December 23, 2006

Israel Gov't launches Indonesian Web site to spur dialog with Muslims

The Foreign Ministry on Monday launched a Web site in the Indonesian language in an effort to promote dialogue with citizens of the world's most populous Muslim country. The site includes news articles as well as information on the Israeli economy, culture and religion. The Indonesian site is part of continuing efforts by Israel to engage Muslim nations. Indonesia and Malaysia, the two Southeast Asian countries with predominantly Muslim populations have refused to consider diplomatic relations with Israel." Although we are living in the information age, there is a lack of basic information about Israel in the Muslim world," Ilan Ben Dov, Israel's ambassador to Singapore, said in a statement about the launch of the Website. "Following talks that I have conducted with Indonesians from all walks of life, I have learned that there exists a great thirst for knowledge about Israel and its democratic, pluralistic, vibrant and multicultural society." Ben Dov has previously said Israel would like a dialogue with Indonesia andMalaysia in order to work together on problems in the Middle East.