A day of ignominy descended on the Muslim world when one of the three holiest sites of Islam was confiscated by Israel with the complicity and connivance of the US, when President Donald Trump announced the country’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Even during his campaign, he had pledged to recognise Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.
From the time he assumed the presidency, Trump has shown his distaste and abhorrence of Islam and Muslims. He indicated this during his campaign, and he instituted an executive order to bar Muslims and refugees from designated Islamic countries from entering the US.
US foreign policy has always been pro-Israel irrespective of whether a Republican or a Democrat is the sitting president, from the time it and Britain usurped Palestinian lands to set up the Jewish state of Israel.
What Trump did was in furtherance of this pro-Israel US policy. The only difference is that Trump, lacking in diplomatic experience and protocol, merely stated this long-standing agenda in a rather undiplomatic and crude manner without the finesse of Barack Obama or the intellect of John Kennedy, the humility of Jimmy Carter or the regality of Ronald Reagan.
Being a novice in foreign affairs, he does not know how to couch his language in diplomatic parlance and sensibilities. He appears to be stark and crude in proclaiming US support for Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Israel has all along been funded by the US, which has supplied it with armaments and other financial aid, and is committed to coming to its aid in the face of any aggression. Further, the US has vetoed all resolutions and sanctions against Israel and has overlooked Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands and its people, and the atrocities this rogue state committed on this defenceless people. As a result, Israel has contravened all United Nations sanctions and resolutions with impunity.
The US’ agenda is the control of the Middle East, especially its oil resources, and it is using Israel as its proxy to realise its objective. In fact, the US has direct or indirect control over many Middle Eastern countries through the sale of military assets, investments and trade. With its nuclear capability and the most advanced military assets supplied by the US, Israel reigns supreme in the Middle Eastern region. An unstable Middle Eastern region is to the advantage of the US and Israel.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which is a body to safeguard Islamic interests, reacted to Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by having an emergency summit of 57 Islamic leaders in Istanbul, Turkey, hosted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The summit denounced Trump’s declaration and proclaimed East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. And Mohammad Abbas, the Palestinian president, has rejected the US as a mediator in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for the obvious reason that US is biased towards Israel and prejudiced against Muslim countries.
One wonders what would be the outcome of this summit and its various declarations and pronouncements. The OIC does not have a good track record of championing Islamic interests and is only good at rhetoric and showing superficial unity among Islamic nations, each of which have their own agenda that may not be consonant with the aspirations of the OIC.
It will flaunt its rhetoric but eventually this will fade. The OIC has never been able to function as a solid bloc to thwart atrocities or threats against Islam and its member countries.
For one, many of its members are trapped and beholden to the US for investments, military assets, technology, trade and subsidies. The US has a stranglehold on many of Islamic countries, especially the Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian countries.
Some Muslim leaders have vehemently opposed Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but at the same time asserted that because of their multi-pronged engagement with the US, they can still work with it in respect of other matters, specifically investments and purchase of assets and technology. This, they contend, is a pragmatic approach. With such an attitude and culture, the OIC action against Trump and the US is not going to amount to much.
For the US has managed its lackeys well. Trump knows this as he has held court and audience with Islamic leaders who trooped in to pay homage to him, while others feted and regaled him and committed colossal finances for the economic wellbeing of the US.
In the unlikely event of the OIC taking the military option against Israel to save Jerusalem, Trump, like all Jewish-backed US presidents, will not hesitate to aid Israel to annihilate and humiliate the defenders of Islam.
At the same time, when push comes to shove, some Islamic nations which enjoy US patronage, may opt out of this engagement or offer only a token presence.
And as usual, the United Nations that only offers a platform to air grievances and conflicts without any concrete outcome, will assume its normal stance of nonchalance in submission to the dictates of the US.
The fate of Jerusalem is now in abeyance but in reality, Israel is in full control of this holy city for Muslims, and Christians as well. Trump’s recognition is only to state the obvious, the fait accompli. Unless there is a cataclysmic upheaval that changes the political equation, the status quo will remain.
Written by Mohamed Ghouse Nasuruddin.