The nauseatingly liberal editorial page of The Hindu asks India to firm up its support to Palestine.
Among other reasons, it suggests that this be done because the Indian people know colonialism for the evil it is.
Yes, they do, BUT the matter of Palestine is hardly about colonialism. Regrettably, brought up on propaganda, too many Indians see it in precisely these invalid terms.
This Indian understanding defies the weight of history. India was member of UN's special commission on Palestine (UNSCOP) which endorsed the creation of Israel. It was Palestinians that rejected the compromise that was then on offer to them. Subsequently, on multiple occasions, Israel was attacked by Arab nations allied with Palestine. The so-called occupation of the West Bank & Gaza is a consequence of repeated Arab defeats in wars Israel did not provoke. These territories were taken not from Palestinians, but from Jordan and Egypt respectively. If Israel could be called a colonizer now, then we wonder if The Hindu would call Jordan and Egypt likewise for having ruled these territories before 1967. Our suspicion is that it won't.
Is the occupation perfect? Hardly so. But lets at least understand why it exists, before viciously jumping on Israel.
Notwithstanding the history of it being constantly attacked, Israel offered a deal at Taba which -- for all intents and purposes -- would have created a viable Palestinian state. Yasser Arafat turned the deal down in a staggering display of poor political calculation. The consequence has been five more years of bloodshed, which only his passing has begun to reverse.
Israel has repeatedly expressed interest in a deal that would create Palestine and would ensure security for Israel. This is completely reasonable and if we don't have a sovereign Palestine in existence at the moment, it's because Palestinians haven't got their house in order. Hopefully, Mr. Abbas can overcome internal challenges within Fatah and from Hamas to create the necessary conditions for peace to be secured.
One final point. Many are upset that the Taba deal offered slightly less than 100% of the West Bank & Gaza to Palestine. True. But that's what happens when a nation loses a war. Palestine has comprehensively lost it's (very dirty) war with Israel, and it needs to come to terms with this reality. That it'll still get a viable state, likely with a toehold in Jerusalem, speaks well of the victors -- for the losers to quibble with this is precious.
So, let India support Palestine strongly, but lets cut out the simultaneous barbs at Israel -- a democracy, a friend, and a strategic ally.
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