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On Gaza and the vested interests and failures of Arab-Muslim countries

The fundamental issue is the continuous supply of weapons by the industrial military complex in the US and the West which Arabs leaders are dependent on.

Ronald Benjamin
3 minute read

There is a spiritual saying in the Catholic intellectual tradition: Consistency in the moral life and goodness is not a function of always doing the same thing, but rather of doing the right thing.

Doing the same thing is what characterises the response of world leaders on the Palestinian cause, particularly Arab-Muslim leaders in the OIC.

It is no surprise that Arab and Muslim leaders are only able to condemn Israeli forces as "barbaric" in their actions in Gaza but decline to approve punitive economic and political steps against the country over its war against Hamas.

It is obvious that the outcome of a joint summit of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in the Saudi capital highlighted regional divisions over how to respond to the war, even as fears mounted that it could draw in other countries.

The fact is the prominent and wealthier Arab leaders are reluctant to impose economic sanctions against Israel due to its dependence on the US for military hardware and technology for their own regional interests, beside the intertwined economic relations with the US that has Israel onboard.

Mere condemnation and asking for a ceasefire have fallen on deaf ears and conscientious world leaders should take appropriate action against an apartheid regime for its continuous colonisation and aggression against the Palestinian people.

The fundamental issue that needs to be tackled here is the continuous supply of weapons by the industrial military complex in the US and the West which Arabs leaders are dependent on, besides Zionist influence in the economy that benefits the Arab elites.

In 2022, the Biden administration approved two massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to help them defend against Iran.

The more than US$5 billion in missile defence and related sales follow President Joe Biden’s visit to the Middle East, during which he met with numerous regional leaders in Saudi Arabia.

This comes in a context where Saudi Arabia and the UAE were hit by rocket attacks from the Iran-backed Houthi rebel movement in Yemen.

According to Reuters reports, economic and trade cooperation is a key driver of the UAE's 2020 normalisation of relations with Israel which broke with decades of Arab policy towards the Palestinian cause
There has been a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the countries entered into effect, removing or reducing tariffs on more than 96% of products, according to UAE state news agency WAM.

Signed in May 2022 and deemed a "historic moment" by the UAE ambassador to Israel, it is Israel's first free trade agreement with an Arab state.

It is a pity that protests against Israel in Malaysia have taken the form of ethno-religiosity that tend to address issues affecting Palestinians as between the Muslim world on one side and the West and Israel on the other side, and are blinded by the actions of global Muslim elites whose actions have benefitted Israel.

It’s time for world leaders to be truthful on the role of the industrial military complex led by the US that fuels war in the Middle East and the economic relations between Arab Elites and Israel which is critical to resolving the long-standing issues of security and stability in the middle east.

Countries that oppose US hegemony and Zionism such as Iran, and Syria continue to pay a heavy economic price due to their resistance.

Are the OIC and Arab countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE capable of solving the Palestinian issue?

The answer is clearly no, and Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim is basically wasting his precious time as prime minister engaging Arab-Muslim leaders, whose behaviour is a foregone conclusion.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of MalaysiaNow.