- Calls for Iran to abandon their subversive policies against Arab countries and give up their idea of dominating the region rang loud and clear.
- The communique reaffirmed the centrality of the question of Palestine and the issue of occupied Jerusalem to the Islamic nation.
- The Islamic Summit called for the complete withdrawal of Israel from the occupied Syrian Golan Heights and return “to the borders of 4 June 1967
The extraordinary series of summits called for by King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, which concluded in Makkah last Sunday, has highlighted a growing series of areas of concern that had to be addressed by all the participants.
Iran’s aggressive policies in the region were at the fore of discussions among GCC ministers. Calls for Iran to abandon their subversive policies against Arab countries and give up their idea of dominating the region rang loud and clear. Diplomacy was stressed, but if Iran was to ignore peaceful overtures, then other means including armed conflict may result, something no one in particular in the region is looking forward to.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, or the OIC, was also present in full force at the Makkah summits. The 14th Summit of the OIC focused on the Palestinian cause and reiterated the Palestinians’ right to statehood. This was spelt out in the final communique released by the 14th regular session of the “Hand in Hand toward the Future” Summit.
Their [Israeli] policies are eerily similar to those of the Nazi regime during Hitler’s reign in the last century, except more magnified as they are daily being exposed for their crimes...
The communique reaffirmed the centrality of the question of Palestine and the issue of occupied Jerusalem to the Islamic nation and reiterated the OIC’s “principled and continuous support at all levels for the Palestinian people to attain their inalienable national rights, including their right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital, and stressed the need to protect the right of return for refugees under resolution 194 and to face any denial of these rights with full force.”
The document also condemned and rejected any positions issued by international bodies or countries, which support the “prolongation of the occupation and expansionist settlement project at the expense of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, including the recognition by the US administration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
‘An attack on the rights of Palestinians’
The statement also rejected and condemned in the “strongest terms of any illegal and irresponsible decision recognising Jerusalem as the alleged capital of Israel,” adding that any country’s decision to recognise occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would be considered “null and void and constitutes an attack on the historical, legal and national rights of the Palestinian people and the Islamic world.”
The Islamic Summit also called for the complete withdrawal of Israel from the occupied Syrian Golan Heights and return “to the borders of 4 June 1967, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the Land for Peace legislation, the Madrid Peace Conference and the Arab Peace Initiative adopted by the Arab Summit in Beirut in 2002.” The OIC communique was widely welcomed in the Arab world.
The Israeli government must take note. This is the basis of all peace talks, and failure by Israel to recognise that the Arab and Muslim world would simply be ignored in their demands for a just peace where Palestinian rights are honoured would be an exercise doomed to failure.
Israel’s apartheid policies
It is obviously not something the Netanyahu government wanted to read in the OIC message for that would hinder their policy of ethnic cleansing and land robbing of Palestinian territory. Israel has adopted apartheid policies in recent years and has included the killing and maiming of innocent Palestinian women and children to its repertoire of terror against the legal owners of the land, specifically designed to drive them out.
Their policies are eerily similar to those of the Nazi regime during Hitler’s reign in the last century, except more magnified as they are daily being exposed for their crimes and yet the world stands muted and silent in the face of the continuing onslaught.
Perhaps Israel will begin to understand now that no peace is possible if those affected by their occupation are to remain subjugated as slaves in their own country, deprived of their basic rights and subject to daily assaults on their dignity.
Contrary to a popular misconception, we do not want to drive the Israelis into the sea. And neither are we willing to watch the Palestinians being driven into oblivion.
Tariq A. Al Maeena is a Saudi socio-political commentator. He lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Twitter: @talmaeena