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EDITORIAL: The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in the capital of the Gambia, Banjul, said all the right things but without showing real intention to deal with them. Expressing concern over Israel’s genocidal campaign in Gaza, its joint declaration issued on Sunday called for an “immediate and unconditional ceasefire” urging the global powers (which supply finances and deadly weaponry to the Zionist entity to carry out the genocide) to help stop the war on Gaza and ensure urgently needed supply of humanitarian aid to besieged enclave’s population.

It pressed for implementation of provisional measures ordered by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) also advocating the Palestinian people’s right to establish a “sovereign state with Al-Quds Al Sharif as its capital.” The pro forma declaration also reaffirmed continued political, moral and diplomatic support to the people in occupied Kashmir, and called upon the UN Security Council to take effective measures for the implementation of its resolutions on the disputed region, expressing concern over the “systematic persecution of Muslims and other minorities in India”.

Sadly, for the 57-member organisation of Muslim countries, it has nothing to show for its own efforts to halt the genocide of Gaza Palestinians. It was a non-Muslim country, South Africa, which approached the ICJ invoking the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the OIC has referred to. Another non-Muslim state, Nicaragua, brought a case against Germany for its violation of the Genocide Convention and humanitarian law in the Gaza Strip, arguing that by providing political, financial and military support to Israel, Germany was facilitating the commission of genocide by Israel.

Although in its verdict delivered last month, the court rejected Nicaragua’s request for provisional measures, but refused to accede to Germany’s contention about its “manifest lack of jurisdiction”, thereby indicating the case was not closed. Although the court’s rulings are binding, it has no means to enforce them. In any case, Israel emboldened by the ‘iron clad’ support of the US shrugs off all such directives by the ICJ, UN and international humanitarian organisations. Meanwhile, some Latin American countries have severed diplomatic relations with Israel over its war on Gaza. But the Muslim countries with diplomatic ties with the colonial settler state continue to maintain them.

Instead of highlighting the plight of the Gaza people, if the OIC sincerely wants to prevent genocide in Gaza, then it should back its words with practical measures. The least expected of its members is to break diplomatic and trade relations with Israel. More effectual can be oil embargo used in the 1970s. That though will have a devastating impact on countries like Pakistan at a time sanctions on Russia, because of its war in Ukraine, have been causing disruptions in the global economy. However, if Israel is not deterred, its war on Gaza can lead to a major conflagration. As a World Bank report has warned, escalation of the conflict in the Middle East could push global commodity markets into uncharted waters. Rather than pursuing individual interests, the leading lights in the OIC need to take meaningful action to deter Israel from what it is doing in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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Tariq Qurashi May 09, 2024 01:51pm
The Muslim countries should be ashamed of themselves for doing absolutely nothing! Some Latin American countries and South Africa have done more!
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