0923 GMT January 19, 2018
Washington's recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of the Israeli regime has been one of the most talked-about topics in political and media circles. In the midst of this hype, there are reports on the visit of a Bahraini delegation to Tel Aviv on the one hand, and on the other, there are Turkey’s tough stance and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s fierce opposition to US President Donald Trump’s move. In this regard, we have reached out to political analyst Sadeq Maleki who believes that al-Quds is more of an international issue with humanitarian aspects than a mere Islamic issue, adding that Trump’s move has struck a serious blow to peace, justice and liberty in the international order, and magnified the brute force of US power to people across the world, MNA reported.
The move will cause international resentment for Trump’s administration, he added.
Maleki said that al-Quds is the victim of division among the Muslims, and stressing that as long as the current situation persists among Muslim governments and nations, any hope for a better future for al-Quds will be a far-fetched dream.
The following is MNA interview with Sadeq Maleki, an Iranian political expert and analyst:
With this analysis in mind, don’t you think that the OIC summit in Istanbul and the adoption of a UN resolution against Trump’s move with overwhelming majority were significant measures?
Yes, these measures and condemnations are a source of satisfaction, but none of them have any practical effect and are symbolic at best. So many leaders of Islamic countries took part in Istanbul conference, in which they vented a part of their anger and resentment against the US and the Zionist regime. Note that what I said does not mean passivity or silence against Trump’s move, but that al-Quds will not be liberated merely by issuing resolutions and making harsh statements.
From a certain viewpoint, one could say al-Quds is also the victim of the end of the Cold War. There was a time in the Middle East when former Egyptian President Nasser Hussein could strike a practical blow to the Zionist regime, or even Anwar el-Sadat, prior to Camp David Accords, could engage Tel Aviv in a war. Although conditions of the international order have changed, Erdogan cannot even be a shadow of Nasser or Sadat before Camp David. In the past four decades, Tehran has been the most serious threat to Tel Aviv, and still continues to be so. One should not take other countries very seriously, because Palestine is not a strategic issue in their national strategy.
But wouldn’t you say that Turkey has been in fact very active and serious on the Palestinian issue?
Turkey just appears to be serious, but it really isn’t. One should distinguish between empty boasts and practical measures. Turkey is dependent on the West now more than ever, and its interests are closely entangled with those of the Zionist regime. Did Turkey’s relations with Israel go through a crisis after Trump’s Jerusalem decision? Did Turkey sever or cut down ties with Israel? Did Turkey suspend the Manavgat Water Agreement with Israel? And all other examples of such nature. Opposition carried out with mere epic statements and comments in the political scene only serves domestic and foreign interests. At the moment, Erdogan is gripped with many domestic and international issues in the political and economic spheres, and al-Quds can become his saving grace. Erdogan’s dispute with the US on Syrian Kurds, Fethullah Gülen, Reza Zarrab, and his desire to win presidency in 2019, are some of the considerations that have propelled Erdogan to ride the wave of anti-Zionist and anti-American sentiments of Turkish people. Of course Iran welcomes even this level of challenge in Turkey’s relations with Tel Aviv and Washington, but we must be vigilant. The nature of Turkey’s views and policies toward the Zionist regime is fundamentally different from that of Iran’s. Turkey under President Erdogan are dependent on the West and global capital more than any time before. This Turkey, alongside its membership to NATO and the subsequent obligations of that membership, is a member of the global capital club, and as such, cannot act independent of the West’s macro interests.
Won’t such remarks cause some kind of hopelessness?
One could assume that, but the aim is not to cause hopelessness. The aim is to clarify and make efforts to find real solutions and understand the current policies. Sometimes, unwarranted hope or miscalculations are more dangerous; some have become so delighted over Erdogan’s remarks against Trump that they are talking about forming a bloc with Iran, Turkey and Russia. These people have forgotten that a major part of our martyred defenders in Syria, and the destruction of Syria and Iraq are the result of Turkey’s policies. I personally consider Turkey’s policies toward Syria, Iraq, and Hezbollah as an important factor in Trump’s Jerusalem decision. Erdogan cannot save al-Quds, but al-Quds can save Erdogan. Turkey and Erdogan have an instrumental and interest-based outlook on al-Quds. Turkey’s issues with US, since they are political disputes, will be resolved sooner or later, and so Erdogan’s shift from his current policy should not come as a shock to Iranian political circles.