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Arab, Muslim leaders reiterate support for ‘inalienable rights’ of Palestinians at Mecca summit

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Following a days-long Saudi-led “emergency summit” of Arab and Muslim countries in Mecca, focused mostly on “threats” posed to the Kingdom by Iran, leaders threw their support behind the Palestinians in a much-needed boost for President Mahmoud Abbas and the PA.

The 57 members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) released a joint statement at the end of the summit on Saturday, condemning countries who had moved or promised to move their embassies to Jerusalem for a “serious violation” of international law.

The OIC called for a boycott of said countries, and urged member states to “take appropriate measures” against any country, like the U.S., that moves to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (The U.S. moved its embassy in May 2018.)

In the statement, the OIC threw its support behind the Palestinian people and government in an indirect reference to the revelation of the U.S. peace plan, which is rumored to feature little to no mention of Palestinian statehood and sovereignty.

“The Palestinian people have the right to achieve their inalienable national rights, including their right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State,” the statement said.

The conference, called primarily by Saudi officials to solidify regional support for the Kingdom in the face of what they called Iranian “terrorist” threats, came at a crucial time for Palestinian and American officials.

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, senior adviser, and main architect of the so-called “deal of the century,” has been touring the Middle East in recent weeks in an effort to gain support for his peace proposal, which he plans on unveiling in Bahrain next month.

Kushner has been banking on support from two major players, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to help push his plan on the Palestinians with the allure of economic incentives and investments.

The two countries were the first to announce their intentions to attend the “economic workshop” in Bahrain, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has a strong personal relationship with Kushner.

But according to media reports, the crown prince’s father, King Salman told leaders gathered at the Mecca summit: “The Palestinian cause is the cornerstone of the works of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and is the focus of our attention until the brotherly Palestinian people get all their legitimate rights.”

“We reaffirm our unequivocal rejection of any measures that would prejudice the historical and legal status of Quds [Jerusalem],” he said.

Though the crown prince is largely seen as the decision maker when it comes to foreign policy, the King’s remarks could signal a setback for Kushner, who in addition to major pushback on his plan from Palestinian leaders, is now facing an uncertain and rocky political climate in Israel with the failure of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a governing coalition.

Palestinian officials praised leaders at the conference for their support, and for sending “a strong and clear message to the U.S. administration and Israel.”

The Jerusalem Post quoted President Abbas’ spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, as saying, “[E]veryone must understand peace has only one clear path and its address is the legitimate leadership of the Palestinian people, and not fake deals or economic schemes that are not worth the ink they are written with.”

Yumna Patel

Yumna Patel is the Palestine correspondent for Mondoweiss.

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13 Responses

  1. Kay24 on June 2, 2019, 11:37 am

    I don’t know what kind of game Saudi Arabia, and others like the UAE are playing. They say one thing, but their actions tell a different story. I doubt SA will go against their new best friend, Israel. It continues to stay silent about the occupation, land theft, and even when poor Arab kids are killed unmercifully. Saudi Arabia and Israel plot and plan with the US to attack Iran.
    So how can they draw line with Israel when it comes to the Palestinians.

    Saudi Arabia should be invited ALL Muslim nations to attend this meeting, including Shiites.

    • Kay24 on June 2, 2019, 11:52 am

      That should read: Saudi Arabia should invite ALL Muslim nation….

    • Brewer on June 2, 2019, 9:49 pm

      “I don’t know what kind of game Saudi Arabia, and others like the UAE are playing.”
      Has to do with Saudi’s imperialist ambitions in Yemen which are essentially resource/expansionist and a diversion from internal problems. They need U.S./Israeli support right now. Iran supports Yemeni independence

      • annie on June 2, 2019, 11:19 pm

        i wouldn’t describe it as “Saudi’s imperialist ambitions in Yemen”. my hunch is this conference was cooked up at this time as part of the bolton/israel/SA pressure plan to invade iran. note how western press addressed the OIC conference: CNN “Saudi Arabia united the Arab world against Iran. That means conflict could be one step closer” so there’s your headline

        now this is not altogether true (iraq being one example for their rejection of some iran statement i read the other day. and here we have qatar pushing back against the “unity” messaging “Qatar’s foreign minister has questioned the hardline statements on Iran made at emergency summits in Mecca.”

        The summits “adopted Washington’s policy towards Iran and not one that takes the neighbourhood into consideration”, he added….”The Gulf summit statement talked about a unified Gulf, but where is it amid the continuation of Qatar’s blockade?” he said.

        iow, it seems like some of this was by design. my tweet from yesterday:

        and MoA today: “CNN Sees Saudi Success In Disunited Gulf Summits That Made No New Statements”

      • Brewer on June 3, 2019, 1:40 am

        Yeah, I don’t doubt that Iran is still in the sights and that establishing Saudi control over Yemen will provide a staging area but I think any invasion of Iran is a long way off. Syria was supposed to be well and truly dismantled long before now.
        Nic Robertson is a neo-con stooge, the Saudis are tools in a long game – they will be discarded and broken before the end game is over. If the leadership were not Wahabist believers in magic they would have realized it long before now.
        The whole “20 or so disparate Arab nations to unite in a common position against Iran.” is a neo-con wet dream. Total bullshit. Having seen their plans go pear-shaped in Syria they are now making it up as they go along – a stretch for such lame-brains.

