chapter  9
23 Pages

The Republic of Indonesia and Israel

Asia's Muslim nations are home to a sizeable number of the continent's population. Indonesia, the largest Muslim state in the world, whose population at the end of the twentieth century was 210 million, outnumbers all the Arab states combined; in addition, there are the Muslim populations of Pakistan and Bangladesh, each of which has more than 110 million; Malaysia where there are 18 million; and such smaller countries as Brunei and the Maldives. Among Muslim countries in Asia, some have exhibited extreme enmity toward Israel and have been active partners in the Arab anti-Israel campaign. In India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Thailand there are substantial Muslim minorities who have influenced the pro-Arab foreign policy of their countries, particularly regarding relations with Israel. Other countries in Asia have Muslim minorities, but their impact is not felt in the sphere of relations with Israel.