OIC Extraordinary Summit in Istanbul on Palestine.

One of my favourite Biblical passages was always the Gospel according to Matthew Chapter 25. It dealt with the final judgement when the king will “put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.”

The saved, the sheep, are those who are merciful. They are those who assisted the hungry, the thirsty, those in need of clothes, the sick and those in prison.

The goats are those who ignored the basic needs of the people and they have a less pleasant destination.

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This is similar to Hadith Qudsi 18, narrated by Abu Hurayrah (r). The Torah is also clear on the rights of the stranger, the non-Jew (Deuteronomy 24).

Thus defending justice and the rights of the oppressed holds an elevated position in the teachings of Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

We are now witnessing, on a global scale, the separating of the sheep from the goats.

In reaction to the Gaza Massacre at the time of the opening of Trump’s Jerusalem Embassy, when over 60 unarmed demonstrators were killed and some nearly 3000 wounded, some so seriously they will not recover, Turkey and South Africa withdrew their ambassadors from Israel.

Qatar and Ireland denounced the killings and the OIC held an emergency summit called by the convenor, Turkey.

Many governments were silent or talked about the ‘clash’ or the ‘conflict’ between Palestinians and Israelis, but not ‘massacre.’

Representation at the OIC summit already carries some indication of where the goats are located.

The heads of states of Turkey, Afghanistan, Guinea, Iran, Qatar, Kuwait, Mauritania, Sudan, Jordan and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) attended.

The prime ministers of Palestine, Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan also attended, while Uzbekistan, Algeria and Sudan were represented at the parliamentary and senate level.

Saudi Arabia, the host of the 57-member OIC, sent only a senior foreign ministry official.

Egypt, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Lebanon, Iraq, Tunisia, Oman, Libya, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Chad, Kazakhstan, Comoros, Maldives and Tajikistan were represented at the foreign ministerial level.

The UAE also sent a lower-level minister.

Late on Friday, 18 May, the OIC summit issued a final communique calling on the United Nations to launch an international investigation into the killings in Gaza, the creation of an international protection force for Palestinians, and for the OIC to place economic restrictions on any countries, companies or individuals who recognise Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem.

It may be found on the OIC website.

This communiqué calls for strong action but it remains to be seen which countries will follow up the statements made.

This Gaza Massacre is uniting people of good will everywhere, those who seem to fit the description of ‘sheep.’

Many young American Jews and prominent Israelis have demonstrated and written objections to what is occurring.

Christians including the Pope have made their stance against the massacre clear.

The UN Human Rights Council, to hysterical Israeli objections, has voted to set up a probe into these recent killings in Gaza and accused Israel of excessive use of force.

Once again our nation has been shamed. “The resolution to send a commission of inquiry to investigate was rejected by the United States and Australia, but backed by 29 members of the 47-state UN forum. Another 14 countries, including Britain, Germany and Japan, abstained.”

Separating the sheep from the goats on this issue is becoming relatively straightforward.