TEHRAN, Dec. 11 (Press Shia Agency) –For a generation whose spirit and body are linked to the Palestinian cause, these days are hard and bitter. Undoubtedly, after the Balfour Declaration, Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is the hardest blow against the Palestinian people and, consequently, all Muslims in the world.
Trump’s move took place at a time when what remains of the Islamic world is nothing but a mere name. We should not deceive ourselves. When speaking about the West, we are talking about a capacity that can bring its full potential into a coherent format at a critical time. But the Islamic world, for the most part, is a virtual capacity that is, in effect, unable to challenge its opposing world. Trump went ahead with his presidential vow by recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital under the best of circumstances. Apparently, the ‘insane Trump’ is not so much insane after all, since his decision has been able to, on the one hand, gain the Zionists’ support, and on the other hand, has thrown domestic challenges and charges related to his ties with Russia into the margin. Today, any chance for a two-way peace seems abysmal, and the prospect points to a one-way peace imposed on Palestinians. Condemnations and demonstrations cannot do much. ISIL took a heavy toll on the Islamic world. One of the goals of the emergence of ISIL terrorism seems to have been to pave the way for the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by the United States.
At a time, Palestine’s liberation was a common goal for all Muslims, either Shia or Sunni, but as the emergence of ISIL diverted the attention of the Resistance Front from the Palestinian cause, Palestine and the Sunni world moved away from the resistance that had Shias at its core. What should not have happened, did. Then, Saudi Arabia, along with Turkey, started its campaign to destroy Syria and intervene in Iraq’s affairs, and now, Riyadh intends to annihilate the Yemeni people. Religious views and fighting against Shi’ism have always been the centerpiece of the Saudi policies. In this context, talking about the Islamic world and expecting a coordinated reaction against Trump’s decision has no practical basis.
If there is an Islamic world, which there is, it is currently going through a leadership dispute. Who is the leader of the Muslim world? Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, each are competing to take the helm of the Islamic world according to their own national interests and based on their own particular viewpoints. Given the existing weaknesses, capacities and experiences of the West, there is no longer the possibility of imposing sanctions [on the West] such as the Oil Embargo of the 70s. Apart from that, Europe has not sided with the US on this decision. Almost all western countries have condemned Trump’s move, which may not have sounded as vehemently as Muslim states, but by distancing from the US, they have bought themselves immunity against paying the cost for Washington’s decision, and at the same time, their measure has not been that different from the measure taken by Islamic countries. Of course, the West’s approach can, in the long run, shift toward the US policy, but this shift can also occur with delay in many Islamic countries.
Neither the Arab League, nor the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, nor the non-Aligned movement, and not even the Palestinians, can take a practical move to force Trump into backtracking on his decision. A large part of the Palestinians is still engaged in clashes between Hamas and their self-governed body, and another part, in the context of time and place, has shifted identities from the that of the displaced to the migrant. Many of the Palestinians, or even Muslims in general, are not how they used to be in the past.
Political measures to prevent a process from happening should be taken before the decision-making and its announcement. Accusing the times is but excusing ourselves. We should not place the blame of all conspiracies and destructions on the US, because the Islamic world is no less guilty. More than the enemy, we need to look within ourselves. We, too, have changed, wittingly or otherwise. All Muslims more or less fell into the ISIL trap, and the terrorist group managed to become a mechanism for the Shias and Sunnis to settle the scores between one another. It has been said that the winner of the emergence of the ISIL is Tel Aviv, and ultimately, it was Tel Aviv who came out as triumphant in the post-ISIL era by Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Yes, the game is not over, but Jerusalem has become Israel’s capital and the process of regional developments has entered a new phase that needs to be considered as a new period in the history of developments in the Middle East.
The liberation of Palestine was one of the main pillars of the Islamic Revolution of Iran under the leadership of Imam Khomeini, which created hope and mobility in the Islamic world. With the Iran-Iraq Imposed War and Imam Khomeini’s saying that the path to Quds goes through Karbala, this strategy managed to remain the focus of Iran’s foreign policy despite all issues. The Shia Iran supported the Sunni Palestine while the major part of Palestinian groups joined Arab states in Saddam Hussein’s war against Iran, but this fact did not deter Iran from supporting Palestine’s cause, and the support was so strong that some even said Iranians were more Palestinian than the Palestinians themselves. Iran’s support for Palestine was partly due to throwing off isolation and historical accusations.
But today, what should not have happened has happened. Condemnations, demonstrations, conferences, statements, street clashes in Gaza, and individual and organized operations by Palestinians, none of them will be able to make a fundamental change. These moves are just treading on an old path that used to be more serious than today. Jerusalem al-Quds, apart from the enemy’s measures, has fallen victim to the division among Muslim countries. A solution needs to be found. As long as the Islamic world is distanced from the real factors of power and is engaged with geopolitical rivalries in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, etc., Jerusalem will be in the hands of Zionists. The rivalry between eastern and western Rome and the ultimate collapse of Constantinople led to the fall of Eastern Rome and the change of its name to Istanbul. Today, Christians and Western tourists visit the churches and what remains of the Eastern Roman Empire in Turkey with regret, and if the Islamic world does not come together in unity and practical coordination (which looks quite a far-fetched possibility), it will not be long before Muslims would go to visit Jerusalem instead of al-Quds.
Translated by Marjohn Sheikhi