It is a well-known fact that US President Donald Trump’s recent announcement of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is contrary to international laws and the resolutions of the United Nations and all international conventions. It is not appropriate for the president of the nation that claims to be the leader of the free world to practice the law of the jungle and violate international conventions.
This flagrant violation of international law has triggered massive outrage all over the Muslim world, and the Muslim masses from Jakarta to Morocco have taken to the streets to express their condemnation of this unjust act. By this act, Trump gives something that is not owned by him to someone else who is not at all entitled to have it.
Almost all members of the United Nations Security Council roundly rejected this illegal decision. The extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), held recently in Istanbul, unanimously rejected the decision and urged the world to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.
The holy city of Jerusalem is home to Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holy mosque in Islam and the first Qibla (direction faced in prayer) of Muslims. The Prophet (peace be upon him) undertook his Night Journey (Israa) from Makkah to Jerusalem. This holy city was occupied by Israel during its aggression against the Arab countries in 1967 and continues to remain under the occupation of the Zionist state.
After the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa Mosque came under arson attack in 1969, and this triggered massive outrage throughout the Muslim world. Subsequently, Muslim leaders met in Morocco and founded the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. It was the decision of the OIC to make Jerusalem its permanent headquarters and Jeddah its temporary headquarters up to the moment of the liberation of Jerusalem from the hands of Israeli occupation forces. Unfortunately, the OIC and its 57 member states have not been able to liberate the holy city mainly because of the lack of political will. They have also not been able to prevent the occupying state from Judaizing Jerusalem and reducing the number of its original inhabitants through the unjust laws that Israel has enacted with the ulterior motive of the eventual eviction of all Palestinians from their holy city.
The occupying power has demolished the houses of many Palestinians under the pretext that they were built without permits. It has also confiscated Palestinian land and has built settlements on it. Israel later annexed East Jerusalem to West Jerusalem, which it occupied in 1948, and declared it as its eternal capital despite the adoption of several resolutions by the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council that East Jerusalem is an occupied territory. The UN resolutions also called on countries that have embassies in Jerusalem to transfer them to other places in Israel. Indeed, several countries have moved their embassies from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv in compliance with the UN resolution.
The US imposes itself as mediator
The United States imposed itself as mediator between the Palestinians and Israelis, but it has never behaved as an honest broker but has vetoed all UN resolutions that condemn Israel and its crimes against the Palestinians. Trump’s decision is the latest of such actions on the part of the US administration in supporting Israel over all its unjust acts and atrocities against the Palestinians and their occupied homeland.
Analysts are of the view that President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is no less dangerous than the shameful Balfour Declaration made by the British Foreign Secretary a hundred years ago to make Palestine a national homeland for the Jews. Both men gave something that is not in their possession to those who do not deserve it.
Following the Balfour Declaration, the Palestinians and the Arabs were not ready to give up their cause but made a great effort to defeat the plan. However, the British plot against Jerusalem and Palestine succeeded in planting the State of Israel in the heart of the Arab world. The Arabs lost the 1948 war due to their differences plus the conspiracies of the Western powers. Then they lost the 1967 war for the same reason. Later, they managed to achieve an incomplete victory in the 1973 war.
Egypt’s signing of a peace agreement with Israel after breaking away from the ranks of the Arab world was the first nail in the coffin of the Palestinian cause. Subsequently, Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel, following the Oslo Accords inked between the Palestinians and Israel. The signing of the Oslo Accords achieved nothing for the Palestinians because Israel does not want peace and seeks negotiations only for the sake of negotiations. Israel also wants to buy enough time to continue Judaizing Jerusalem and building settlements in the West Bank. It has also constructed an apartheid wall in the West Bank territories, which were supposed to be part of the Palestinian State guaranteed under the agreements sponsored by the United States as the mediator between the Palestinians and Israel.
The decision of the Istanbul Islamic Summit to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine is the response to the unjust imperialist decision of Trump. The Palestinian position, declared by President Mahmoud Abbas, provides no role for the United States of America in the peace process, as the Palestinians no longer trust it to help resolve the issue. This was after their full realization that the US is an unfair mediator as it is biased in favor of Israel, which continues its occupation of the Palestinian territories in violation of all international conventions and its persecution of the unarmed Palestinian people.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette.
Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi is a former Saudi diplomat who specializes in Southeast Asian affairs.