Muslim leaders declare East Jerusalem capital of “Palestine”

The OIC, December 13, 2017 (Photo: screenshot)

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation met in Instanbul on Wednesday, heads of state and representatives from Muslim nations collectively denouncing President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, calling on the global community to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of “Palestine”.

The current president of the OIC, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, arranged the summit of 57 members to address Jerusalem and the Palestinians. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, President Michel Aoun of Lebanon, Emir of Kuwait Al Sabah, King Abdullah II of Jordan, King Salman of Saudi Arabia and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani were in attendance.

Abbas announced that the United States would no longer play a role in the peace process, claiming, “Jerusalem is and always will be the capital of Palestine. We do not accept any role of the United States in the political process from now on, because it is completely biased towards Israel,” calling on the international community to “recognize the state of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital”.

President Erdogan of Turkey criticized the United States’ “unilateral move”, asking “How can you take a decision like that on your own?” continuing his days of anti-Israel rhetoric, stating “Palestine’s fate cannot be left in the hands of a country that brutally kills women and children alike… Israel has been rewarded for all the terrorism that it did, and the award has been given by Trump, although he is alone. While we were working for peace, we got the biggest slap in our face of our times.” He called for recognition of East Jerusalem, stating “I am inviting the countries who value international law and fairness to recognize occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.”

His foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, also accused the United States of bullying, calling on recognition of a Palestinian state as per 1967 borders. He claimed “They [USA] expect the Islamic nation to remain silent. But we will never be silent. This bullying eliminates the possibility of peace and the grounds for shared life. Their decision is null for us. The Palestinian state must be recognized by all [other] countries. We must all strive together for this. We must encourage other countries to recognize the Palestinian state on the basis of its 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital.”

King Salman of Saudi Arabia focused on peace process and the “right” of the Palestinians to East Jerusalem as their capital, stating “The [Saudi] kingdom has called for a political solution to resolve regional crises, foremost of which is the Palestinian issue and the restoration of the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights, including the right to establish their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to the IOC’s accusations and claims, stating in response on Wednesday evening, “The Palestinians would do well to recognize reality and work toward peace, not extremism, and acknowledge an additional fact regarding Jerusalem: Not only is it the capital of Israel but in Jerusalem we uphold freedom of worship for all faiths and it is we who are making this promise in the Middle East even though no one else does and despite frequent severe failures in this regard. Therefore all these statements fail to impress us. The truth will win in the end and many countries will certainly recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and also move their embassies.”

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, December 13, 2017, and reposted with permission.