Indonesia clerics urge US boycott as 80,000 protest Jerusalem recognition
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Indonesia clerics urge US boycott as 80,000 protest Jerusalem recognition

Tens of thousands throng capital of world’s largest Muslim country in 10th straight day of protests over Trump’s decision

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Muslim clerics have called for a boycott of American products in Indonesia’s largest protest against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Wearing white robes and carrying banners reading “Indonesia unites for Palestine,” an estimated 80,000 people rallied Sunday in the capital of the world’s largest Muslim nation in the 10th straight day of protests organized by the country’s top Muslim clerical body.

Anwar Abbas, a top cleric from the Indonesian Council of Ulema, read a petition calling on Indonesians to stop buying American products until Trump revoked his move.

“Don’t rely on their products,” he said, as the crowd including men, women and children responded by waving Indonesian and Palestinian flags and shouting “boycott!”

Previous anti-American protests have unsuccessfully lobbied for a boycott of US goods.

Protesters hold Indonesian and Palestinian flags during a rally against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital at Monas, the national monument, in Jakarta, Indonesia, on December 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono said the protesters marched peacefully about 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) from the National Monument Park to the US Embassy. Some local media reported the number of the demonstrators was double the police estimate.

About 20,000 security forces were deployed to secure the rally.

In the petition, the clerics urged Trump to immediately revoke his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying it has hurt international justice, violated human rights of the Palestinians and undermined peace efforts.

It also demanded nations not follow the US in moving their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and urged the UN Security Council to hold an emergency session to discuss Trump’s declaration.

The chairman of the clerics council, Ma’ruf Amin, said “let’s fight together with the government and the world for the freedom of Palestine through political, diplomatic and economic ways.”

Indonesians take part in a protest against US President Donald Trump’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, outside the US embassy in Jakarta, on December 17, 2017. (AFP Photo/Adek Berry)

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has strongly condemned Trump’s move, which he described as a violation of UN resolutions.

Indonesia does not have diplomatic ties with Israel and has long been a strong supporter of Palestinian aspirations for statehood.

In an address on December 6 from the White House, Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace, a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.

The move was hailed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum and drew a furious response from the Palestinians and Arab nations. Trump stressed that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites.

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