Netanyahu Not Welcome

THE prime minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu is visiting India from January 14. His official visit is not something which is to be welcomed. The coalition headed by Netanyahu is the most right-wing government that Israel has had. It consists of ultraright Jewish parties who openly advocate expulsion of the Palestinian people from the occupied territories and treating the Arabs within the borders of Israel as second-class citizens.

The Netanyahu government has legalised the private lands expropriated from Palestinians. It has decided to allow a new settlement to be built in the West Bank after two decades, while expanding existing settlements. All this is being done to prevent any possibility of an independent State of Palestine emerging.

Netanyahu is the second Israeli prime minister to visit India. The first was Ariel Sharon in 2003 when the BJP led government was in office. Now too, Netanyahu is coming at the invitation of the Modi government.

Netanyahu and Modi are ideological soulmates – one represents right-wing ultra-Jewish nationalism while the other is an advocate of right-wing Hindutva nationalism. As the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel last year, Modi clearly signalled his support for the Israeli occupation by not visiting the Palestinian authority in the West Bank.

Contrary to the BJP government’s pro-Israeli stance, India and its people have always stood in solidarity with the Palestinian people and opposed Israeli aggression. Netanyahu should know that his aggressive anti-Palestinian policies are opposed by the secular democratic minded people of India.

(January 10, 2017)

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