Time for OIC to act

THE Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is all set to meet in Istanbul on Wednesday in a bid to coordinating a response to the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital — a move that has triggered a wave of anger in Asia, Middle East and North Africa with the European countries also voicing serious concerns, warning it will undermine all prospects of peace in the Middle East region.
Over the years, we have seen the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan taking a bold stance on matters involving Muslim Ummah including that of Palestinian. The same strong reaction came from him even before President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital describing the status of the city, whose eastern sector Palestinians see as the capital of their future state, as a red line for Muslims. Indeed Erdogan has come in the fore as a champion of the Palestinian cause and spearheaded the Muslim reaction to the US decision by convening the OIC meeting in Istanbul to formulate a joint plan of action. Needless to say the OIC is meeting at the most difficult times and it needs to chalk out a firm action while rising above mere passage of condemnation resolutions. Though we do not want any confrontation with the US or Israel but the OIC should formulate a befitting response implying that the Muslims are not only united but are ready to protect the rights of the Palestinian people who are facing oppression at the hands of Israeli forces over the last many decades. Fallout of the US decision, as was expected, has already started showing its violent impact as on Sunday about 157 armless Palestinian people were injured in clashes with the Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza. It is time that all the OIC countries practically demonstrate that they stand by the Palestinian people while rising above mere lip service or rhetoric. Erdogan has already warned of cutting ties with Israel. We understand such a decision should collectively come from the OIC platform in order to give a strong message of unity and unanimity.

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