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Indonesians protest against Trump’s Jerusalem move
December 11, 2017
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JAKARTA: Thousands protested outside the US Embassy in the Indonesian capital on Sunday against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, many waving banners saying “Palestine is in our hearts.”

Leaders in Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, have joined a global chorus of condemnation of Trump’s announcement, including Western allies who say it is a blow to peace efforts and risks sparking more violence.

Thousands of protesters in Muslim-majority countries in Asia have rallied in recent days to condemn the US move.

Palestinian people were among the first to recognise Indonesia’s independence in 1945, Sohibul Iman, president of the controversial hardliner opposition Prosperous Justice Party which organised the rally, told protesters.

Indonesia should be more proactive in “urging the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) member states and UN Security Council and the international community to respond immediately with more decisive and concrete political and diplomatic actions in saving the Palestinians from the Israeli occupation and its collaborator, the United States of America,” Iman said.

“Indonesia as the world’s largest Muslim country has the largest responsibility toward the independence of Palestine and the management of Jerusalem,” he told reporters, adding that he hoped Indonesia would take a leading role within the OIC on the matter.

“Trump has disrupted world peace. It’s terrible,” one protester, Yusri said.

The decision was “a major disaster for the Palestinian people, while the Palestinian’s own rights have been taken away for a long time,” said Septi, a student at the rally.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian franchise of McDonald’s Corp said it was “disappointed” with calls on social media to boycott the fast food restaurant chain in apparent retaliation to the United State’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Social media users in the Muslim-majority country called on boycotting various US companies following Trump’s decision on Jerusalem.

One user of Twitter Inc’s microblogging platform, TheUsopIbrahim, stated without citing sources that U.S.-headquartered McDonald’s “channelled funds to Israel.”

The post has been retweeted 320 times and “liked” 138 times. TheUsopIbrahim did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

McDonald’s Malaysia, in a statement on Facebook Inc’s social media platform on Saturday, said the chain does not support or engage in any political or religious conflicts.

“The claim that McDonald’s channels funds to Israel is a false accusation, a lie, fake and slanderous. The charges made by an irresponsible party in (Facebook’s) Whatsapp messages are also unsubstantiated,” said Azmir Jaafar, managing director and operating partner of franchisee Gerbang Alaf Restaurants Sdn Bhd, without specifying any social media posts.

Azmir also said Gerbang’s largest shareholder is Muslim. The Malaysian and Singaporean franchise rights were bought by Saudi Arabia’s Lionhorn Pte Ltd a year ago, as part the US parent’s strategy of moving away from direct ownership in Asia. The Malaysian franchise also faced boycott calls in 2014 when social media posts alleged, without citing sources, that the restaurant chain was helping fund Israeli attacks on Gaza.


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