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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 14-Dec-2017
14-Dec-17 World View -- Organization of Islamic Cooperation throws a temper tantrum over Jerusalem

Web Log - December, 2017

14-Dec-17 World View -- Organization of Islamic Cooperation throws a temper tantrum over Jerusalem

Palestinians disappointed by final communiqué of OIC Summit

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

Organization of Islamic Cooperation throws a temper tantrum over Jerusalem

A furious Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas shakes his finger on Wednesday as he makes a point (AFP)
A furious Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas shakes his finger on Wednesday as he makes a point (AFP)

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held an "extraordinary" meeting on Wednesday in Istanbul, Turkey, to protest last week's declaration by president Donald Trump to order the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel.

A furious Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas announced that because the United States is biased in favor of Israel, it will be shut out as a mediator in the peace process:

"The decision violated international law.

We shall not accept any role for the United States in the peace process. They have proven their full bias in favor of Israel.

Jerusalem is and will forever be the capital of the Palestinian state... There will be no peace, no stability without that.

We will tell the Israelis that we are no longer committed to any agreement from Oslo until today."

Abbas said that he had promised the US not to try to become a full member of the United Nations, but now said that the Palestinian Authority intended to return to the United Nations to to gain full membership:

"We agreed with America we would not join international institutions on the condition that American does not transfer its embassy, does not initiate any action against our office in Washington, and orders Israel to freeze settlement building.

If there is no Palestinian state along the June 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital, there will not be peace in the region, in the territories or in the world. They must choose."

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Israel a "terror state" and called on world powers to recognize east Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine:

"With this decision [by the US to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital], Israel, which is responsible for occupation, blockade, unlawful settlements, home demolitions, evictions, land asset appropriations, disproportionate violence and murders, was rewarded for all its terrorist actions. ...

I invite all countries supporting international law to recognize Jerusalem as the occupied capital of Palestine. We cannot be late any more.

The process to include Palestine in international agreements and institutions should be sped up."

The meeting was attended by some 22 heads of state or government, including those from Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sudan, Somalia, Azerbaijan, and Jordan. In addition, some 25 foreign ministers, including from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Kazakhstan, are expected to attend. Saudi Arabia will be represented by its Islamic affairs minister. Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Deutsche Welle and Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel

Palestinians disappointed by final communiqué of OIC Summit

For several years, Palestinians have been expressing frustration that the "Palestinian issue" has been largely forgotten by the international media. Palestinian-Israeli relations used to be one of the top four or five international stories every day, but in the last 2-3 years that issue has been displaced by the war in Syria, Brexit, the North Korean crisis, and other crises.

Palestinian hopes were raised in July, when the thousands of Palestinians poured into Jerusalem for "days of rage," after Israel installed metal detectors outside the al-Aqsa Mosque / Temple Mount compound, in order to deter terrorists. This was the worst violence in Jerusalem for years, killing several people and injuring hundreds. The Palestinian cause was once again an international news story, and they hoped that it would remain so.

The story fizzled out, and when Trump announced that the US would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Palestinian leaders called for more "days of rage," hoping at least to duplicate the intensity of last July's protests, but instead they fizzled out after a couple of days.

Led by fiery speeches from Abbas and Erdogan, the hope was that this summit would reignite international attention. Here are some excerpts from the resolutions in the final communiqué:

"1- Reject and condemn in the strongest terms the unilateral decision by the President of the United States America recognizing Al-Quds [Jerusalem] as the so-called capital of Israel, the occupying Power; reject it as null and void legally, and consider it an attack on the historical, legal, natural and national rights of the Palestinian people, a deliberate undermining of all peace efforts, an impetus to extremism and terrorism, and a threat to international peace and security; ...

3- Reaffirm our attachment to the just and comprehensive -peace based on the two-state solution with east Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine. ...

6- Hold the US Administration fully liable for all the consequences of not retracting from this illegal decision; and regard it as an announcement of the US Administration's withdrawal from its role as sponsor of peace and its realization among all stakeholders and an encouragement of Israel, the occupying Power, to continue its policy of colonialism, settlement, apartheid and the ethnic cleansing it has been practicing in the occupied Palestinian territory in 1967, and in the City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif at its core; ...

8- Declare East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine and invite all countries to recognize the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital."

Many analysts consider the OIC Summit to be a failure for several reasons.

First, it was missing important leaders, notably from Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Both of these countries have recently developed close relations with Israel, and are thought to have given tacit approval to the Jerusalem declaration before it was made.

Second, the final communiqué was entirely symbolic. It made the usual boilerplate condemnations of Israel and the United States, but there were no significant follow-on steps listed.

Third, the recommendation to remove the US as Mideast mediator and replace it with someone else is completely unrealistic. There was talk of using the United Nations as a mediator, but that will never produce anything but rhetoric.

Fourth, al-Jazeera "man in the street" interviews in Jerusalem after the Summit ended indicated that Palestinians were completely unimpressed with the Summit, because it didn't accomplish anything. OIC Final Communiqué (PDF) and AP and Al-Jazeera

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