Saturday August 13, 2022

The ignoble twins

June 06, 2021

Palestine, the famed land of prophets and one of the holiest sites for 1.3 billion of humanity. Kashmir, Amir Khusro’s paradise on earth; known as Pir Waer, the alcove of sufis and saints. In 1948, just months apart, Israel would be conceived in what was once Palestine; and India would occupy Kashmir. Through the decades, two different lands with different people would suffer the same harrowing fate.

Professor Sumantra Bose of the London School of Economics documents Vinayak Savarkar supporting the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. Both Savarkar and MS Golwalkar, fathers of the RSS and Hindutva, condemned the Indian vote at the 1948 UNGA favoring two states for Israelis and Palestinians. This was despite Savarkar and Golwalkar being smitten with Hitler and Mussolini and being ardent admirers of Hitler’s ‘final solution’.

Another act of blatant duplicity was Nehru championing the Palestinian cause while in 1953 permitting the opening of Israel’s consulate in Mumbai. This consulate gathered information regarding India’s Evacuee Property Laws which was replicated in Israel’s Absentee Property Law. This would become the instrument to expropriate land from the Palestinians who had been reduced to refugees in their own country.

Decades later, the intertwined fate of the brutalized Palestinians and Kashmiris culminated in the lethal conception of Modi and Netanyahu – the ignoble twins. The similarities between the two are uncanny. As if conjoined, the narcissist duo enforces the extreme ideologies of Hindutva and Zionism. Unchallenged, both use convoluted versions of religion and history to wreak horror. The Zionists claim that Palestinians are outsiders in their own land, the governing Hindutva extremists deem Muslims as foreigners.

On November 23, 2019, Sandeep Chakravorty, India’s consul general in New York, chaired a gathering celebrating the “achievements” of Israel in establishing political and cultural hegemony in Palestine. During his speech he bragged: “If Israel can do it, so can we”. He also called for a replication of the Israel model in Kashmir voicing the Hindutva mantra: “The Kashmiri culture is the Indian culture; it is the Hindu culture”.

During the Nuremberg Trials, two of the accused were found guilty of attempting the ‘Germanization’ of occupied territories. Rule 130 of the International Criminal Court calls the changing of the demography of an occupied territory as a war crime; different treaties and conventions assert the same. Despite this, demographic changes have remained the nerve center of Israel’s nefarious designs as it forcibly creates Jewish settlements on Palestinian land. It also goes about ethnically cleansing the Palestinians at the same time.

India, led by the RSS disciple Modi, treads the same path, more so after the abrogation of Occupied Kashmir’s special status. With 900,000 Indian forces imposing a brutal siege on eight million Kashmiris, people across India can now apply for permanent resident status of Occupied Kashmir. Since August 5, 2019, the Modi government has enabled a deluge by granting over 430,000 domiciles to outsiders. This demographic flooding is described by Mona Bhan, professor of anthropology at Syracuse University and researcher on Occupied Kashmir, as: “What I see unfolding is a Hindu settler colonial project”.

The apathy of the majority of Israelis and Indians can be well gauged from the fact that the ignoble twins continue to be trusted by people to continue with their reigns of terror. In 2014, Israelis famously picnicked on hilltops to watch the gory spectacle of bombs raining down on Gaza. When Indian jets intruded into Pakistani airspace, Indian writers, cricketers, media persons, military veterans and actors rejoiced and cheered Modi on to what could have been a nightmarish war.

So vicious is the Israeli chokehold that any ‘concession’ to the Palestinians is deemed a political kiss of death on Capitol Hill. The Western media parroting Israel’s line maliciously indicts Hamas as the mother of all problems. It also portrays the current murderous onslaught on Gaza as an act of self defence in a ‘conflict’. The reality is that Israel has been killing Palestinians since 1948, forty years before Hamas was even founded. The massacres, atrocities and forced expulsions are of such magnitude that prominent Israeli historian Ilan Pappe was moved to record the same in his book, aptly titled ‘The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine’.

Over time, Palestinians have been coerced to kowtow to Israel. Yasser Arafat shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with Yitzhak Rabin for signing the Oslo peace accords which famed Palestinian intellectual Edward Said referred to as “an instrument of Palestinian surrender”. Arafat was also the first Palestinian leader to recognize Israel. He was branded a terrorist and rewarded with confinement to a compound which Israel bombed time and again. When reportedly poisoned and fatally sick, Arafat was finally airlifted, only to die in a Paris hospital.

Today, India and Israel are unchallenged partners in a reign of terror that sees murder, extra-judicial killings, demographic changes, enforced disappearances, curfews, rape, torture, suppression of speech, demolition of houses, burning of crops and mowing down olive and apple trees as a means to subjugation and occupation. With the patronage of Washington, major Western capitals and ironically some from the Muslim “ummah”, the ignoble twins have formed a grotesque alliance against what they fallaciously dub Islamic extremism.

Indian Special Forces are trained by their Israeli counterparts and then deployed in Occupied Kashmir to terrorize the hapless Kashmiris. India has also become one of the major buyers of Israeli weapons. Between 2013 and 2017, it was the largest importer of Israeli arms. India also procured 50 Heron drones worth $500M and Israeli SPICE-2000 missiles, which were reportedly used during India’s frantic tree damaging antics at Balakot.

Mahmoud Darwish is known as the voice of Palestine. In ‘State of Siege’, he writes: “Listen to my dad as he looks at my photo crying. How did you take my place son and jump ahead of me? I should have gone first”. Dr Agha Shahid Ali, the chronicler of Kashmiri pain grieves in his poem ‘Farewell’: “I am being rowed through Paradise (Kashmir) on a river of hell”.

The ignoble twins give Palestinians and Kashmiris the nightmarish choice of indoctrination or liquidation. As an apathetic and callous world looks on, one thing ordained divinely shall always prevail: tyranny never endures.

The writer is a freelance contributor.