We would like to increase Indonesian tourism to Israel, and for businesspeople in both nations to build relationships.
(Communicated by the Bureau of Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon)
Today, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon met with a delegation of high-level journalists from Indonesia. Although the two nations do not have diplomatic relations, the Deputy Foreign Minister said the delegation was important because it will hopefully expose the truth about Israel to Indonesians.
"Indonesia, as the nation with the largest Muslim population, has many commonalities with Israel and between the rich Indonesian and Jewish history," Ayalon explained. "It is trips like these that allow us to break the barrier for greater understanding. The attacks perpetrated in Bali, London and New York are no different to the terrorist attacks against Israelis."
"We would like to increase Indonesian tourism to Israel, which currently stands at 10,000 tourists a year, and for businesspeople in both nations to build relationships."
When asked how Israel could improve its image in Indonesia, the Deputy Foreign Minister suggested that each media organization should send a bureau chief to Israel to report locally. "This will provide the media organizations with a more balanced and nuanced understanding of the situation," Ayalon answered.
Ayalon also suggested that Indonesian experts to come to Israel to learn with and cooperate with their Israeli counterparts, especially with the Israeli humanitarian organization, MASHAV.