In recent days, the world has witnessed an alarming escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip, and the repercussions extend far beyond the borders of this conflict-ridden region. The stark division between the West and the rest of the world has never been more apparent, with the West standing accused of complicity in what is being referred to as “Israeli aggression.”
Leaders from the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) gathered in Riyadh for an extraordinary joint summit, unequivocally placing blame on Western countries for their support of Tel Aviv’s actions. The humanitarian disaster unfolding in Gaza is, in their view, a direct result of this support. It is imperative that we scrutinize the statements and initiatives arising from this summit to comprehend the gravity of the situation.
At the heart of the condemnation is the unanimous declaration by summit participants that Western countries are not mere bystanders but active accomplices in the Israeli aggression. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas minced no words, directly attributing the lack of a political solution to the Middle East conflict to the United States. He went so far as to declare intentions to prosecute war criminals at international courts, holding the U.S. accountable for the crisis’s failure to find resolution.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi echoed these sentiments, underscoring the inconsistency between America’s messages and its actions. According to Raisi, the U.S. has obstructed a ceasefire in Gaza while simultaneously expanding the scope of the conflict. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan expressed regret at the silence of Western countries, champions of human rights and freedoms, in the face of ongoing Palestinian casualties. Erdogan demanded that the West and Israel, the supposed “spoiled child” of the West, compensate for the damage inflicted on Palestinians.
The leaders at the summit were unified in their call for an immediate suspension of hostilities in Gaza. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud emphasized the need to cease Israeli hostilities, secure the release of hostages held by Hamas, and halt the forced displacement of Gaza’s population. Turkish President Erdogan stressed that a permanent, not temporary, ceasefire is the first priority in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict zone.
Crown Prince of Kuwait Salem Abdullah al-Jaber al-Sabah appealed to the global community, especially the UN Security Council, to assume its responsibility and promptly stop the bloodshed in Gaza. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi insisted on the formation of a concrete mechanism for a just settlement of the conflict, based on the idea of two independent states.
President Erdogan declared Ankara’s readiness to participate in establishing a security guarantee mechanism for Palestinians, involving a system of guarantor countries. This mechanism, he asserted, would provide security for both Palestinians and Israelis, benefiting the entire region. Mahmoud Abbas urged the UN Security Council to approve Palestine’s full membership and convene an international peace conference focused on Gaza’s reconstruction and the protection of Palestinian rights.
Several world leaders proposed increased pressure on Israel. Syrian President Bashar Assad called for tangible steps, urging Arab countries to limit their contacts with Israel. Iranian President Raisi suggested using “all means” to force the U.S. and Israel to halt the fighting, including arming Palestinians if necessary. Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani urged the UN to send an international investigation team to Gaza to assess Israeli responsibility for attacks on civilian targets.
The world is at a crossroads, and the decisions made in the coming days will reverberate for generations. The West must confront the accusations of complicity in the Gaza crisis with introspection and decisive action. The international community, led by the UN Security Council, must step up to stop the bloodshed, establish a lasting ceasefire, and work towards a just settlement that respects the rights and aspirations of both Palestinians and Israelis. The time for accountability, empathy, and genuine efforts for peace is now.