Monday, March 30, 2009

Sidelining Palestine for the sake of al-Bashir?

Maan has an interesting article today on the Doha summit of the Arab League. The article argues that whilst unity on the Palestine question, and Gaza in particular, was supposed to be the highlight of the summit, attention has now shifted to Sudan and its president Omar al-Bashir.

The Arab League is closing its ranks in defense of al-Bashir, a policy that could possibly lead to the organization becoming less vocal on the Palestine question. For example, the judicial inquiry on Israeli war crimes in Gaza is in limbo. According to Maan, its not clear if the launching of the Gaza law suit will be on the table in Doha at all. Since the League is seeking to avoid further prosecution of al-Bashir in the ICC, it is unlikely that it will utilize the framework of the ICC in order to prosecute Israeli war criminals.

The Doha summit itself, anecdotically, has not been without controversies. The Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi stormed out of the meeting, after his Qatari hosts asked him to interupt his speech. Before leaving the venue, the man of mild and humble words stated that "I am an international leader, the dean of the Arab rulers, the king of kings of Africa and the imam of Muslims and my international status does not allow me to descend to a lower level".

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