Arab And Muslim Countries Have Adopted A Passive Posture - This Helps Israel's Assault On Gaza

The Muslim countries collectively have failed miserably to influence the USA or the European nations to force Israel to engage in serious dialogue

Arab And Muslim Countries Have Adopted A Passive Posture - This Helps Israel's Assault On Gaza

It has now been 38 days since the Israeli brutal onslaught on the Gaza strip in retaliation for the Hamas attack on Israel on 07 October. The blitzkrieg launched by the Israeli armed forces has already taken the lives of 11,000 Palestinians and severely injured over 30,000 more. Today the Palestinians are facing a situation nothing short of genocide. 

Palestinians in Gaza today are without electricity, water supply, medicines or any form of civic amenities. The situation in Gaza has awakened the conscience of the world and today we find great demonstrations in every major country of the world showing support for Gaza and demanding an immediate ceasefire and help for the suffering populace of Gaza. 

Surprisingly, the 57 nations of the Muslim world are still in a state of deep slumber. Countries like the USA, UK, France and many others have vowed support and help for Israel but even in these countries there is a huge wave of public support for Gaza and condemnation of Israel. Yet, in the Muslim world, the leadership has confined itself to issuing statements and feeling sorry for the atrocities committed by Israel. The callous and indifferent attitude of the Muslim countries is not surprising, because many of them like Egypt, Jordan and Turkey have diplomatic relations with Israel and even Saudi Arabia was on the verge of a major breakthrough on this count before the Gaza situation exploded. 

Many Muslim countries are weak in democratic institutions – there are a number of monarchies, dictatorships, single-party states or dynastic rulers, and they are reluctant to show any support for Hamas for fear of destabilising their own rule. Hamas itself has a dubious commitment to any democratic principles, but is a strong believer in the establishment of a free and independent Palestinian state and the end of Israel. It must be remembered that Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood that took over control of the Gaza strip.

The Palestinians themselves never expected the Muslim countries to stand up in support, because many of them have very cordial diplomatic and trade relations with Israel. But there was a glimmer of hope that the atrocities committed by the Israeli forces will force the Muslim countries to act in a responsible and decisive manner and plan a joint response to Israel in support of the Palestinians. But alas it was hoping against hope: nothing of the sort has happened as yet. 

As Israel continues to bomb hospitals and refugee shelters and massacre women and children, the Muslim world has confined itself to statements of condemnation and appeals to the UN. The joint resolution issued after the summit meeting of the Arab League and the OIC in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is yet another rather shameful betrayal of the Palestinian nation faced with a genocide at the hands of a much powerful and better armed enemy. The inaction of the Muslim countries is nothing but an act of abetment and facilitation of Israel in its campaign of genocide. The leaders of Arab and Muslim majority countries met after the Palestinians had suffered over 11,000 casualties and yet could not even agree on a joint plan of action against the Israeli onslaught on Gaza. According to the media from the MENA region, some very influential Arab states prevented the adoption of joint concrete proposals against Israel and instead put forward rather vague clauses to confuse the issue. The apparently divisive suggestions included prohibiting the use of US and other military bases in Arab countries to supply Israel with weapons and ammunition, freezing Arab diplomatic, economic, security and military relations with Israel and threats to leverage oil and Arab economic capabilities to apply pressure on Israel to stop the ongoing attacks on Gaza. 

Despite engaging in its most brutal assault on an Arab territory since 2006, Israel has not been able to destroy the hold of Hamas on this area. Hamas has suffered many reverses in the past but has managed to survive and fight back with renewed power and zeal. Hamas enjoys strong support and sympathy among the people of Egypt, Iran, Jordan Syria and even Saudi Arabia – and so the regimes of all these countries have no option but to voice tacit support for Hamas even if it is confined to financial assistance. 

In its attempts to end Hamas rule in Gaza, the imposition of a blockade by Israel on the besieged territory is nothing but collective punishment in contravention of international laws and all canons of justice and morality. The forced evacuation of over a million Palestinians to the northern side of the Gaza Strip is reminiscent of what the Nazi regime did to the Jewish people of Europe during the Second World War. According to a UN report, 1.5 million Palestinians, constituting over 70% of Gaza’s population, and nearly 200,000 Israelis, have been internally displaced. Acute shortage of drinking water, food and fuel and other basic necessities of life in Gaza is making life unbearable for the residents. The health system is failing as hospitals are overburdened, also hit with frequent power breakdowns and acute shortage of medicines.

History is witness that all past resolutions by the Arab League and the OIC have not had any impact or forced Israel in any way to change its policies regarding the occupied Palestinians. The Muslim countries collectively have failed miserably to influence the USA or the European nations to compel Israel to engage in serious dialogue and thus find a political solution to the Arab Israel conflict. On the contrary, the Israel’s conflict with Hamas and its extremely hostile policy toward Palestinians has the solid backing of the US. This reinforces the impression that Washington wants to control the Middle East countries by supporting Israel.