Jerusalem: Muslim nations make empty threat and toothless demands

Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) “Extraordinary Islamic Summit” in Istanbul, Turkey on Wednesday. [Pic Lefteris Pitarakis, AP]
At the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s “Extraordinary Islamic Summit” in Istanbul, Turkey on Wednesday, many Islamic leaders denounced Israel, harshly condemned US administration’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, urged all Muslim countries to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, and announced an end to US peace-brokering.

 But their threats have no bite as they know there’s no alternative, Times of Israel argued today.

“The General Assembly can pass very comforting resolutions, which the Palestinians can word in any way they want, but that won’t change their status,” said Yigal Palmor, a former spokesperson for the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Declaring in the Summit that Washington is no longer “qualified” to mediate in the peace process is also unclear, as the UN has very little power to actually do anything without US consent.

It can pass sharply worded resolutions in the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council and elsewhere, but any concrete action with the potential to affect any concrete change would have to go through the Security Council, where the Trump administration is sure to veto anything it deems counterproductive, the Israeli media added.

The OIC summit declaration that US administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital constituted a “clear desertion … of its role as peace broker,” and demanding for “internationalized peace to “promote a multilateral political process, to resume an internationally sponsored, credible process to achieve lasting peace based on the two-state solution”, appears toothless too, according to Washington.

“The president Donald Trump remains as committed to peace as ever,” a Senior White House official said Wednesday, responding to Palestine President,  Mahmoud Abbas’s fiery speech in the Summit.

Washington “anticipated reactions like this,” the official added, insisting that the US will “continue to work on our plan for peace that we hope will offer the best outcome for both peoples and look forward to unveiling it when it is ready and the time is right.”

Even though the European Union (EU) condemned Trump`s move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, they still believe that Washington will remain at the centre of any conceivable peace process.

 “I can say very clearly that there is no initiative, no peace initiative, no attempt to restart peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians that can happen without an engagement from the United States,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini declared on Monday, immediately after meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Brussels.

The Palestinians and Muslims all over the world can shout, condemn and appeal to the Arab League and the United Nations, but their status would never change unless they engage constructively with the US administration and the EU.