On Palestine

THE 22nd Congress of the CPI(M) condemns Israel’s continuing occupation of Palestinian territories, its use of sniper squads to shoot peaceful protesters at the Gaza border, and attempts to change the demography of Jerusalem.

During the series of 45-day protests, which will culminate in the Nakba day on May 15, the Palestinians in Gaza, who are under a brutal siege, decided to peacefully protest at the border. Israel deployed sniper squads that fired live ammunition, killing dozens of Palestinians, and injuring more than 2,000. In spite of these brutal measures, the protests at the Gaza borders continue, a testimony to the bravery of the Palestinian people and the justness of their cause.

With the support of the US, Israel is also illegally changing the demography of the West Bank. They are attaching 19 illegal Israeli Settlements in the West Bank to East Jerusalem to make it into a predominately Jewish city. This will also cut West Bank in half, making any future Palestinian state on West Bank unviable. This is what the Trump administration is helping the Israeli regime to do – deny East Jerusalem to Palestinians, and reduce Palestinian territories into unviable, small cantons without any connectivity with each other or the outside world. In essence, they want to create a number of Gazas that will be open-air prisons for the Palestinian population.

The US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s territory, and its decision to its embassy there, has effectively killed whatever illusions that may have still existed about the “peace process” between Palestinians and the Israeli state brokered by the US.

The failure of the peace process has led to the Palestinian people appealing to the global community to support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The BDS movement is now emerging as a major threat to the legitimacy of the Zionist state, and is seen by Israel as its major global opponent.

The Indian people have always supported the Palestinian cause and opposed the illegal occupation of Palestine. India was among the first non-Arab nations to recognise the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people in 1974, and was the first non-Arab country to recognise Palestine as an independent state in 1988. India has always opposed the continued illegal occupation of West Bank and Gaza.

While this remains the official position of the government of India, successive NDA and UPA governments have built close security and military ties with Israel. The Indian arms purchase from Israel is estimated to be more than 1 billion US dollars a year. India is now the largest buyer of arms from Israel, and buys more than even the Israeli armed forces. Under the Modi regime, and given the ideological affinity between the ideologies of contemporary Zionism and Hindutva, the relations between Israel and the Indian government have grown even closer. Indian forces are now participating with Israeli Special Forces to simulate cross border raids, learning “surveillance” and “crowd control” techniques from Israeli security forces. Israeli equipment and software is deeply embedded in India’s intelligence and surveillance apparatus, providing Israel instruments to subvert India’s internal and external policies.

All this makes India complicit in Israel’s occupation of Palestine, in contradiction to its avowed policy of support to the Palestinian cause. It also damages India’s relations with other countries in the region.

The 22nd Congress demands the following:

- End the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine and all other occupied territories

- Lift the inhuman siege of Gaza immediately

- Ensure the Right of Return for all Palestinians

- Dismantle all illegal settlements on the West Bank

- Release all Palestinian political prisoners

- Israel must stop its brutal denial of basic democratic rights to its Arab population.

The 22nd Congress calls upon the Indian government to return to a position of genuine support to the Palestinian cause, and break its military and security ties with Israel. The 22nd Congress calls for building a strong anti-imperialist movement in support of the Palestinian people and in support of the global BDS campaign.

 

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