OIC rebuked for inaction on Palestinians’ plight

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Sunday strongly condemned barbaric Israeli attacks on Palestinians and warned about dangerous consequences of the deliberate inflammation of religious sensibilities and provocation of Palestinians and the Islamic Ummah (Nation).

A virtual meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the 57-member OIC was held in which the forum adopted a resolution to "discuss the aggression by Israel, the occupying power, in the Palestinian territories, in particular, Al-Quds Al-Shareef (East Jerusalem)".

Tellingly, the political and religious leaders gathered in Karachi, Pakistan, to protest Israeli attacks on Gaza, regretted the mere "lip servicing" by Muslim leaders, mainly the Arab world and the Organization of Islamic Countries against Israeli atrocities. This continuing inaction, they said, has encouraged the Zionist state to evict Palestinians from their lands.

The past week has seen some of the worst violence across Israel and the Palestinian territory since the 2014 war in Gaza, with militants launching missiles and Israel pounding the blockaded coastal strip home to two million people with heavy fire. At least 188 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza with 1,230 people wounded. Eight people in Israel have been killed.

“The massacre of Palestinian children today follows the purported normalization,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said. “This criminal and genocidal regime has once again proven that friendly gestures only aggravate its atrocities.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu joined Zarif in criticizing the normalization, though Israel maintains diplomatic ties with Ankara. “There are a few who have lost their moral compass and voiced support for Israel,” he said. “If there are half-hearted statements within our own family, how could we criticize others? Who will take our words seriously?”

Cavusoglu also called for an international protection mechanism for Palestinian civilians and told the OIC that Israel should be held accountable for war crimes and that the International Criminal Court could play a role.

Zarif accused Israel of “genocide and crimes against humanity”. “Make no mistake: Israel only understand the language of resistance and the people of Palestine are fully entitled to their right to defend themselves,” Zarif said.

Palestinian FM slams countries that normalized ties with Israel

As Muslim nations slammed Israel for "barbaric" attacks against Palestinians, Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki Sunday criticized countries that moved to normalize relations with Israel last year.

"Normalization and running towards this colonial Israeli system without achieving peace and ending the Israeli occupation of Arab and Palestinian lands represents support for the apartheid regime and participation in its crimes," Maliki told an emergency meeting of foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

"This colonial occupation must be confronted, dismantled, ended, and banned. The recently accelerated normalization will not have an impact on the sentiments of the Arab world or change their assessment."

The deadly flare-up of violence of Israel against Palestinians has embarrassed countries – Sudan, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain – that moved to normalize relations with the Jewish state.

The OIC's virtual meeting was hosted by Saudi Arabia, which has not formally normalized ties with Israel but is known to maintain clandestine relations.

The latest bloodshed, just as Muslims were celebrating the end of the holy month of Ramadan, has put Israel's new Arab partners on the back foot, prompting them to turn to critical rhetoric less than a year after they signed normalization agreements.

The so-called Abraham Accords swept away decades of consensus and were condemned as "treason" by Palestinian leaders who feared they undercut their demands for a homeland.

They were struck at the urging of then U.S. President Donald Trump, who hailed the "dawn of a new Middle East" as his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner dismissed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a mere "real estate dispute."

Reem al-Hashimy, UAE's minister of state for international cooperation, spoke at the meeting but did not address the criticism, only calling for a halt to the violence and not specifically blaming Israel for the troubles.

Meanwhile, during the U.N. Security Council meeting, Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour wondered how many Palestinian lives it would take for the international community to intervene. The conflict, he said, isn't between quarrelling neighbors; it's colonialism.

"There is no people on Earth that would tolerate this reality. Israel keeps saying, 'Put yourselves in our shoes,' but they aren't wearing shoes, they are wearing military boots," Mansour said. "Why not put yourself in our shoes? What would you do if your country was occupied? What would you do to achieve independence? How many Palestinians killed is enough for condemnation? We know one Israeli is enough, but how many Palestinians?"

—Abdus Sattar Ghazali is the Chief Editor of the Journal of America ( email: