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Mainstream, VOL 61 No 45 November 4, 2023

Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, Nov 4, 2023

Saturday 4 November 2023


Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, November 4, 2023

Israel’s war on the Palestinian territory of Gaza has intensified causing huge human dislocation and destruction. The UN Secretary-General and all top officials from the UN are repeatedly calling for a ceasefire, appealing to the world to take note. India’s abstention from a United Nations General Assembly vote of October 27, 2023, on a resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in Israel’s bombing of the Gaza Strip has disappointed many across the world. The UN resolution had been sponsored by Jordan and had support of from across the Middle East and Africa and was voted for by 121 countries. At the level of public perceptions, India’s abstention from this important resolution certainly would not go unnoticed in the Arab World nor among its partner countries from the BRICS Alliance who have all been calling for a ceasefire. The Modi-ruled Government of India seems to continue to turn its back on the past state policy of holding out its hand of support to countries fighting colonisation. In 1974 India was one of the first Asian countries to recognise the Palestinian state and to support the PLO and has over the decades carefully nurtured strong economic relations across the Arab world and the Middle East but this reputation is taking a beating. The constant invocation of Israel vs Hamas —as India vs Pakistan) in propaganda by hardline members of India’s ruling BJP ever since Oct 7 Hamas attacks on Israel, to tarnish and attack the record of opposition parties in India over their stance on terrorism is turning uglier by the day and may ricochet on India’s diaspora in the Arab world and Africa. It is time for all of India’s opposition political parties to stand up and push the Government to call for a ceasefire in Gaza and re-iterate their support for the Palestinian cause.

November 4, 2023 —HK

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