The OIC has thus far held grand conferences on the Palestinian issue without any fruitful result. It has desperately failed to craft pragmatic mechanism to implement findings of its plethora of conferences held time and again since its inception in 1969. Now, it seems that the Palestinians will face more problems and persecutions because the Middle East is gripped by political turmoil, rampaging militancy and ongoing Shia- Sunni schism which have menacingly reached its height. Such unfolding issues will further make the OIC impotent and divided, thus making it unable to resolve the lingering Palestinian independence issue. The Israel state will take advantage of the polarization and division amongst the Muslim countries to further expand its imperialistic designs in Palestine.
Why has the OIC thus far failed to find a viable solution to the long-lasting Palestinian issue since its inception in 1969? Historically speaking, two major regional powers, Saudi Arabia and Iran, had remained American strategic and economic partners till 1979. In the meantime, some Zionist political, economic and military lobbies had used effectual tactics to influence US Congressional legislative acts against the independence of Palestine and in favour of Israel regional expansionism.
The year of 1979 brought about the Islamic Revaluation in Iran and fateful Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The House of Saud became apprehensive about the Iranian revolution and its spill-over effects on the Middle East. The Saudi fear resulted in saber-rattling, bellicosity and regional assertiveness between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Since 1979, Iran with its regional supporters has been at loggerheads with the bloc led by Saudi Arabia. The divergences and differences between these two blocs have been a major straitjacket at the meeting of the OIC organized to discuss the festering Palestinian issue.
The OIC is an ineffective gathering of Muslims leaders to have some recessionary activities. Unlike Nato, it is not incumbent upon OIC’s member states to consider an attack on any member as an assault on them of them and respond accordingly. The organisation also does not possess a well-trained army possessing deterrent capability against any threat. Due to these underlying reasons, the US, Israel and India have annexed Muslim countries with impunity. The OIC did not and does not have the courage and guts to respond militarily to the continuing Israeli occupation of the Palestinian lands.
The Arab Spring, the rise of rampaging Daesh and the Iran nuclear deal have further widened the increasing gulf between the regional Muslim countries, thus further complicating the Palestinian matter. The government in Egypt and Saudi Arabia deem Hamas as a terrorist group aligned with the Egyptian Muslims Brotherhood. Both Egypt and Saudi Arabia remain quite on Israeli crackdowns and spree of bloodlettings of the innocent Palestinians and leaders of Hamas. On the other side, Iran along with Hezbollah provides both military and financial assistance to Hamas against Israel. Moreover, the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia on the Syrian civil war, Yemen crisis and instability in Iraq have instigated more obstructive issues for the OIC to resolve the Palestinian issue.
The OIC should be reorganised so as to make it powerful and effectual in all spheres of international affairs. On the political front, the organisation should be restructured in line with ASEAN. On the economic front, the European replica should be adopted. More importantly, all the Muslim countries should shun acrimony and divergences amongst themselves and gather the courage to work jointly till sorting out the lingering issues.
— The write is freelance columnist based in Karachi.