        Got a gem for you Annie. The new Man the Van:

      • Kay24 on June 3, 2019, 6:01 am

        I am glad that Qatar spoke up and said they are not convinced. When Saudi Arabia (maybe given advice by the prince of darkness, Kushner) behaved in the most bizarre way, and together with the UAE, led that vindictive attack on Qatar, blockaded it, and refused airspace, it was Turkey and Iran that stepped in and helped them out, which Qatar should not forget. Iran also allowed them airspace so that their airlines can continue it’s services. The world can see that Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the US, are looking at every possible way, to get their war with Iran. Despicable.
        Saudi Arabia has become the leaders of the Sunni war mongers in the region. Maybe it is all those deadly weapons the US and UK are selling them, that makes them think they are so tough.

    • Misterioso on June 3, 2019, 8:17 am

      @Kay, et. al.

      It seems the Trump/Kushner/Greenblatt “Deal of the Century” is dead in the water. No surprise!!

      “Exclusive: Pompeo delivers unfiltered view of Trump’s Middle East peace plan in off-the-record meeting”

      The Washington Post, June 2/19, By John Hudson and Loveday Morris.

      “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a sobering assessment of the prospects of the Trump administration’s long-awaited Middle East peace plan in a closed-door meeting with Jewish leaders, saying ‘one might argue’ that the plan is ‘un-executable’ and it might not ‘gain traction. ‘ He expressed his hope that the deal isn’t simply dismissed out of hand.

      “’It may be rejected. Could be in the end, folks will say, ‘It’s not particularly original, it doesn’t particularly work for me,’ that is, ‘It’s got two good things and nine bad things, I’m out,’ ” Pompeo said in an audio recording of the private meeting obtained by The Washington Post.

      “’The big question is can we get enough space that we can have a real conversation about how to build this out,’ he said.

      “The remarks are the most unvarnished comments to date from a U.S. official about President Trump’s ‘deal of the century,’ an effort to resolve the intractable Israeli-Palestinian dispute he has entrusted to his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and former lawyer Jason Greenblatt.

      “The unveiling of the plan has been repeatedly delayed, a point Pompeo noted.

      “’This has taken us longer to roll out our plan than I had originally thought it might — to put it lightly,’ he said at a meeting on Tuesday of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, a New York-based group that addresses concerns of the Jewish community.”

      • Brewer on June 3, 2019, 11:53 pm

        Gilad is not well-liked on these boards for some reason (probably misunderstood) but I think he is on the money here. Be interested in your take Mys.

        “Ynet’s headline yesterday acknowledged what has been obvious to many Middle East commentators: Israel can’t win the next war. The most respected Israeli military correspondent Ron Ben Yishai’s headline reads as follows: “Why won’t we win the next war?” Though most of Ben Yishai’s Hebrew articles are reprinted in Ynet’s English edition, this article is yet to be translated and for obvious reasons. It is probably too upsetting for Diaspora Jews.

        Ben Yishai’s rationale is clear and sound: Israel can’t deal with military casualties. Israeli security matters have been politicised. Field commanders are regularly subject to legal proceedings that lead to heavy penalties including suspensions. Consequently, many of them have lost their motivation. Israeli society is too sensitive to kidnappings and hijackings and finally, parents are too involved in IDF matters.

        Ben Yishai concludes that Israel is too weak “whether it is a war against Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria or all of them, we will not win!”

        Ben Yishai is honest enough to admit publicly that Israel’s enemies understand the psychological, spiritual, cultural and political fabric of Israeli society. They are aware of Israel’s weaknesses and the IDF’s paralysis and they act upon these. According to Ben Yishai, the Shiite axis, Hamas and the Salafi-Jihadists all understood that they “could not destroy Israel with one or two violent military moves, therefore they went on to wage a war of strategic attrition against us.” Any violent round or war whose results are inconclusive in favour of Israel, Ben Yishai says, are going to be seen as another nail in the Zionist’s coffin.

        “They see the public hysteria over losses on our side. They notice the media frenzy that weakens the confidence of Israeli citizens, they see the national probing committees punishing Israeli commanders after each round of violence which leads to mistrust in the political class and its decision-making process.” Ben Yishai points out that Israel’s enemies seem to believe that when “Iran achieves a credible capability to threaten Israel with nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles,” the Israeli society will collapse into itself. The Jews who seek a better life and are ‘spoiled enough’ to act upon it will be scattered over the world to look for a quieter and safer place under the sun.

