Erdogan’s Call

Is it an early call or a late call? The massacre started on October 7 and the otherwise fast-moving world paced too slow in preventing a genocide. Now Erdogan wants the Muslim world to join hands for Palestine but why is this call only so good as mere high-sounding words? Turkey has been Israel’s $ 7 billion trade partner (as of last year) and continued the usual, mutually beneficial trade even when Israel’s genocidal intent became clear as day.

It was only recently that Turkey announced halting all trade with Israel but better late than never. The Rafah tent massacre has outraged everyone and after three European countries recognising Palestine and the International Court of Justice asked Israel to stop at once, the world has rallied for the Palestinians more staunchly than before. Yet the question remains on what practical steps are these countries ready to take.

How much will Erdogan’s call influence countries like Egypt, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and others in the Gulf region to abandon Israel? Seeing the comfort these countries have acquired over the years, it seems less likely that they break out of trade relations with Israel. Qatar plays a mediator between Israel and Hamas and has displayed no signs that we can term close to condemnation.

UAE has a free trade agreement with Israel and its exports to the latter are magnificent in volume. Egypt’s dependency on Israel’s natural gas makes the apparent case for the former’s sealed lips. And most surprising is the case of Indonesia - the country which chose to normalise diplomatic relations with Israel right in the middle of Gaza’s (now only Rafah) ongoing onslaught.

This is a moment of shame and each state, especially Muslim-majority states, needs to rethink their part in the bloodshed.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt