Israel is using brutal military force against unarmed innocent Palestinians in Gaza with impunity. Unlike in the past, this time we don’t even hear “the collective voice of the Muslim World” on the OIC forum. After 1967 Arab-Israeli war, OIC was established primarily to contain Israel’s aggressive and expansionist policies in the Middle East. However, in the face of rising Arab Nationalism in Middle East, ‘Pan Islamism’ has been eclipsed by ‘Pan Arabism’, making the Arab League more vocal and active in the political and economic affairs of the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia is generally considered as the informal leader of the Muslim World. Regrettably, instead of leading the Ummah, Saudi Arabia along with its satellite Gulf States has resorted to protect their dynastic monarchies and autocratic regimes by establishing organizations like Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Peninsula Shield Force. Presently, there is a visible sectarian polarization in the Middle East leading the formation of two opposing Iran and Saudi blocks. Almost all the Arab countries are enjoying cordial relations with Israel!

Only Iran is vocal against Israel, and supported by Iran, the Lebanon-based Islamic resistance group Hezbollah is also considered a serious potential threat to Israel. In the form of various economic sanctions, Iran has paid heavily for its anti-Israel stance. It is quite ironic that an Ajam (non-Arab) has taken a firm stand for a purely Arab cause! It is quite unfortunate that instead of supporting Iran, Saudi Arabia and its allies are openly and aggressively pursuing an anti-Iran policy.

Saudi Arabia and Israel have become a sort of strategic partners in the Middle East sharing a common enemy, Iran. Due to rivalries and conflicts among the Muslims states, the balance of power has considerably tilted in favour of Israel. We should not blame Israel for attacking innocent Palestinians as we Muslims are not united.

MOHSIN RAZA MALIK,

Lahore, July 20.