After 36 days of criminal Israeli aggression against the Palestinians in Gaza, and what is clearly a “text-book case of genocide”, with more than 11,000 Palestinians killed, residential and government buildings and hospitals destroyed, and farms and fields burned, the leaders of 58 Arab and Islamic countries convened to deliver outdated speeches, which we could have written for them from memory. The meeting was a demonstration on the part of Saudi Arabia to draw attention to itself, the home of the two Holy Mosques, after Iran had received most attention from the Arab and Muslim public for its military support of the resistance in Gaza, Lebanon and Yemen. Few had talked about Saudi Arabia, which was too busy with music and sports festivals to worry about Palestine.
If these leaders who condemned the Zionist state’s brutal massacres of innocent Palestinians were serious, then why did they just talk, and not do anything concrete on the ground? Why didn’t the countries with normalised relations with Israel sever their links, or at least recall their ambassadors and expel the Israeli ambassadors, as some Latin American countries did?
The Zionists know that those who gathered in Riyadh are worthless and so do not fear them. Indeed, they know that the reverse is true; those who met in Riyadh fear the Zionists. They only gathered to throw dust in the eyes of their people, who are angry about the Israeli attacks on the Palestinians in Gaza. All Arab and Muslim people support the Palestinian cause because it is a just cause; they sympathise with the Palestinians, and if it were not for the rulers who convened in Riyadh, Israel would not have dared attack Gaza. These leaders stand behind the attacks, side by side with Western rulers.
Allowing 36 days of relentless bombing to pass before convening a meeting says a lot about these leaders. They allowed the occupation army time and room to eliminate Hamas, and when the date of the summit arrived, and Hamas was still standing, the occupation forces needed more time to achieve the goal shared with many leaders of Arab and Islamic countries. So these craven regimes gave them that time.
Several proposals were prepared before the summit, such as preventing the use of US and other military bases in Arab countries to supply Israel with weapons and ammunition; freezing Arab diplomatic, economic, security and military relations with Israel; using Arab oil and economic capabilities to put pressure on Israel to stop its attacks; preventing Israeli aircraft from using Arab airspace; and forming an Arab committee at ministerial level to go to New York, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and Paris to stop the Israeli aggression against Gaza. Predictably, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Jordan objected to these weak, bare minimum proposals.
There is no doubt that the Arab and Islamic countries have a lot of political, diplomatic and economic cards at their disposal to get Israel to stop the war immediately. Energy supplies alone could be enough. The energy reserves in European countries are sufficient for only two days; in NATO countries for only 15 days; and Islamic countries produce half of the world’s energy. Why wasn’t this used as leverage?
It would have been enough for the summit to come up with just one agreement to stop energy exports for a week if Israel does not end its war and stop the genocide. If they had done this, Europe would have come crawling on its knees and become the greatest defender of the Palestinians. The countries most supportive of Israel’s genocide — France, Germany and Britain — would have changed their positions. However, they know that the Arab rulers are too weak because they are their agents in the region and their thrones are in the hands of the US. These regimes love Israel, as the road to Washington passes through Tel Aviv. They would sell Palestine, the Islamic world and their own grandmothers to please the US.
The closing statement of the summit was shameful, crushing the hopes of the naive who were waiting for good to come out of Riyadh in the belief that it would support the people of Gaza and stop the Zionist genocide. Even the UN Security Council couldn’t call for a ceasefire or protect the Palestinians from genocide and ethnic cleansing. Words like “barbarism” and “brutality” weren’t enough to wash away the stain on the reputation of the Arab and Muslim leaders.
The summit statement was duly released, and the bombs continued to fall on civilians and hospitals; children and babies continued to be killed, along with their mothers and fathers, and grandmothers and grandfathers. Nobody is being spared.
The Israelis only understand the language of force, and this force is non-existent among the Zionist Arab regimes. It has been left to a lightly-armed resistance movement to try to defend the honour of the Ummah and the lives of the Palestinians. The generals and their soldiers across the Arab and Muslim world should be ashamed of themselves.
No decisive moves or brave decisions were expected from the Arab League, as the dead cannot speak, and the organisation has basically been dead for years. The stench of its decay spread following the summit of shame in Riyadh.
It is worth noting that the Arab League was established in the 1940s at the suggestion of Britain in order to eliminate the interference of Muslim countries in the war in Palestine, when Jewish terrorist attacks on the Palestinians (and on the British) were increasing. It claimed that Palestine was an Arab issue, and stripped it of its Islamic aspect derived from Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, meanwhile, is basically a department within the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is used to promote Saudi interests and very little else, although its ambassadors have urged an “international push” for a ceasefire in Gaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was right when he said that Israel is having its best ever relations with Arab governments, which no longer see the apartheid state as an enemy, but as a friend and ally in the battle against “militant” Islam, a euphemism for any and all Muslims. The problem, therefore, lies with the Arab and Muslim people, not the Zionist aliens in their midst.
The Zionist Arab regimes have given Netanyahu more than he could ever dream of having. Thankfully, though, the free Arab people are still standing and Zionist dreams will turn into a nightmare to haunt them in their waking and sleeping hours. The Ummah still has a beating heart, despite the efforts of the Zionist Arab leaders, and the steadfast Palestinians display the kind of courage and resilience that the Arab regimes wish they had. The Palestinians in Gaza have pledged to God and His Messenger to resist this usurping occupation, as is their right, and liberate Palestine.
If the Arab League of Shame has hammered the last nail in its own coffin, then the regimes will also hammer their last nails soon, when the Arab people rise up again and liberate themselves and their land from the Zionist regimes and their devious sponsors. They believe that this is far in the future, but we believe it is soon, God Willing.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.