A delegation from the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce travelled to Israel over the weekend in order to visit the Israeli Diamond Exchange.
The seven Indonesian representatives were provided with a tour and were met by senior officials of the Israeli Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan, east of Tel Aviv. The meeting was organised by the Israeli Export Institute and led by Vice President of the Indonesian Trade Organisation Mufti Hassan, who met with President of the Israeli Diamond Exchange Yoram Dvash.
During the visit, Dvash outlined the potential ties that Muslims can have with Israel, insisting that “This visit is part of a very important trend of strengthening the ties of Muslim companies and businessmen with the State of Israel and with Israelis.”
The two parties officially met to discuss the establishment of trade relations and cooperation between the two countries, causing a significant shift in the two states’ attitude towards each other after decades of diplomatic isolation.
Last year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his intentions to establish diplomatic ties with Indonesia, but the south-east Asian republic replied that it would not consider normalisation with Israel until the Palestinian people have their full independence.
Indonesia, a majority Muslim country, is a non-permanent member of the United Nations (UN) Security Council and presents one of its main goals on the council as dealing with the Palestinian question.
Since the creation of the state of Israel in 1947, Indonesia has had no formal diplomatic ties with the country and has frequently taken step to oppose the occupation, including condemning the ‘nation-state law’ and the United States’ (US) recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last year, and exempting tax on Palestinian imports. In turn, Israel has taken soft measures against Indonesia such as banning tourists from the country but has made overtures towards it in recent years in order to influence the process of normalisation.