OIC: Good At Condemnations
One of the worst scars of British colonialism that is haunting certain populations and is a reason of destabilisation in the region even today is the creation of the state of Israel on the Palestinian lands. The story of shrinking Palestinian territories is a telling of incompetency of the Muslims states and hypocrisy of international community.
However, the occupation of Palestine remains one of the only issues on which the Muslim countries put all their differences aside and univocally argue for a Palestinian state. American president Trump’s remark on Jerusalem has once again brought the Muslim world together. In the emergency summit convened by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the final statement declared East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestinian state, while inviting all other countries of the world to recognise the Palestinian state and East Jerusalem as its capital. While the language used by the summit is strong and the decision to remove the US as an arbiter in the peace process is a long overdue one, the OCI however, failed to agree on taking any concrete measure against Israel or America.
One can identify several problems at the last meeting of OIC. The issues if left unresolved will only tar the strong condemnation of the resolution and the commitment made by the participants to keep the US out of any future peace process. The failure of the summit to take any concrete steps in the form of sanctions, initiatives or punitive measures is a reflection of the weakness of the organisation. The summit even fails to initiate any movement on the model of Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement (BDS) that is gaining support in different layers of European society.
Another important highlight of the summit was the failure of Saudi King or the Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman –who enjoys good terms with Trump’s administration and family– to attend the meeting. The Saudi crown prince, obsessed with the modernisation of Saudi Arabia, does not want to vex the U.S. The absence of Saudi leader from OIC’s meeting raises the question whether Arab countries that enjoy good relations with the US will sever their ties to support the Palestinian people in their struggle for a homeland? Considering the past record of Egypt and UAE, it is hard to imagine so.
Pakistani Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in his address represented and conveyed not only the sentiments of Pakistani people on the issue but also of many Palestinians. Taking a principled stance, Khaqan Abasi urged the world to recognise independent Palestine on the basis of pre-1967 borders and urged Muslim leaders to set aside their differences to build a stronger ‘Ummah’, both spiritually and as a political bloc. As the results of the OIC summit show, that reality remains a distant dream.