Rafah in the Spotlight: Massive Protests Erupt at US Embassy in Jakarta

Jakarta – The United States Embassy in Jakarta witnessed a massive protest as thousands of demonstrators gathered to voice their outrage over the killing of innocent civilians in Rafah, Palestine. The demonstrators condemned the recent massacre at the Rafah Refugee Camp, allegedly carried out by the Israeli military.

The protesters, incensed by what they called the “barbaric actions” of the Israeli forces, which they believe are supported by the US government, loudly chanted slogans accusing Israel and the United States of terrorism. The streets around Gambir Station and Jalan Medan Merdeka Selatan were packed with demonstrators.

Among the protestors was a group from ASPIRASI, who held a banner demanding an end to Islamophobia and proposing that March 15 be declared a national holiday to commemorate Anti-Islamophobia Day. This call was led by Wati Salam Siswapi, the revolutionary leader of ASPIRASI Indonesia.

In an interview during the demonstration, Wati explained the significance of March 15, referencing a UN resolution that established it as Anti-Islamophobia Day starting in 2022. She argued that this day should be officially recognized in Indonesia to promote tolerance and combat Islamophobia.

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“We have submitted a formal request to the government through the state secretariat,” Wati stated. “But so far, there has been no serious response. We urge President Joko Widodo to issue a Presidential Regulation to make March 15 a national holiday.”

Wati expressed her frustration over the lack of governmental action: “I can’t understand why President Jokowi doesn’t support making March 15 a National Holiday for Anti-Islamophobia Day.”

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During the protest, speakers also called on President Joko Widodo to take a stand against the violence in Palestine, despite Indonesia not having diplomatic relations with Israel. They urged the President to lead international efforts to address what they described as a genocide and asked Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto to consider deploying the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) as peacekeepers.

The protest underscored a deep-seated anger and a call for action against perceived injustices, reflecting the ongoing tension and conflict in the region.

Anang Fadhilah