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This page is the English version of Almasirah Media Network website and it focuses on delivering all leading News and developments in Yemen, the Middle East and the world. In the eara of misinformation imposed by the main stream media in the Middle East and abroad, Almasirah Media Network strives towards promoting knowledge, principle values and justice, among all societies and cultures in the world

How India Abandoned Its Traditional Pro-Palestine Policy Under Modi Govt

World: Hours after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas launched the ‘Al-Aqsa Storm’ operation against the Israeli regime last week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to X, formerly Twitter, to extend his support to the Benjamin Netanyahu regime in Tel Aviv.

“Deeply shocked by the news of terrorist attacks in Israel. Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with Israel at this difficult hour.” Modi wrote on X on October 7, referring to the Palestinian resistance fighters as “terrorists.”

The tweet was later shared by Indian Foreign Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and other ministers and members of the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), which led to a massive social media disinformation campaign aimed at the vilification of the Palestinian resistance.

A former colonel in the Indian army, Rohit Dev, who now serves as a chief operating officer of a renewable energy firm, also took to X and had a message for the illegitimate regime in Tel Aviv – show “no mercy: no pity: no remorse” towards Hamas.

The disinformation campaign has now led to “India is with Israel” hashtags trending on social media platforms, which left the Israeli regime ambassador to India Naor Gilon awestruck as he lauded Indians who were willing to volunteer to fight on behalf of the regime.

In the last week, New Delhi has even sanctioned force against protests in solidarity with Palestine, while allowing demonstrations in support of the Israeli regime.

From the Aligarh Muslim University, the top minority educational institute in India, to the capital New Delhi, several protesters have been detained in the past week, suggesting that the Indian government is going to walk the talk on its support for the Israeli regime.

Former Indian ambassador to Palestine and West Asia expert, Zikrur Rahman in an interview with the Press TV website said the Zionists have sought to portray themselves as victims.

“The Israelis have very cleverly tried to divert the narrative from a colonizer and colonized or an occupier to an occupied into a Muslim and Jewish issue, which it has nothing to do with it. It is the issue of occupation, occupier and occupied,” Rahman said in a telephonic interview.

“Palestinians are not only Muslims, they’re Jews also and also Christians, so it is not a matter of Islam or being Muslim or non-Muslim, it is a matter of subjugation,” he added.

Change in policy under Modi

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is the ideological parent organization of India’s ruling party BJP, has been accused in India of fueling anti-Muslim violence.

Many human rights activists have even drawn parallels between “Hindutva and Zionism.”

It was in 1992 that India and Israel normalized relations, but after the BJP government took over in 2014, Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the occupied territories, a departure from the policy pursued by his predecessors since 1948.

“With the rise of the BJP to power, things have definitely changed as the two countries have now stronger relations,” Rahman said. “There’s a personal bond between Modi and Netanyahu, and both sides are also doing that.”

Zafarul-Islam Khan, the former chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission and editor of The Milli Gazette journal, delved into history and said India was “the first country to recognize Palestine Liberation Organization in 1974 and the State of Palestine in 1988”, and became the first country to allow PLO to open an embassy in Delhi.

“India’s policy started to change slowly during Narasimha Rao’s (former Indian Prime Minister) time, basically as a result of militancy in Kashmir and also because of the Oslo Accords, which were marketed by Israel as the end of the Palestine problem,” Khan said in an interview with the Press TV website.

“Israel promised India to train its forces to fight the insurgency (in Kashmir), while India offered it military gadgets that it manufactured or improvised to fight the Palestinian freedom fighters. Today, India is the largest importer of Israeli arms. All this while India has continued to say that it supports the “inalienable rights” of the Palestinians.”

Khan said the relations between the two sides “took a new turn” under the Modi government, which started describing ties between New Delhi and Tel Aviv as “strategic.”

“India under Modi found itself attracted to Israel, which “tackled” the (Muslim) Palestinians the way Hindutva fanatics would like to tackle the Muslims of India,” he remarked.

Pertinently, Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit the occupied Palestinian territories in July 2017.  The visit came weeks after he welcomed the Israeli counterpart in New Delhi.

