The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has sharply criticized some of its members who reportedly met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in the Jewish state on Wednesday.
“MUI deplores the meeting on behalf of anything. They [the members] should have understood the stance of MUI and Indonesia regarding Palestine,” MUI foreign affairs chairman Muhyidin Junaidi told Tribunnews.com on Friday.
Muhyidin said the people who met with the Israelis were members of the female and family empowerment division at the MUI. He said further that their meeting with the Israeli president did not represent the views or values of the MUI.
A press statement published on the website of the Israel Foreign Affairs Ministry shows a picture of seven executive members of the MUI posing with Rivlin.
The statement, entitled “President Rivlin meets Muslim leaders from Indonesia”, said Rivlin hoped the two countries would eventually cooperate with one another in the future.
The group reportedly attended the meeting following an invitation from the Israeli president.
Indonesia, as a majority-Muslim nation, has never established bilateral relations with Israel. Indonesia has become a strong critic of Israel’s so-called occupation of Palestine.
Indonesia does not have a representative in Israel and it used to ban its citizens from traveling to the Middle Eastern country.
Calls for the two countries to develop formal relations have been widely opposed by members of the House of Representatives.