Why does Palestine not have Shiite Muslims?
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan actually thought up this cleverly: He is hosting a summit meeting of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul to protest against the decision of US President Donald Trump to single-handedly recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy there. Given the history of the OIC, an unanimous outcry would have been expected. But instead of unity, the Muslim world in Istanbul demonstrates how divided it is - and that Jerusalem and the Palestinian question, beyond ritual rhetoric, have largely lost their central importance.
Even Trump's Israel policy does not unite the Muslim countries
The Organization for Islamic Cooperation is an amalgamation of 56 states in which Islam is the state religion or in which Muslims make up at least a large part of the population. It claims to represent the interests of 1.8 billion Muslims, which makes Islam the second largest religious community after Christianity. The OIC was founded in 1969 to protect the interests of Muslims as the "common voice of the Muslim world" in the spirit of international peace.
Strictly speaking, the conquest of Jerusalem in the Six Day War by Israel in 1967 was the reason for the foundation. Liberating the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock and all of Jerusalem was considered by the founding members to be the most noble duty of the faithful. The Saudi kingdom knew that it was in agreement with Persia, which was still ruled by the Shah, although the Shah, unlike the Arabs, had close ties to the Jewish state. The Hashemite monarchy in Jordan under the then King Hussein and the Egypt of Gamal Abdel Nasser were committed to this. Both countries later concluded peace agreements with Israel that were highly controversial at the time.
Today it speaks volumes that in Istanbul Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - two leading powers of the Arab-Sunni world - are not represented at the highest level. They regard the Shiite regime of Iran with its regional ambitions as the greatest threat and do not want to break their alliance with the US Trump. They hope from him that, unlike his predecessor Barack Obama, who is hated in the Gulf, he will resolutely oppose Iran. They see Israel as a potential partner. One is connected by common interests.
This duo is united with Egypt and other Arab states against the political Islam of the Muslim Brotherhood. Monarchs and strong men from Riyadh to Cairo see them as a threat to their undemocratic models of rule - and Erdoğan is the most important supporter of the Islamists alongside Qatar. Moreover, it is not unreasonably assumed that he wanted to exert influence far into the Arab world in the tradition of the Ottomans and that, as a sultan, he wanted to become the global leader of the Muslims. He is unable to generate allegiance in this way.
Laughing third parties in the face of the cabal are Iran and its allies such as Hezbollah. You can pose as the savior of the Palestinians and divide the Arabs on charges of duplicity. They know the notorious "Arab Street" is on their side. Even if it is no longer the terrifying power factor of yore, Iran is undermining the legitimacy of the Arab-Sunni regimes. It is not inconceivable that Hezbollah would go to war against Israel. It would be a lie, however, that this is primarily about the Palestinian cause. An armed conflict would not bring this one millimeter closer to the longed-for own state.
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