President Abbas of Palestine is currently on an Asian tour to round up support for the upcoming conference in Annapolis that will attempt to resolve Israel-Palestinian issues. He told the Indonesian government his Fatah organization was willing to resolve its own issues with Hamas and urged the Indonesian President to assist his efforts. “However, the Hamas carried out a coup d’etat against the legitimate government that could divide our unity and dissolve our efforts for peace.” Although, he believes Hamas has been a disruptive force, “we cannot move unless we work together.” There was some discussion in his meetings of having Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation in the world, take a role in peace negotiations.
Peace needs the support of all nations of the world, but if Indonesia wants to play an active role in resolving the conflict it must first take the step of recognizing the existence of Israel. Refusing to recognize a country because of differing views has never proved successful, and, certainly would hinder the idea of including Indonesia in peace efforts. However, an Indonesian recognition of Israel would send a powerful message to Islamic militants that talking with Israel is a necessary first step if peace is to be achieved.