        None of these observations are new to me. Already in the 1980s, in the wake of the first Intifada, I heard Israeli generals admitting in the open that ‘for the Palestinians to win all they need is to survive.’ Palestinian analysts have been commenting for years that ‘Israel may have many lethal bombs but the Palestinians have one bomb, the demographic bomb.’ I have repeatedly argued in my writings that Israel hasn’t won a single war since 1967. Even when it won on the battlefield (like in 1973), it failed to achieve its military objectives. Bizarrely enough, Israel’s greatest military victory in 1967 inflicted on the country some political, strategic and demographic problems that have made the future survival of the Jewish State in its current form an unrealistic scenario. Like Ron Ben Yishai (yet way ahead of him), I have been arguing that Israel lives on borrowed time.

        But Israel and the IDF are not alone. The American, British and French armies, alongside NATO in general, are also incapable of winning wars. The Soviet army was literally defeated in Afghanistan for the same reasons. Modern armies do not win wars, they are good in spreading collateral damage. It may even be possible that modern armies are not supposed to win wars. Their real task is to sustain the military-industrial complex by means of constant conflict.

        A clash with Hamas, for instance, leads to a growing demand for the Israeli Iron Dome. Britain, America and France launch one criminal war after the other, they never win but they clearly sustain the production of killing machines. Russia actually won a war recently together with Iran. This translated immediately into weapon-buying.

        But it goes further. Western armies are set to follow military objectives that are defined by democratically elected governments. In the post-political era, the entire political class is disturbingly dysfunctional and totally unique in its inability to produce educated decisions, let alone set military objectives.

        President Trump’s belligerent rants against Syria, Iran and North Korea are perfect examples of the above. Trump threatens to launch wars as often as he changes his socks, but he never provides his generals with an adequate set of objectives. Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy weren’t any better. They didn’t manage to set the objectives for Libya’s invasion or any other criminal Neocon conflict they launched.

        Interestingly enough, I allow myself to suggest that one of the only state leaders who is fully aware of the inability of modern armies to win wars is Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli PM is aware of the fact that his army is weak and the Israelis are even weaker. Unlike his predecessors, Netanyahu actually tries to avoid large-scale conflicts with Gaza, Syria or Hezbollah as much as he can. Netanyahu is not a ‘lover of peace’ or a ‘humanist.’ He is happy to deploy snipers against civilians and ‘lets them’ shoot kids who get too close to the border. Netanyahu sends drones to attack Iranian targets in Syria . But he is very careful not to pull the region into a total war. Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t really need Ron Ben Yishai, he gathered many years ago that the IDF and Israeli society can’t win wars. He is buying time instead. ”

      • RoHa on June 4, 2019, 8:34 am

        “Gilad is not well-liked on these boards for some reason”

        I suspect it is because of the way he criticizes Jewishness and Judaism.

      • Keith on June 4, 2019, 10:10 am

        ROHA- “I suspect it is because of the way he criticizes Jewishness and Judaism.”

        Atzmon doesn’t criticize Judaism. He tries to define Jewishness and the consequences thereof.

  2. Ossinev on June 3, 2019, 9:48 am

    ” The world can see that Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the US, are looking at every possible way, to get their war with Iran.”

    Mind you Mike (Praise the Lord) Pompeo is still holding out the possibility of diplomatic resolutions:

    Leaving aside the implicit contradictions of speaking of no – preconditions and in the same breath referring to a proviso that Iran behaves(sic) like a normal nation this is very encouraging news. Pompeo will be in “raptures”. Bolton will be hissy fiting.

    So then all Iran has do to is to start openly flouting International Law and the Geneva Conventions,stick two fingers up at UN Security Council resolutions,commit 24/7 war crimes etc all you know like Israel that “normal” nation so beloved of the US and abracadabra problem solved.

    • Kay24 on June 3, 2019, 10:21 am

      Trump has made a lot of noises about Iran welcome to make that phone call, and discuss a deal. Strange, but Obama had a great one, endorsed by other nations, and it was working well, with UN monitors reporting Iran was complying with their agreement, obviously it was not good enough for Bibi, Salman, and Trump. Trump expects Iran to come crawling and beg him to make any deal, since his vicious sanctions are hurting. Trump has no clue about negotiating deals.
      He could not get a deal with Kim, so he thinks he can get one with the Iranians.

  3. Mustacq Abdullah on June 3, 2019, 12:56 pm

    So Mr Trump and others in the Western world, this is what you get from made king hillbillies who were never kings. They sing one song to you and sing the same song with another melody to their fellow bandits. So Mr Trump, and cahoots, never, never trust an imposed leader, even if they call themselves “king”.

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