Kudos to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan for standing up for the most hapless and wretched people on earth, declaring Jerusalem as the “red line” for Muslims and called Israel “an occupying state” and “a terror state”. The Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has declared East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. Actions speak louder than words as the aphorism goes. However, the reverse is usually true in international politics but only when it’s meant. Upon looking into the composition of the OIC, I truly had the Oh I see moment.
The two confessional states in the world created in the name of religion are Pakistan and Israel. The founders of both the countries were not the most devout and religious people on earth. It is well known that the great leader Jinnah didn’t see things from the prism of Islam. Likewise, Ben Gurion and Moshe Dayan were not devout Jews.
Today, the leading scholars voicing concerns for Palestinians are not Muslims. The leading critics of Israel include Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein, both of which are Jewish by birth and do not see politics or scholarship from the lens of religion. They are ardent advocates of Palestinians’ rights. One of my friends and a fierce critic of Israel is David Barsamian.
The irony is that despite the existence of deep sympathy globally for the cause of Palestinians, nothing good happens for them only because citizens of just one nation do not know the truth. It’s what propaganda does. In the wake of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, OIC is also waking up and the first probe it sent down its consciousness was embraced with no surge of brilliance. Given that tit for tat style Jerusalem recognition, one can’t give a closer look at the member states of OIC and not laugh.
I critique the declaration of OIC not on legal or moral ground, but rather on the basis of pragmatism and truth. First of all, it would be interesting to know how many Americans actually know that Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Togo, and Suriname are countries and not some famous chess players or may be Game Of Thrones characters. These are OIC member states.
Other member states include Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), UAE, Qatar, Yemen, Iran, Syria, Pakistan, and so forth. Only Iran and Syria might care about the OIC declaration. Syria, because it has been insulted and sanctioned by the West. Syria has so far proven to be regime change resistant. Iran, well because it always likes to stand up to the Great Satan. Iran is also a victim of a vicious Israeli campaign against its nuclear program, including the Stuxnet virus and assassinations of its great nuclear scientists. KSA has been an American ally since 1940s when the Americans realised that the region represents “a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history.” The two allies of convenience-since there is nothing common between them except their enemies-have together created and nurtured Islamic terrorism. They have just recently signed a $110 billion arms deal. It doesn’t require extra talent to decipher whether KSA would stand up to America for Palestinians.
When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1991, the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) had supported him. Palestinian support left a bad taste angering the Saudis because they feared to be Saddam’s next target for invasion. Around that time began the early steps toward a secret dialogue between KSA and Israel. The recent leaked cable confirms that relations between the Wahhabi and Jewish Zionist states existed. The leak is about their collaboration in destabilising Lebanon by stoking tensions in the region and scapegoating Hezbollah and Iran for it. KSA is too entangled in intelligence sharing and security matters with Israel for the brutal murder of Palestinians to register a blip on its radar.
Erdogan is at the forefront of recognising Jerusalem as Palestinian capital. Turkey is but a different animal. Seymour Hersh in his book The Killing Of Osama Bin Laden mentioned Erdogan’s meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office where Erdogan stressed on attacking Syria while waving his finger at Obama, which angered him. So, an alliance between Assad and Erdogan is unlikely. Furthermore, Turkey is a Nato member. It would be very interesting to know what Erdogan would do if any Nato member state comes under attack by any Palestinian terror group. Collective defence (Article 5) is at the heart of Nato treaty. Likewise, if Turkey decides to install its embassy in East Jerusalem and comes under an Israeli attack and that can hardly be a hypothetical given Israel’s history, will Nato come to Turkey’s defence against Israel. Is Nato’s collective defence sacrosanct enough for US to attack its battle tested cop on the beat?
By any stretch of imagination, would be it realistic to expect Qatar to do the magic. Qatar is home to AL Udeid Air Base, which is the largest US military base in Mideast, hosting some 11000 US military personnel, accommodating up to 120 aircrafts. This US Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Al Udeid Air Base, provides command and control of air power throughout Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and 17 other nations. The reality is when strong nations don’t want to do something, they stick to the law and vice versa. When weak nations don’t want to do something, they stick to emotional rhetoric with words like ‘this is not helpful to achieve peace’ and so forth. Passing resolutions is a favourite tactic too. These things are only done, they don’t really mean anything.