Israel wants dialogue with Indonesia, Malaysia

Israel would like a dialogue with Indonesia and Malaysia in order to work together on problems in the Middle East, the Israeli ambassador to Singapore said Friday. The two Southeast Asian countries with predominantly Muslim populations so far have refused to consider diplomatic relations with Israel, a stance that Ambassador Ilan Ben-Dov called "absurd." Ben-Dov spoke to The Associated Press a day after a meeting of Muslim leaders in Malaysia condemned "Israeli aggression" in Lebanon. During the three-week conflict in the Middle East, anti-Israel protests have broken out in Malaysia and Indonesia, with some demonstrators volunteering to go fight the Jewish state.