Update: Indonesia on Israel, Gumelar on Education

by Guinandra Jatikusumo

Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa during UN’s General Assembly reaffirmed Indonesia’s stance on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute: that Indonesia strongly advocates the two-state solution blueprint, supporting Palestinians in their efforts to achieve independence. Quoting Minister Natalegawa,

“Indonesia sees the two-state solution as the only sustainable option and the optimal effort we can do for Palestinian people. Indonesia supports the independence of Palestine 100 percent. It’s non-negotiable.”

While our diplomats are doing their work in New York, some political charlatans back in Jakarta have been making unsubstantiated comments on the media. A comedian-turned-politician by the name of Dedi Gumelar just recently said that science and social science should be eliminated from the curriculum of Indonesian elementary schools. He said,

“In kindergarten, learning how to count and read should be prohibited because that’s the time to play and know nature empirically.”

I cringed.