We live in a region where the tide of current events ebbs and flows across the Arab peoples, where tensions rise and ease, and where conflict evolves and dissipates across these ancient lands. But throughout, there is one issue that endures, a persistent wound that tears at the fabric of our common bonds — Palestine.
For more than seven decades, the Palestinian people have endured the theft of their lands, the loss of their homes, and pain of being spread to the wind in a diaspora of the desperate craving for peace and justice. Since Nakba was inflicted on Palestine, they have become oppressed on their farms, in their villages and towns; refugees dependent on the brotherhood of Arab, Islamic and humanitarian agencies; a Palestinian people who have resisted their Israeli interlopers with every breath taken.
Make no mistake, the issue of Palestine is fundamental to every Arab, every Muslim, every person of reason who sees the infractions and injustices inflicted daily on its people. And there can be no peace until the issue of Palestine is fully resolved in a fair and just manner to the satisfaction of all Arabs. That has always been the key tenet and indeed remains so until the day comes when Palestine regains its freedom and stands as a nation, its yoke of Israeli repression cast aside.At the annual Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit, held in Abu Dhabi over the weekend, its commitment to Palestine’s freedom and justice was renewed, a key focus of group that represents some 57 nations and more than 1.8 billion people.
The OIC reaffirmed that the Palestinian issue is a central issue to both the Arab and the Muslim nations, and it reiterated its intent to find a comprehensive and permanent solution and to establish an independent Palestinian state based on the borders of June 4, 1967, and East Jerusalem as its capital. The OIC representatives also condemned all Israeli violations against the Palestinian people, its arbitrary measures, its repressive policies, its attempts to arbitrarily change international agreements on the rights and lands of Palestinians, its colonisation policies and its attempts to thwart any and every reasonable and just effort to bring peace to Palestine and achieve a two-state solution.
The administration in Washington, as part of its hand-in-hand policies with Israel, has withdrawn funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA), with Arab nations and others stepping in to bridge that critical funding gap. At the weekend, the OIC confirmed its continued support of UNWRA and encouraged others to do likewise. The Palestinian cause will never be abandoned, its people never forgotten. The flame of justice burns bright, so too the fires of resistance.