Muslims—Jerusalem Matters

The Trump administration’s threats to those who would support the Turkish-Yemeni co-sponsored resolution, rebuking the U.S. decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, was an affront to Muslim dignity. It is an affront that should be faced head on. If not now, the U.S. and the opaque Saudi-Israeli alliance will, little by little, erase Palestinian, Arab and Muslim rights with America’s military might as its hammer and Saudi money as its grease.

The Trump administration’s has tied its foreign aid to subservience. President Erdogan of Turkey was right to say that dollars could not buy his vote but the U.N. General Assembly’s symbolic repudiation of the U.S. move is insufficient. It was clear that many nations buckled under the U.S. threat by not voting or abstaining. Among the unprincipled, Bosnia-Herzegovina, a Muslim country, and Canada, Mexico and Australia shed their dignity and abstained in order to curry favor with Washington. These compromises could quietly mushroom with time unless there is a unified and strong push back from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries. Many illegitimate Muslim rulers rely on Washington for support to stay in power but Muslims should peacefully demand that their leaders stand up for Muslim dignity and cut their umbilical cord to Washington.

The U.S. even attacked the United Nations before the vote. Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., alluded to a reduction in U.S. financial contribution to the U.N. if the vote did not go in Washington’s favor. OIC member countries should respond to this threat in a number of ways. They should tease the U.S. by offering to make up the U.S. contribution if the U.S. would surrender its Permanent Security Council seat to a Muslim country to be elected by the OIC or even simply surrender its veto power at the Security Council. They should note that the U.S. has used its veto power more that the other four permanent members to get its way against the wishes of the broader U.N. membership. Moreover, the OIC countries should propose moves to democratically restructure the Security Council.

In response to an Israeli deputy minister’s call for Israel to break all ties with the U.N. and to evict the U.N. from its Jerusalem offices, the OIC members should urge the U.N. to go ahead and comply with this minster’s call immediately.

For the longer run, the OIC countries should consider using economic sanctions as an instrument of foreign policy to uphold the dignity of Muslim countries. While the U.S., because of its economic size, uses sanctions more than the rest of the world combined, the OIC with its 57 members (56 of which are countries) could also use sanctions effectively to change the policy of countries to favor Muslim countries if the membership is unified at least on policy issues important to Muslims.

President Trump has often said that he admires those who are strong and fight. U.S. reactions to the Turkish-Yemeni resolution and the resulting vote gives the OIC an opportunity to stand up and go toe to toe with the U.S. president and gain his respect and admiration in the process!

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