In examining the philosophy behind Arab summits, it becomes evident that their purpose, ostensibly, is to address the interests of Arab populations and overcome crises.
However, this philosophy has struggled to materialize since the inception of Arab summit conferences in March 1945.
Over approximately 70 years, 62 Arab summits have been convened, with 14 labelled as ‘emergency’ summits, including the latest held on the Gaza Strip conflict.
Contrary to the expectation that an ‘emergency’ summit would address immediate crises, the term is used here 36 days after the aggression against Gaza, raising questions about the urgency of the response.
The media portrayal of these summits is not in line with the reality of their outcomes. Some outlets depict them as achievements, with headlines such as “The Emergency Arab-Islamic Summit”… “Non-stop Emirati efforts to support Gaza.”
However, the gap between rhetoric and action is evident.
Saudi Arabia has belatedly announced a historic summit to address the unfolding crisis in Gaza. The kingdom’s foreign ministry, seemingly roused at the eleventh hour on Friday, declared a convening of an ‘extraordinary joint gathering’ of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab League on Saturday.
Yet, the question that looms large is: Why now? Why the eleventh hour urgency when the crisis has been unravelling for weeks?
This summit, bringing together member states from the Islamic and Arab worlds, including Iran, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq, is being touted as a response to the distressing situation. However, the glaring reality remains that the urgency to act has been conspicuously absent until now.
Statement to the Arab and Islamic Nation before the convening of the Arab League
As part of the ongoing follow-up by the “Muslim Brotherhood” group to what is happening in Gaza, with successive massacres and deliberate targeting of civilians amid international silence and Arab… pic.twitter.com/nlMeRLhSZp
— Ikhwanweb (@Ikhwanweb) November 10, 2023
As world leaders converge on this ‘last-minute’ joint gathering, one cannot help but criticize the procrastination that has allowed the Gaza crisis to escalate unchecked.
The summit, now framed as a gesture of concern, raises questions about the effectiveness of such initiatives when the need for action was apparent long before the eleventh hour.
Many activists criticized the late responding of the summit, saying “the Arab-Islamic summit should have convened much earlier, considering the severity of the ongoing aggression,” questioning the purpose of such summits when atrocities committed by ‘Israel’ continue without significant consequences.
The delay in convening the summit is attributed to the subservience, failure, and weakness of Arab positions. Despite the brutalities witnessed, some Arab countries maintain diplomatic relations with the Israeli occupation, contributing to the perceived weakness of the collective Arab stance.
There should definitely be a departure from the traditional approach of summits, concrete actions should be taken such as severing diplomatic ties, economic boycotts, and taking a strong stance against international companies dealing with ‘Israel’.
Arab and Islamic world shall possess the resources and influence to bring about change. Impactful measures, including the possibility of using oil as leverage, should be taken to prevent further atrocities in Gaza.
Arab and Iranian leaders arrive for an emergency summit in Riyadh for the first time since the war between Israel and Hamas began
The Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation will meet jointly in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, to demand an Israeli cease-fire in the… pic.twitter.com/1BlcxqaCGz
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) November 11, 2023
The Arab world has the potential to reshape the narrative in favour of Palestine.
For an agonizing 36th consecutive day, the relentless Zionist aggression persists against the Gaza Strip. The grim toll stands at 11,078 Palestinians tragically lost, among them 4,506 children, 3,027 women, and 678 elderly individuals.
A staggering 27,490 people bear the scars of injuries, spanning a spectrum of severity.
The aftermath is one of profound devastation, with widespread destruction permeating every facet of life in the besieged enclave. The persistent assault paints a harrowing picture of the immense human cost and the extensive damage inflicted upon the Palestinians.
In the face of ongoing suffering, the tardiness of the Arab response seems to say: “Too little, too late for Gaza.”
Source: Al-Manar English Website