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India May Abandon Its Unconditional Support for the Palestinians

Dec. 23 2014

For decades, India has been an unfailing supporter of the Palestinians at the UN. Despite the improvement in relations between India and Israel since 1991, this policy has continued. But India’s current government, which has sought expanded ties with Israel, is now signaling that it might jettison this policy, reflecting major changes within Indian public opinion. Vijeta Uniyal writes:

[India’s] firm support for the “Palestinian Cause” at international forums prompted commentators to refer to India as the 23rd Arab state. Many commentators within India have kept questioning the wisdom of an unconditional support for the Palestinians. They have pointed out the absence of support on the part of the Arab states with regard to the issue of cross-border Islamist terrorism sponsored by neighboring Pakistan. They have also questioned the morality of supporting a cause that employs terrorist tactics to achieve political aims—as thousands of Indians get slaughtered by terrorists year after year. With Islamic State now recruiting in the Indian subcontinent, the calls for a tough stand against global terrorism have grown stronger at home. . . .

The political base that elected Prime Minister Modi to the office is overwhelmingly supportive of Israel. During the recent Gaza conflict, Indians youth showed unprecedented support for Israel. At the height of the conflict the hash-tag “IndiawithIsrael” was trending prominently on social media. On August 16, the city of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) witnessed a 20,000-strong rally in support of Israel.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: India, Israel-India relations, Palestinians, Terrorism, United Nations

 

Why a Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza Is Unlikely

Feb. 16 2018

High-ranking figures in the IDF, along with some Israeli and foreign officials, have been warning that economic troubles combined with severely deficient public works could lead to an outbreak of starvation or epidemic in the Gaza Strip; their warnings have been taken up and amplified in sensationalist stories in Western media. Hillel Frisch is skeptical:

The most important factor behind real humanitarian crises—mass hunger and contagious disease—is first and foremost the breakdown of law and order, and violence between warring militias and gangs. This is what occurred in Darfur, Somalia, and the Central African Republic. In such situations, the first to leave are the relief agencies. Then local medical staffs evacuate, along with local government officials and anyone professional who can make it out of the bedlam. The destitute are left to fend for themselves. Hospitals, dispensaries, schools, and local government offices are soon abandoned or become scenes of grisly shootouts and reprisals.

Nothing could be farther from such a reality than Gaza. Hamas, which is the main source of [misleading reports] of an imminent humanitarian crisis, rules Gaza with an iron fist. Few developed democracies in the world can boast the low homicide rates prevailing in the Strip. Nor have there been reports of any closings of hospitals, municipal governments, schools, universities, colleges, or dispensaries. . . .

Nor have there been news items announcing the departure of any foreign relief agencies or the closure of any human-rights organizations in the area. Nor is there any evidence that the World Health Organization (WHO), which rigorously monitors the world to prevent the outbreak of contagious disease, is seriously looking at Gaza. And that is for good reason. The WHO knows, as do hundreds of medical personnel in Israeli hospitals who liaise with their colleagues in Gaza, that the hospital system in Gaza is of a high caliber, certainly by the standards of the developing world. . . .

Hamas, [of course], wants more trucks entering Gaza to increase tax revenues to pay for its 30,000-strong militia and public security force, and to increase the prospects of smuggling arms for the benefit of its missile stockpiles and tunnel-building efforts. How Israel should react is equally obvious. You want more humanitarian aid? . . . Free the two mentally disabled Israelis who found their way into Gaza and are imprisoned by Hamas.

Read more at BESA Center

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian economy