Photo Credit: Yossi Aloni / Flash 90
Minister Israel Katz

The world’s largest Muslim-majority nation is set to normalize relations with the Jewish State, according to a report Thursday by the Ynet news outlet.

The deal was reportedly reached after three months of secret talks between Indonesia, Israel and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which the Jakarta government wants to join, and which Israel belongs to.


After weeks of talks, the OECD and Indonesia agreed that Jakarta would have to establish diplomatic ties with Israel prior to the vote to approve its entry to the organization.

Indonesia has opposed Israel’s military operation in Gaza that followed the invasion and war launched by Hamas on October 7. Jakarta also supported South Africa’s lawsuit against Israel at the International Court of Justice accusing Israel of genocide.

Earlier this week, however, for the first time an Indonesian aircraft participated in an airdrop of humanitarian aid into Gaza. It is also the first time an Indonesian aircraft has flown through Israeli airspace.

“I want to sincerely thank you for our very constructive discussions over the past few weeks and for Israel’s important decision to allow talks between Indonesia and the OECD regarding its joining the organization,” OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann wrote to Foreign Minister Israel Katz in a formal letter notifying him of the agreement.

“As discussed with you and Prime Minister Netanyahu, the precondition of the start of diplomatic relations prior to any decision to invite Indonesia as a member of the organization is included as a clause in the OECD Council’s official conclusions for the talks … As we discussed, this process will have a positive long-term impact, so it was crucial to allow the process to begin,” he added.

New membership in the OECD requires the establishment of diplomatic relations with all of the organization’s 38 member states, in addition to unanimous approval of the application.

It’s not a simple process. Indonesia’s legislation, policies and regulations will have to undergo review by 26 different committees — a process that could take up to three years — before receiving approval to join the OECD. Each of those committees will include an Israeli expert who will have the right to veto Indonesia’s accession if the country fails to make good on its promise to normalize ties with the Jewish State.

“I am pleased to announce the Council has officially agreed to the clear and explicit early conditions according to which Indonesia must establish diplomatic relations with all OECD member countries before any decision is made to admit it to the OECD,” Cormann wrote two weeks ago in a letter approved by Indonesia before it was sent to Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz.

“Furthermore, any future decision to accept Indonesia as a member of the organization will require unanimous agreement among all member countries, including Israel. I am convinced that this provides you with assurance at this crucial point,” the letter read.

In response, Katz sent a letter back to Cormann, welcoming the news.

“I share your expectation that this process will constitute a change for Indonesia, as I anticipate a positive change in its policy toward Israel, especially abandoning its hostile policy toward it, leading the path to full diplomatic relations between all sides,” Katz wrote.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.