Why debate Gaza
The much-stifled and diluted ‘debate’ on Gaza that took place in Rajya Sabha on Monday is a pale shadow of the robust discussions that once characterised the hallowed halls of Parliament.
While a meek avowal of ‘unchanged policy’ towards the cause of Palestinian struggle and liberation was reverberated, the members of house neither didn’t take a principled stand on the issue, nor did it condemn Israel or adopt a line that could have translated into an economic and cultural boycott of Israel for its genocidal crimes in Gaza strip.
Undoubtedly, the world’s largest open concentration camp does not merit the same affectation from our government as its occupier, Israel, does, since the latter is one of the biggest exporters of defence products to India. Clearly, a morally upright and conscientious position doesn’t strike as ‘pragmatic’ to a government that has just hiked the FDI ceiling in defence procurements to 49 per cent. Hence, even though the opposition led by Ghulam Nabi Azad in the upper house pressed for government to pass a resolution in Parliament and take up the issue with UNSC, the idea was dismissed citing mere legislative technicality and not rising to the extraordinary occasion in which Palestinian Arabs are being systematically subjected to ethnic cleansing in spurts of unfathomable violence.
But the issue at stake here is not whether or not diplomatic relations with Israel be tweaked in the light of the atrocities in Gaza. The real question is the right of a people to self-determination and basic dignity to live without fear of any external or internal threat. How can Indians support Israeli tanks and shells pummeling Gaza when they seek rights for themselves and want every inch of the ground that ensures a free and good life? The question of Palestine is the fundamental question of democracy and a people’s hunger for a homeland. Israel is not only denying that to Palestinians since 1967 when it occupied the strip along with West Bank to start building Jewish colonies, it is a case of methodical extermination of a people. It’s a shameful irony that Zionist Israel, after having milked Holocaust for six decades, is replicating the gravest crimes of Nazi Germany.