Beggars demand to be choosers: Indonesia furious with Australia

Caption: The kind of mutual respect that only half a billion dollars a year can buy. (Photo by Nurcholis Anhari Lubis / Getty Images)

Australia hands over about half a billion dollars in foreign aid to Indonesia every year. Exactly why isn?t apparent: Indonesia is one of the highest-GDP nations on earth, only slightly behind Australia.

Meanwhile, in return for our generosity, Australians get the privilege of having to constantly dance around the hypersensitivities of yet another glass-jawed Muslim nation.

Now we?re being told how to conduct our foreign policy. Quote:

Furious messages apparently sent from Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to Marise Payne warning that relocating Australia?s Israeli embassy to Jerusalem would ?slap Indonesia?s face? and ?affect bilateral relations? has exposed the depth of anger in Jakarta over the potential policy shift and the risks to Australia?s most important regional relationship. End of quote.

Sorry, New Zealand: apparently you’re just not important. Maybe the government just got sick of your prime minister begging for some refugees. Quote:

A screenshot of the Whatsapp messages, obtained last night by Channel 7, shows a series of four terse messages reportedly sent by Ms Retno, which began: ?Is this really necessary to do this on Tuesday? ? the day she was scheduled to meet visiting Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki.

?It will be a really big blow.

?It will slap Indonesia?s face on the Palestine issue.?

The series ends with the warning: ?This will affect bilateral ?relations.? End of quote.

Fine. Send back the aid money, then.

It?s telling that Indonesia?s latest tanty has been triggered by moves to relocate our Israeli embassy to the actual capital of Israel. Quote:

Ms Retno formally summoned Australia?s ambassador to Jakarta, Gary Quinlan, to a meeting late on Tuesday to convey Indonesia?s ?serious concerns? over the possible embassy relocation, which has created fresh strains in a historically temperamental relationship just as the two countries are poised to sign a landmark free-trade deal.

Indonesia, a steadfast supporter of the Palestinian state, has warned Australia against following the US lead in relocating Australia?s Israel embassy. End of quote.

So, we?re being asked ? no, told ? to side with a state run by Islamic terrorists, rather than the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. Quote:

It will also likely affect relations with neighbouring Malaysia, where prime minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim said yesterday he would expect ASEAN to lodge a ?very, very strong protest against the Australian government? if it went ahead with the move. End of quote.

Malaysia: another Muslim nation; one which bars Israeli passport holders from entering.

These guys really have a bee in their bonnet about Jews.