“When bad times come,” they say, “the clarity of thought is gone.”

I am afraid this is happening to us. Our minds are clouded, our vision is distorted – we are suffering from total disorientation.

We must think of others, but shouldn’t we be thinking about ourselves first? How wise is it to fight others’ battle while we are at war ourselves? How wise is it to be charitable toward others, while our own people are still in need of charity?

Our hearts go for the Palestinians, and mind you Palestinians are not all Muslims – many of them are Christians too. Our hearts bleed for Kashmiris, both Muslim and Hindu Kashmiris. We care for the Lebanese, the Shiah and the Sunni, the Christian Orthodox as well as other Christian sects there. We support all just causes, and we reject injustice wherever it happens.

We want to help them all, but before that we must help ourselves first. How wise is it to collect money for them, while in our own country, millions of our brothers and sisters are in need of help?

One of our politicians, and I thank God that there are not many of them, considers Palestinian Issue as something that can help us unite as a nation. To quote him in Indonesian as it appears on both, the politician’s website as well his party’s: “Apa yang terjadi di Palestina adalah dalam konteks nasionalisme di Indonesia, justru akan bisa mempererat beragam komponen bangsa, untuk menegaskan kembali tentang komitmen kita terhadap UUD 45”

If I rightly understand what he is trying to tell us: “What happens (or, what is happening) in Palestine, in the context of Indonesian Nationalism, indeed can unite (or, strengthen the ties between) the different components of the nation, to reinstate our commitment to the 1945 Constitution.” Forgive my poor translation; I am trying to make it “literally” as correct as possible.

We care for the Palestinians. Their plight and suffering make us shed tears of blood. But, do we need a foreign issue to unite us as a nation?

Our people, our children – the innocent children – are made to participate in demonstrations where foreign flags are either burnt or waved. Have we done something to make our children aware of our glorious past as well as mistakes made in the past out of our ignorance? No, we have not done that. Our national history, culture and issues are not as important as the foreign history, foreign culture and foreign issues.

Some time back I met with an Israeli.
I was criticizing their foreign policy, to which he responded very calmly: “Do you know why the Palestinian Issue is not resolved?”

Of-course I knew, at least I thought so, “The State of Israel is not willing to resolve it.”

He smiled, “Our willingness is of little significance.
We are a small state, surrounded by the Arabs. We are just like”, forgive me for the vulgarity, but I must quote his words, “pubic hair on the Arab body. They can shave us anytime, why don’t they do that? Why can’t they do that?”

And, he challenged me, “When you find the answer, you will be surprised…..”

It took me quite some time to find the answer.
And, when found it did surprise me! The Palestinian Issue is not an independent issue. It is an interdependent issue with so many other world issues. I am not sure how many of our politicians are aware of the “deals” between the colonial powers of yesteryear and the Middle Eastern states? I am not sure how many of us are familiar with the “real” history of World War I and World War II and what actually triggered the wars?

In our ignorance, we keep blaming the Americans, the Zionist Israelis and their allies – how many of us are aware that the people of America, the people of Israel and the so called allies of theirs are held as hostage by “certain powers”? How many of us are aware that even those states in their entirety are mortgaged to such powers? How many of our politicians saving their hard and “ill”-earned money in US-Currency actually know that US-Currency is not backed by the Government of USA, but by a consortium of private banks?

Our public, our people, and our politicians, both are ignorant of the “real” core issues. And, therefore they can easily be distracted. Unfortunately, such distraction can be disastrous to the country.

We have suffered much because of our ignorance.
Therefore, we must first of all deal with our ignorance. This ignorance must go. We must get rid of it. “Political Awareness” – this is the need of the hour. Fortunately, we live in “technologically correct” period of time. Thanks to the Telecommunication and Information Tools available, we can now know almost everything about everyone.

Before selecting any party, before voting for someone – make a thorough study. Internet is like the All-Seeing Eye of the Egyptian Deity Horus. No information can really be withheld from it. Find out the vision and the mission of all our parties.

Political parties must be solely committed to the social and economical welfare of the people. “Justice for all” should be their motto, not their logo “alone”. Above all, their priorities must be set right. Indonesia and It’s People must be their First and Foremost Priority. And, Service to Motherland – their Prime Concern.