Article 1(2) of the UN Charter and articles 1 and 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) recognize that all people have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. The right to self-determination also has its economic content which gives the people the right to freely ‘dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic cooperation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law.’ We do recognize the classic realism proposed by Charles Tilly that state-making is essentially an act of war-making. However, war as we know from our collective histories has a massive Human cost. The progressive people of the world did not choose this war. It was thrust on us. This mindless violence only serves the status quo as oppressive forces hold on to power by capitalizing on human misery.
The events unfolding in Israel and Palestine are a long-standing failure of international politics which has failed to broker peace. The UN, including the Security Council, has adopted several resolutions over the years, including in 2020-21 when seventeen resolutions were passed against the state of Israel calling out its dismal record of Human Rights in the occupied territories of Palestine. In contrast, during the same time, the UN adopted only six resolutions directed at the rest of the world. The state of Israel has been further condemned forty-five times in the first seven years of the working of UN’s Human Rights Council. It is widely recognized today that the state of Israel stands in contravention of international laws and rejects Palestinian’s access to rights and justice.
As members and allies of the progressive Indian Diaspora, we are all too familiar with such brazen acts of state-led violence, the devastation it wreaks, and the violations that ensue. We have witnessed an intensification of the same in recent years by the state of India in areas like Kashmir. We have also witnessed how forces in support of populist governments – hand in hand with the state – have been used to persecute communities. We see similar patterns in Israel and Palestine today where military force is used to imprison a population and security forces have allowed mobs to run amok and assault Palestinians in their homes. The Israeli State has over the years continued to exercise indiscriminate bombings, the encroachment of ever more land in defiance of UN mandates, the heartless destruction of harvests and takeover of farmland, the denial of medical care and blockade of essential goods, indiscriminate murder of civilians and children, and myriad other forms of daily repression of ordinary people living in the largest open-air prison in the world. There is no doubt in our minds that without an immediate cessation of violence – of which the state of Israel bears the moral responsibility – no political solution can ever be found.
It is important to note that, like the Indian state, the Israeli state’s policy was one of denial of Palestinian rights and use of naked force to prevent finding a political and peaceful solution. We are today seeing the failure of such a policy. This recent misadventure by the state of Israel is a stern reminder to all states in the world who often think political problems can be solved by using naked violence.
We thereby support the progressive voices both in Palestine and Israel who do not stand by this violence.
We, the progressive Indian diaspora, in solidarity with progressive voices in Israel and Palestine, therefore call upon the state of Israel to respect international laws, uphold resolutions as laid out by the United Nations and end state-sponsored violence against Palestinians and other Arab populations within Israel. We also demand that war crimes by any state do not go unpunished, and the United Nations fulfill its role as a global arbiter lest its position be diminished. We further extend our solidarity to the Palestinian people and vow to support actions that lead to the protection of rights and dissemination of justice for the Palestinian people. Equally, we refuse to conflate anti-semitism with anti-zionism.
Finally, it has been disheartening to see India’s changing relationship to Israel from being one of the first countries to recognize Palestine to today being Israel’s leading defense purchaser, and the increasing exchange of strategies in counterinsurgency that have then been deployed against Adivasi communities in India. We are concerned about the global nexus between Hindutva, Zionism, and White Supremacy and perceive it to be one of the most challenging tests facing us today. As progressive Indians who stand in solidarity with our Kashmiri allies, we wish to be forefront in recognizing the harm of colonial violence that has itself been modeled on Israel’s settler colonialism of Palestine.
Suggested List of Actions (Sourced from available resources on the web)
- Visit: https://bdsmovement.net/
Also, visit the associated link on how this may help.
- Donate to (from The Tab)
Medical Aid for Palestine
Medical Aid for Palestine or MAP is a registered charity that is on the ground right now supporting those injured. They are providing essential medications, dressing, and fluids. They are also supporting the central blood bank. To donate visit their website here where you can select a monthly or one-off donation.
- Write to your representatives (from The Tab)
FOA is a non-profit group campaigning for humans rights, and on their website, they provide specific letter templates you can use to send to your representatives such as a letter about saving Sheikh Jarrah. Find details here.
- Protest (from The Tab)
Protests have been going on globally asking for governments to step in and end the violence.
- Read about the situation in Palestine at https://www.pchrgaza.org/en/
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- Alliance of South Asians Taking Action, USA
- Ambedkar International Center, USA
- Ambedkar King Study Circle, USA
- Boston South Asian Coalition, USA
- Brown & Green: South Asian Americans for Climate Justice, USA
- Canadians Against Oppression And Persecution, Canada
- Coalition Against Fascism in India, USA
- Coalition of Seattle Indian Americans, USA
- Foundation London Story, Netherlands
- Friends of India, Texas, USA
- Global Secular Hindu Forum, UK
- Indian Alliance Paris, France
- Indian Resistance Network, Norway
- International Solidarity for Academic Freedom in India, International
- India Solidarity Germany, Germany
- New Zealanders United to save the Indian Constitution, New Zealand
- Progressive India Collective, USA
- South Asian Solidarity Group, UK
- The Humanism Project, Australia
- Voices Against Fascism in India, USA
Updates: We have reached out to progressive voices within the Israeli and Palestinian communities to inquire about potential actions and collaborations.