Simultaneous with the loss of life among the Palestinian people in Gaza, the inquiry resonating within Islamic communities pertains to the absence of punitive measures imposed by Islamic nations against the Israeli government.
It is widely recognized that several Arab and Islamic countries, despite lacking official diplomatic ties with Israel, maintain clandestine political, economic, and even security engagements with Tel Aviv. Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, Qatar, Azerbaijan, Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria, Gabon, Kosovo, Djibouti, and numerous other Islamic nations, alongside facing internal opposition, openly and covertly maintain political, economic, and security liaisons with Israel.
These extensive trade relationships have significantly augmented the influence of Israel in diverse ways. Through their associations with Israel, these nations have in essence conferred a degree of legitimacy upon the regime while also serving as sources for Israel’s essential requirements. Furthermore, by opening their markets to Israeli merchandise, they contribute to the revenue of Israel.
Most of Israel’s crude oil imports are facilitated by Islamic countries such as Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Notably, Jordan and Egypt stand as purchasers of gas sourced from the occupied Palestinian territories, with the proceeds deposited directly into the Israeli accounts. Turkey functions as the conduit for the transfer of oil and gas to the occupied territories, while concurrently importing petrochemical products from Israeli refineries, thereby generating income for Tel Aviv.
In parallel, it has been suggested by analysts that severing economic, political, and cultural ties with Israel and Israeli individuals, companies, and organizations represents a highly impactful tactic for exerting pressure on Tel Aviv to cease attacks on Gaza. Such sanctions, proposed by a number of entities globally, encompass actions such as divesting from the occupied Palestinian territories, refraining from investing in territories controlled by Israel, abstaining from purchasing Israeli goods, and implementing a political boycott of Israel.
Certain Islamic nations have curtailed or suspended specific aspects of their relations with Israel since the commencement of the conflict on October 7. Reports indicate that trade relations between Turkey and Israel have diminished by 50% since the onset of the current conflict in Palestine. However, a unified stance articulated in the statement of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation could potentially yield greater efficacy in this regard.
During an extraordinary session of the Executive Committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation held in Jeddah on October 18, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, advocated for an immediate boycott of Israel by Islamic nations. Moreover, he called for the establishment of a team of Islamic legal experts to support Palestine, with the objective of documenting the war crimes of the Israel and initiating proceedings in international courts.