NULL and void. So said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak of the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel at the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) meeting in Istanbul. No other three words in the English language could have expressed the wishes of the Muslim world better. These three words will reverberate through time to tell the world that Al-Quds Al-Sharif (Jerusalem) cannot be the capital of any other country but Palestine. Neither the action of the US nor the action of the Zionist regime can change the course of history. Understandably, OIC came out in unison to say that East Jesrusalem is the capital of Palestine, giving expression to the close to two billion Muslim voices in the world.
Like everyone in the world, Palestinians have the right to their homeland. And, a sovereign capital, too. Any attempt by nations powerful or otherwise to change the status of Al-Quds Al-Sharif is against the Palestinians’ right to self-determination. Besides, such a unilateral action is against international law and the United Nations Security Council resolutions, Resolution 181 of 1947 to Resolution 2334 of 2016. This Leader has said it before, and, it bears repeating: might is not right, justice is. Palestinians have been denied justice for so long, beginning with the unilateral Balfour Declaration. The Arabs have a precise word to describe justice: adab. Adab means things in its proper place. The US and Israel must be told, as the OIC has so resoundingly done so on Wednesday, that the proper place for Al-Quds Al-Sharif is in Palestine. As one British judge put it so well: justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done.
The US claims that it is an honest broker for peace in the Middle East, but what it has done is to create a “Muddle East”, as one European journalist put it. Muddling through is what it is. US President Donald Trump boasted recently that he will deliver the ultimate peace deal like no other US president has done. This must be a boast without any bang in it. The US cannot pretend to be a mediator while dangerously siding with Israel. Trump’s move bears all the hallmark of a complete and categorical disinterest in peace for the Palestinians, and, by extension for the Middle East. Mr President, your bias is showing.
Unlike Trump, leaders of the rest of the world have openly defied America’s unilateral move. French President Emmanuel Macron made it very clear to Trump that the final status of Jerusalem must be left to peaceful negotiations while British Prime Minister Theresa May called the US president’s move unhelpful in bringing about peace in the region. We are glad there are leaders who keep their heads above their shoulders. The Middle East has been meddled with for far too long. It is time for the Muslim nations to help Palestine reclaim its proper place.