OIC Conference Statement ‘Weeks Late,’ Brings No Resolution on Gaza

OIC and Arab League conference in Saudi Arabia, November 11, 2023, via OIC.
OIC and Arab League conference in Saudi Arabia, November 11, 2023, via OIC.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League held a conference in Saudi Arabia on November 11 to discuss the state of Palestinians in Gaza. The conference ended with a letter denouncing the killing of civilians, their starvation and the infliction of thirst upon them and the withholding of fuel for hospitals and medical care and pain killers for burn and bomb victims. The statement also called for a ceasefire.

It’s of note that 22 states sent representatives to the Saudi conference to tell the world what it already knows and to call for what anyone of conscience already demanded weeks ago, a ceasefire.

According to New Arab, the Muslims and Arabs at the meeting did try to reach a consensus on what to do about Gaza, but had difficulties with the final draft of the statement. 

“The divisive clauses are believed to have included prohibiting 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; and threats to leverage oil and Arab economic capabilities to apply pressure and halt the ongoing aggression.”

Instead, the six-page statement only condemned the massacre, and none of the countries present, besides Jordan, have even broken diplomatic ties with Israel.

“For Saudi Arabia, the priority lies in developing relations with Israel and the US…”  said Sami Hamdi, founder of the geopolitical consultancy The International Interest to L’Orient Today. “In their eyes, [the] Vision 2030 [tourism initiative is] not worth compromising for the sake of Gaza.”

Al Jazeera reported in September that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had “hailed recent so-called ‘normalisation’ deals between Israel and Arab states, stressing that Palestinians must not have ‘veto’ over such agreements.” 

The report was about Netanyahu’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly a few months ago.

During the same time, Middle East Monitor also reported on the Israeli prime minister’s speech, saying, “Erasing Palestine is what the Zionist colonial project is about. …Netanyahu illustrated the aim by showing a map of Greater Israel – completely eliminating the existence of Gaza and the occupied West Bank – the only remaining fragments of Palestinian land.” 

It appears none of the OIC/Arab League countries have considered what would happen if Israel doesn’t stop with its vision of conquering what is considered Greater Israel, which includes large swathes of Middle East land.