Zionism and Hindutva

In India, Islamophobia has become a serious issue in recent years, fanned by the Hindutva ideology that lies at the heart of the policies pursued by the incumbent BJP government,

The Hindu nationalist government in New Delhi seeks to establish a Hindu-dominated nation and marginalize religious minorities, especially Muslims, who have witnessed a surge in hate speech perpetuated by Hindu extremist groups in recent years.

The unrelenting calls for genocide against minority Muslims by BJP leaders, and other right-wing forces, have exposed the grave threat that Islamophobia poses to India’s social fabric.

According to Khan, Hindutva and the Zionist ideologies go together, as the binding factor for both is animosity towards Islam and Muslims.

“BJP and Hindutva suffer from strong Islamophobia, and any country or power they perceive as “anti-Muslim” is automatically their great friend. Both Modi and Netanyahu share a disdain for Muslims and Islam, and this is a key reason for their bonhomie,” Khan told the Press TV website.

“They (Hindutva supporters) look at Israel in great admiration, for it has subdued a “Muslim” nation. Hindutva wants to replicate the same model in India, though the situation in India is totally different from what prevails in the occupied territories.”

New Delhi is today the biggest and most dependable purchaser of Israeli-made weapons, spending in excess of $ 1 billion per year, according to weapons monitors.

The history of military cooperation between them can be traced back to the early 1990s when New Delhi for the first time started purchasing weaponry from Tel Aviv.

Over the years, especially under the incumbent BJP government, India has become one of the largest buyers of Israeli military equipment, purchasing weapons such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), radar systems, missile defense systems, and ammunition.

Change in India’s policy on Palestine

India was not always a supporter of the Israeli regime. It opposed the creation of Israel and backed the rights of Palestinian refugees displaced by the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

The first prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, and the country’s independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, had both expressed their sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians.

“The time has changed (for India), the time Nehru was there, was a different time. During the Janta Party period, then-foreign minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee (former Prime Minister and a senior leader of the BJP) had very clearly stated that "Israel will have to vacate the land occupied by the Arabs," Rahman said while referring to Vajpayee’s 1977 speech.

But as New Delhi looked for new partnerships in line with its strategic and regional interests, the Palestine cause was put on the back burner, or as New Delhi-based security and diplomatic analyst, Qamar Agha describes it Modi “de-hyphenated” Palestine and Israel.

Modi government has worked hard to improve its ties with West Asian countries, such as Saudi Arabia and UAE, which have shown more pragmatism and flexibility towards the Israeli regime, but on the other hand, has also risked its moral high ground and credibility.

“When there was the bipolar world, we continued to support the Palestinian cause, but with the arrival of the unipolar world, the changes in our foreign policy towards Israel started surfacing,” Agha told the Press TV website.

“It was during this period that a number of Arab countries, Egypt, Jordan, and many more, started establishing direct relations with Israel. So India thought why should we wait, when the Arabs themselves are recognizing, it is better to talk to them and establish ties.”

According to Khan, the Modi government knows that Arab or Muslim countries “pay only lip service to Palestine, and it too is doing the same while doing real business with Israel.”

“The Palestinians are very clear about this that India is not the India it used to be in the 1970s and 80s, and so they have accepted it as it is that if you’re going to support us and help us that is good, otherwise, the other countries are also like that,” stated Rahman.

The reasons for this change in India’s policy are manifold, including the growing security and military cooperation between the two sides.

“The Palestinian embassy still exists in Delhi and an Indian diplomatic office also operates in Ramallah, while India’s relations with Israel have touched the sky, so much that Modi saw it fit to openly stand with Israel against “terrorist” Hamas during the current Israel-Gaza face off which was a revolt against the 16-year-old blockade of the Gaza Strip and Israel’s overtures to Arab countries while the Palestinian issue remained unsolved,” Khan said.

Khan hastened to add that India is not a big player in the West Asian region and is only interested in keeping the regional markets open for its goods, importing oil and gas at favorable terms and safeguarding the 7.5 million Indians working there, who contribute massively to India’s foreign exchange earnings.

Apart from this, he noted, India has no strategic interests in the region.

Source: Press TV

#Normalization #Palestine #Israel #India 23-10-16
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This page is the English version of Almasirah Media Network website and it focuses on delivering all leading News and developments in Yemen, the Middle East and the world. In the eara of misinformation imposed by the main stream media in the Middle East and abroad, Almasirah Media Network strives towards promoting knowledge, principle values and justice, among all societies and cultures in the world

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