HE Hissein Brahim Taha
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
11 August 2022
OIC solidarity with the people of Palestine
It seems a never-ending story. Again, Israeli aircraft are bombarding Gaza, killing children, women and men. Many are dead, many more are injured. We, the undersigned civil society networks call on the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to stand with the Palestinians, support their right to self-defence and demand that their claims for sovereignty and self-determination are met in the fullest and most just way.
We are concerned that the OIC – contrary to its history and its founding mission – has become acquiescent to the crimes against humanity that are being perpetrated with greater or lesser violence on a daily basis by the Israelis.
Let us look simply from the time of August 2005, when Israeli forces and occupiers withdrew from Gaza after decades. In January 2006 Hamas won the majority of seats in a Palestinian legislative election, but were then besieged in Gaza and gradually – along with the inhabitants of the strip – strangled by various blockades from Israeli and international powers, and indifference and collaboration by some Muslim regimes.
In December 2008 Israel launched a 22-day military offensive in Gaza killing 1,400 Palestinians. In July-August 2014 for seven weeks Israeli bombardments killed more than 2,100 Palestinians. In March 2018 Palestinian protests at Gaza’s fenced border with Israel led to an armed conflict that left more than 170 Palestinians – most if not all unarmed -killed. In May 2021 hundreds of Palestinians were injured by Israeli security forces at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem. Hamas demanded Israel withdraw security forces from the compound. Israel responded with air raids on Gaza that went on for 11 days. At least 260 people were killed. And now more than 40 Palestinians have been killed in a new round of bombardments.
These killings and onslaughts occur in the context of a national liberation struggle against the colonial occupation of Palestine by Zionists. A struggle in which the Palestinians have every right under international law, not only to defend themselves but to struggle for their freedom.
These rights are a cornerstone of the issues at hand today. Issues that the OIC should be no stranger to. On 21 August 1969 Zionists started a fire in the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Amin al-Husseini, the former Mufti of Jerusalem, called for all Muslim heads of state to convene a summit to defend Palestine. On 25 September 1969, a summit of heads of states of 24 Muslim majority countries was held in Rabat, Morocco. A resolution was passed that called for close cooperation and mutual assistance between Muslim countries. Six months later in March 1970, the First Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers was held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Two years later, in 1972, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was founded. It was inspired by the Palestinian resistance against the Zionist occupation.
Today the website of the OIC condemns the attack against the Azerbaijani Embassy in London and the bomb attack in West Kabul, Afghanistan. But you are completely silent about the Israeli attack on Gaza that started on Friday August 5. Some countries of the OIC now have entered into agreements of cooperation with Israel, thus betraying their founding creed of solidarity with the Palestinians suffering from injustice.
We call upon the OIC to honour their history of solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle by issuing a resolute condemnation of the Israeli aggression of the past few days and by sanctioning those of its members who have proceeded on a path of ‘normalisation’ with the apartheid regime. There can be no normalisation of war crimes, genocidal acts and policies and ongoing ethnic cleansing.
Decolonial International Network
Massoud Shadjareh and Mohideen Abdul Kader
Universal Justice Network
Azmi Abdul Hamid
Majlis Consultative Council of Islamic Organizations
Mohideen Abdul Kader
Chair, Islamic Human Rights Commission
Mardani Ali Sera
Cendekia Ikhlas Madani Foundation
12 August 2022