Israeli, Indian moves pose serious challenge to OIC

By: Ashraf Mumtaz      Published: 05:37 PM, 18 May, 2020
Israeli, Indian moves pose serious challenge to OIC

The Islamic Ummah faces a new test with a “unity government” taking over in Israel which is determined to go ahead with a controversial plan to annex part of the occupied West Bank area as early as 1 July.

"It's time to apply the Israeli law, and write another glorious chapter in the history of Zionism," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of the Jewish settlements on the West Bank after taking oath for the next 18 months, after which he will be replaced by Benny Gantz, who is now the defence minister.

The illegitimate Jewish state’s plan for the Palestinian territories is similar to India’s August 2019 move through which it annexed Occupied Kashmir, although in the past it has been accepting them disputed before the United Nations. The Indian move had taken the international community by surprise and from day one the annexed territories have been converted into the world’s largest prison.

In fact, what India is doing to Kashmiris, Israel is doing to the Palestinians. Both the “Is” are anti-Muslim and also in coordination with each other.

But the OIC, the umbrella organization for the Ummah, is still undecided about its future course of action despite these two major challenges – which are like the test of Muslims’ faith.

The OIC leaders should hold an emergency meeting to discuss Israeli and Indian plans and work out a strategy to thwart them.

So far, they are not willing to give reaction from Islamic countries any weightage.

The foreign ministers of Arab countries at a recent video conference in Cairo had condemned the annexation plan as a “new war crime” against Palestinians.

Palestinians have also expressed outrage at Israel’s plans to cement its hold further on land it seized in the 1967 Middle East war, the territory they are seeking for a state.

Arab League secretary-general Ahmed Aboul Gheit accused Israel of “taking advantage of the global preoccupation with confronting the coronavirus epidemic to impose a new reality on the ground.”

“This step, if taken, would eliminate the possibility of embodying an independent, sovereign, geographically connected and viable Palestinian state. This step, if completed, would end the two-state solution,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki said during the meeting.

The Arab countries urged Washington to abide by UN resolutions and “withhold support for plans and maps of the Israeli occupation government woven under the cover of the so-called American-Israeli deal of the century,” a  statement issued after the meeting said.

However, the Jewish state remains unmoved.

The reason is that Israel’s annexation move is in line with US President Donald Trump's so-called "vision for peace" between Israel and the Palestinians, which was made public a few months ago. Mr Trump's plan also envisages a Palestinian state in about 70 per cent of the West Bank, all of Gaza, and with its capital on the fringes of East Jerusalem.

However, the Palestinians - who claim all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem - have rejected the plan as it denies them their rights.

Most of the international community considers the settlements illegal under international law.

On the other hand, India may go for any step against Pakistan to consolidate its position in occupied Kashmir. Prime Minister Imran Khan and even military leadership have repeatedly warned that enemy India could do anything to divert world attention. 

In these circumstances, Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan says an Indian attack on AJK cannot be ruled out.

“We are prepared and armed forces of Pakistan are prepared, the nation of Pakistan and people in Azad Kashmir are prepared to frustrate any evil designs of India,” President Masood said in an interview with a foreign news agency.

He said 900,000 Indian troops are busy in massacring the Kashmiri youth in the disputed territory.

The AJK president, who also acted spokesman to Pakistan’s foreign office before being elected to the present office, said the occupation army has stepped up violations of the ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control (LoC), and now a campaign based on false allegations has been launched to create an environment of war against Pakistan.

There are reports that the European Union will make a diplomatic push to try to stop Israel going ahead with a plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, the bloc’s foreign policy chief says.

Josep Borrell has been quoted as saying the bloc would use “all our diplomatic capacities” to try to dissuade Israel from going ahead with the move, approved under US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan.

“We are in a dialogue with the responsible parties, including in Israel,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.

“We have always made it clear... that we are committed to the goal of a negotiated two-state solution, and that we believe that annexations are not compatible with international law.”

But there is little possibility of Israel reviewing its position on the plan.

The Ummah will have to consider some decisive steps to deal with a challenging situation. 

Categories : Opinion