From India to Palestine
by Githa Hariharan
In 1948, Israel was created on Palestinian land. Palestinians lost their homes and villages; huge numbers were expelled; they became refugees elsewhere or in their own land. In 1967, the West Bank and Gaza were also occupied by Israel.
For more than five decades now, Palestinians have suffered the violent and unjust realities of occupation. Not only does India have strong historical ties with the Arab world; but also the Indian freedom movement saw the struggle of the Palestinians for a homeland as a genuine struggle against colonialism. Both Gandhi and Nehru expressed this in no uncertain terms; so, later, did the non-aligned movement. Indian policy towards Palestine shifted radically in the 1990s. Israel has now become a major supplier of arms to India; it is also part of the complicated shift in India ’s relationship with America, and India ’s emerging vision of itself in the world.
LeftWord Books, New Delhi, 2015