We expect strong measures against US/ Israel by boycotting Israel, as well as US goods.
US must know that US interests with Muslim world are far more important than with Israel. Common market must start among Muslims, military agreement of common defense especially Syria and Iran.
OIC members meet to discuss Middle East Crisis
Malaysia chaired an extraordinary session of the Islamic Conference or OIC in Kuala Lumpur today to discuss the conflict in the Middle East.
Leaders from eighteen member countries attended the meeting.
The OIC has demanded a role in any peace-keeping mission organised by the UN, after a ceasefire has been enforced.
For more on the OIC’s political clout in the matter, Yvonne Gomez spoke to Dr Chandra Muzzafar, President of Kuala Lumpur-based International Movement for a Just World.
CM: It could be yet another voice which I suppose would reinforce the chorus of voices which we’ve been hearing in the last week or so, asking for a ceasefire, and since every voice counts in this voiceless world of ours, where the vast majority of people - their voices are not heeded, I think it would have some value from that point of view. It would have some moral value. It would be reported in the media and people would know that the executive committee of an organisation which represents a fairly significant segment of the human family, and they’re also concerned about what’s going on in Lebanon and have asked for a cessation of hostilities. So I think it’ll have some value of that sort. But beyond certain moral input, I don’t think the OIC statement would, in itself, lead to concrete action, or would force the global powers-that-be to sit up and take notice.
Many of OIC’s members are from the Arab world, which is very close, geographically, to this conflict. How far do you think they are likely to take any kind of collective action under the umbrella of the OIC?
CM: It’s very, very unlikely that they would that they would take any action as such, apart from making a statement. In other words, some sort of pious platitude perhaps, but I don’t see them taking action, for one very important reason. Some of the leading Arab states, like Saudi Arabia - if you look at its ruling elite - it’s very, very close to Washington and to London. There is a joke in OIC circles that while the Saudi elite is supposed to be the custodian of the holy shrine, meaning by which Mecca and Medina, we all know that there is a custodian of the custodian (laughs) so I don’t think we can expect anything of the Arab states.
Reports show that major powers at the United Nations have come up with some sort of agreement on a ceasefire, but they're still hammering out some of the details that can’t be agreed upon at the moment. How do you foresee the implementation of a ceasefire, given everything that has happened to date?
CM: I think global public opinion is still very much for an immediate ceasefire before one talks of a peace-keeping force, or a conference and things like that. If you don’t have a ceasefire, what’s going to happen is your peacekeeping force, and it doesn’t matter if it’s under the banner of the UN or Nato, will be caught in the crossfire, and given the gravity of the situation - if you look at the actual fighting that is taking place, I don’t think anyone will want to commit a peacekeeping force to such hazards. So a ceasefire is imperative, and it must precede any other form of action that the different communities are contemplating. I don’t see Israel continuing with its present approach for very long, because for one, I don’t think they’re getting the results that they want on the ground, and that’s not surprising because I think the Hezbollah is fairly well entrenched, as far as southern Lebanon is concerned, and let’s not forget that the Hezbollah had driven out Israel before, in May 2000. so I don’t see how Israel can win this war, if that’s what they’re trying to achieve. And I can’t see how Israel can even secure a wide swathe of land and ask a peace-keeping force to take over because I don’t think they’ll be able to hold on to it, because you’re dealing with a guerrilla movement. If you look at how guerrilla movements fight, whether its in Vietnam or in some other parts of the world, hey may withdraw from a certain area, but they will recoup and regroup and try to regain that area after a few months, or even a couple of years. So I can’t see how this is going to work at all, and I hope Israel’s friends will be able to persuade Israel that it’s a no-win situation that they are in. Now, if Israel is convinced that they can’t win, and I think they will be shortly, they’ll have to think of ways and means of getting out of this situation, and a ceasefire will be one way in which Israel would be able to get out of this untenable situation.