Eminent Citizens Call for Unity of Democratic Forces of Indo-Palestine to Resist Hindutva and Zionism

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BJP MP Subramanian Swami and Dr. Gadi Taub at Mumbai event on Hindutva and Zionism

Caravan News

NEW DELHI — Reacting to an event held on the Hindutva and Zionism in Mumbai, prominent writers, and activists including Nayantara Sehgal, Supreme Court lawyer Rajeev Dhawan and JNU professor Nivedita Menon have called for the unity among democratic and progressive forces in India and Palestine to resist these two “supremacist ideologies”.

“The democratic and progressive forces in India, which are battling to save the soul of this nation, must at this moment align their struggles with that of the Palestinians,” reads the statement which was issued by more than 40 eminent citizens.

The event was organized by the Consulate General of Israel at Mumbai University on 26 August. BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Subramaniam Swami and Dr Gadi Taub of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who is a known advocate of Zionism, addressed the gathering on “Leader’s Idea of Nation in the Context of Zionism and Hindutva”.

Pointing to the apparent unity of the proponents of these supremacist ideologies at this event, they said “the largest coalition of the Palestinian civil society has called for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against the state of Israel until it respects their rights. Increasingly, we can see that our oppressors are united, and taking us down a dangerous path. In this grave moment, our struggles must unite too. It is time we overwhelmingly respect the Palestinian picket line and combined our struggles for freedom, justice, and equality with theirs”.

Shedding light on the commonalities among these forces, they said, “Zionism is a racist ideology calling for a settler-colonial, apartheid state where non-Jews have unequal rights, and in practice, has been premised on the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians for the last seven decades. Hindutva, its mirror image, is a supremacist ideology that calls for a nation of Hindus, where all other communities have to be relegated to an unequal status through suppression. At the centre of growing ties between the Modi regime and Israel is the collusion of these ideologies”.

They also attributed the recent developments in Kashmir to the Israeli model being adopted by the Indian government. “The weapons that Israel ‘field-tests’ on Palestinian bodies are today being deployed in Kashmir. The abrogation of Article 370 and 35(A) and the consequent threat of demographic changes is also out of the Israeli manual of creating ‘facts on the ground’ through illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. The fantasy of Israelizing India is a prized one for this regime and its supporters,” They noted.

Here is the full text of the statement and its signatories:

On the 26th of August, the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai hosted an event on Hindutva and Zionism in the Convocation Hall of Mumbai University. The speakers at this event were Gadi Taub of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a known advocate of Zionism; and Rajya Sabha MP of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Subramanian Swamy. A barely known organization called Indo-Israel Friendship Association is a co-organizer of this event. The poster of the event features the proponents of both supremacist ideologies- Theodor Herzl and VD Savarkar.

Zionism is a racist ideology calling for a settler-colonial, apartheid state where non-Jews have unequal rights, and in practice, has been premised on the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians for the last seven decades. Hindutva, its mirror image, is a supremacist ideology that calls for a nation of Hindus, where all other communities have to be relegated to an unequal status through suppression. At the centre of growing ties between the Modi regime and Israel is the collusion of these ideologies.

What does this imply for India and Indians? These ties are a realization of the Brand Israel project, the apartheid state’s full-fledged strategy to whitewash its occupation, apartheid and settler colonialism against Palestinian people with ‘growing partnerships’ around the world. This finds an eager partner in the Modi regime, which is buying the largest share of Israel’s weapons exports, allocating budget to its unsustainable and corporate farming model and even bringing in the Hindi film industry to cover up for Israel’s crimes.

The weapons that Israel ‘field-tests’ on Palestinian bodies are today being deployed in Kashmir. The abrogation of Article 370 and 35(A), and the consequent threat of demographic changes, is also out of the Israeli manual of creating ‘facts on ground’ through illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. The fantasy of Israelizing India is a prized one for this regime and its supporters.

The democratic and progressive forces in India, which are battling to save the soul of this nation, must at this moment align their struggles with that of the Palestinians. The largest coalition of the Palestinian civil society has called for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against the state of Israel until it respects their rights. Increasingly, we can see that our oppressors are united, and taking us down a dangerous path. In this grave moment, our struggles must unite too. It is time we overwhelmingly respected the Palestinian picket line and combined our struggles for freedom, justice, and equality with theirs.

Signatories:

Achin Vanaik, Amitabha Basu, Anand Patwardhan, Archana Hande, Arundhati Ghosh, Bindu N. Doddahatti, Geeta Kapur, Githa Hariharan,, John Cherian, Lakshmi Subramanian, Leki Thungon, Malini Bhattacharya, Marcy Newman, Mihir Bhattacharya, Mohan Rao, Nancy Adajania, Nayantara Sahgal, Nivedita Menon, Pushpamala N, Rajeev Dhavan, Rajni Palriwala, Ram Rahman, Ramaseshan Ramachandran, Ritu Menon, Roshan Shahani, Sagari R Ramdas, Sanam Roohi, Sanjeev Khandekar, Sarandha, Shivangi Mariam Sharma, Simona Sawhney, Souradeep Roy, Subhash Gatade, Sudhanva Deshpande, Sukumar Muralidharan, Vaishali Narkar, Vijay Prashad, Vikas Bajpai, Vincent Manoharan, Vivan Sundaram, Vivek Monteiro, YC Subrahmanya and Yusuf Raza.

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