israel's neighbouring countries, but for the entire world will be affected," he said.

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Furthermore, Gonda stated that Indonesia should not take sides and needs to carefully handle the unfolding dynamics. The presence of Indonesian citizens living in the Middle East requires Indonesia to be wiser and stick to constitutional principles. That is, supporting world peace and opposing all forms of colonization.

"Of course, Indonesia is a country that upholds world peace. It vehemently rejects any attacks that could cause civilian casualties. Therefore, in my opinion, Indonesia should stick to a normative position and consider the condition of Indonesian citizens who could be affected in the region," he added.

In conclusion, Gonda stated that sustained war needs to be avoided. All efforts should be intensified to prevent a broader conflict. Indonesian society also needs to have a more critical view to avoid harming national interests in the region, given the large number of Indonesian citizens living in the Middle East. (ri/wil/fajr)



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