Muslim world needs dynamic leadership
Since the start of the illegitimate occupation of Palestinian lands after the (in)famous Balfour Declaration, and especially after subsequent Arab-Israel conflicts; as in 1948 Zionist forces captured West Jerusalem, then the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights in 1967 and also forcibly annexed the East Jerusalem, international community has been condemning Israeli moves to consolidate the colonization through series of illegal settlements and various other infringements on the Arab properties. World community kept on criticizing Israel while it went on with its nefarious designs in Palestine, especially in the holy city of Jerusalem. But, no country, whether Muslim or Non-Muslim, dared severing ties with the Jewish state and no practical steps to teach Israel a lesson were witnessed. Realism prevailed and Israel by passing, ‘Jerusalem Law’ in 1980, declared the city “complete and united” as the capital of Israel. To avoid any unwanted reaction from ‘Arabs’, a resolution was framed by the United Nations (478) declaring the law ‘null and void’ to pacify the Palestinians and to convey the message that international community is not with the aggressor, but with the victims. But, of what use? Today, the owners of the land are stateless and aggressors are enjoying the freedom and authority as a complete nation-state on the occupied territories on the basis of their military prowess and under the security and economic umbrella of world powers.
On the other hand, the Arab Sheikhdoms now seem least interested in the freedom of the helpless Palestinians; they are now involved in a race to connect with Israel. Perpetual fear of the Jewish state and the terror of its military muscle, which was strengthened by the Arabs’ traumatic experience of wars and conflicts, have made them do so. Then, the division within the Muslims ranks is providing the Zionists a carte blanche to wreak havoc of their very liking. Israel, resultantly, doesn’t waffle in violating international law and other regional and global commitments it had made.
In March 2017, a report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), posited that “The weight of the evidence supports beyond a reasonable doubt the contention that Israel is guilty of imposing an apartheid regime on the Palestinian people,” concluding that “Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.” Israeli authorities got so furious over the UN report that they declared it “a Nazi propaganda publication that was strongly anti-Semitic”. Trump administration exerted such an extreme pressure on the organization to withdraw its report that Rima Khalaf the ESCWA’s Executive Secretary, the one ‘responsible for the study’ had to tender her resignation.
Similarly, the British Prime Minister Theresa May and representative of the people who never get tired of echoing the catchphrases like ‘oldest democracy’, ‘Magna Carta’, human rights, ‘unity in diversity’, the most ‘civilized nation’, etc., instead of hanging their heads in shame on the eve of 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, ‘felt pride’ that the British played such a crucial role in the creation of the State of Israel and pledged the nation’s support for a Jewish homeland.
This exposes the reality of their boastful claim of being the flag-bearers of human right and the guardians of the principle ‘live and let live’. All appears nothing but a crap.
Despite that the Jewish state fits the definition of an apartheid state: ‘inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them;’ it has managed its intransigence. Hence the theory that the world’s bigwigs want all the world bodies including the UN and international law to perform only in consolidating their colonial and imperialist designs and not to work independently in favour of any weaker entity once again stand proved. These acts have undermined the very objective of the creation of the world body and unfortunately, not for the first time; it has been used as a mere tool by world powers to further their interests. Resultantly, Israel has been extending its scope of action with each passing day and the world has, practically, remained a silent spectator; just offering a careful lip service. The United States, throughout its history has been sharing Israel’s sins and transforming what it is today, through uninterrupted aid packages. The due role of Muslim intelligentsia in exposing double standards of the West, and explaining with evidence that all these symbols and slogans are selective and exploitative – is solely lacking. To this, only nominal amount of resources have been poured.
The ‘Grand Deception’ orchestrated by Donald Trump and his cronies in favouring Zionists is historical and would leave a lasting mark. It is hard to deny that today’s Middle East is being ruled by the US through its cronies and puppets, while the Trump administration is playing in the hands of Zionists. So one can imagine the powers and freedom of action Zionists are enjoying today. Trump’s promises to the neoconservatives were not taken seriously as he was not the first American president to do so, but who would know that he really meant what he said of concessions and recognition to Israel. In this regard, when a resolution was due in the UN Security Council, in December 2016, to condemn Israeli settlement projects in the Palestinian territories as a “flagrant violation of international law” as it would “dangerously imperil the viability” of an independent state for the Palestinian, it was a member of Trump’s transition team who started lobbying for the Israel and tried to influence other UNSC members to stop the move. Muslim leaders neither had access to Security Council nor did they lobby to side the Council members with the cause.
Who was he? He was the co-director of a foundation that raised money for illegal Israeli settlements and the one who, in a meeting, had said that he doesn’t see any solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. He was nominated and trusted by Trump to strike some ‘ultimate peace deal’ between PLO and Israeli authorities. Yes, he was Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and one of his senior advisors. Many, including Arabs, commended Trump’s ‘vision’ and ‘seriousness’ when Kushner was bestowed with the assignment of garnering “peace” in Middle East. He is young and would infuse life in the issue. This is what he has done. He has been meeting with Israelis and PLO leadership and also with the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman. Although Trump never shied away from supporting and backing Netanyahu in his plans, particularly his efforts to expand the illegal settlements, Trump’s decision to appoint Kushner was earth-shattering and the one that flatly depicted his intentions.
The content of many of Kushner’s meetings, especially the one with the Saudi Crown Prince, has been kept secret. Prince Muhammed has been made so obsessed and overwhelmed with Iran’s growing expansion and influence that he appears to be ready to trade anything for Israeli assistance against Iran; for which Kushner is there to play the role of a mediator between KSA and the Jewish state. To Kushner’s credit, paranoid Crown Prince has, reportedly, tried to convince Mahmoud Abbas on Trump’s impending decision on Jerusalem, and offered him Abu Dis as the capital of Palestine. Even after the Trump’s final declaration on Jerusalem, Prince Muhammed bin Slaman opted to remain silent on the issue. It’s the wretchedness of the fate that the places which are considered the main centres of Muslims all over the world and are supposed to play the role of leadership and guidance for the whole Ummah, i.e. Makkah and Madina, their imams were not moved by Trump’s belligerence as they did not utter a single word on this dangerous development.
Iyad Ameen Abdullah Madani, a former Secretary-General of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which was established in reaction to the incident of arson in Al-Aqsa Mosque on August 21, 1969, admitted that the Arab states are literally unable to “take any practical steps to stop Israel from attacking Gaza.” How this body can protect the rights of Muslims when its leadership is so mentally subdued? The heads of these 57 countries ensured their presence when Trump gave them a call in Riyadh in his first foreign visit but when an emergency OIC meeting was convened by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, only 16 heads bothered to be there and the rest fulfilled the ‘responsibility’ by merely sending their representatives for this critical emergency gathering. This was the reason that when the OIC, after the Istanbul meet, declared to “recognise the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital,” it sent no ripples anywhere and Israeli PM simply said that “all these statements fail to impress us” knowing that many big fish of the Middle East are already on board on the issue.
People of Muslim countries are with the Palestinians but their leaders are treading their own paths and are guided by their vested interests. The leadership crisis being faced by the Muslims all over the world is the biggest reason behind the worthlessness of the Ummah on all their causes such as Palestine. Youth need to take charge of the affairs in the Muslim communities and when they will lead with renewed energy, vigour and vision; they will be able to play the role which is direly needed today to impede the arrest the continual decline of the Ummah.