Thursday, May 28, 2009

The OIC and Mideast peace

If President Obama, in his June 4 speech to the Muslim world, indeed calls on the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to extend diplomatic recognition to Israel in return for peace, he is to be commended. The OIC is a key player in the Mideast problem and needs to be constructively engaged.

That's not going to be easy though; the OIC's initial response, at a meeting May 25 in Damascus, was to reject any development in relations that would reward Israel for its 'crimes.' Instead, the OIC called on all member states with relations with Israel to sever them. It also agreed to uphold a broad Islamic boycott against Israel “until the liberation of all occupied Arab territories and the recovery of all the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”

The OIC is also mulling over a proposal for a Muslim peacekeeping force, which could be deployed in places such as Gaza. That's an interesting thought: real peacekeeping missions enforce truces or peace agreements. If by peacekeeping the OIC means getting Muslim countries to send troops to defend Hamas, that strikes me as unlikely, as no Muslim countries sent troops to Hamas' aid last time around. (Thanks to CNS News.)

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