Wednesday, September 21, 2011

India's interestingly decisive stand on Palestinian statehood bid

For the last 20 years, except when pushed to the wall, successive Indian governments have kept away from the Palestine-Israel negotiations though both sides are keen that India play a positive role. So, it comes as a surprise that India sticks its neck out and says that it will support Palestinian bid for UN membership when Israel and the United States are opposing it tooth and nail. Of course, the stupid motive for the Indian government must be that it will please the Muslims at home and the Muslim world as such. Indian policymakers think that this is the national interest factor! While the truth is Palestine is not a Muslim issue. It is the rightful cause of a people who happen to be Muslims, Christians and Jews as well.

Prime minister Manmohan Singh has written to Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmud Abbas expressing Indian support for the Palestinian move in the UN. It might be the calculation on the part of the ministry of external affairs that since the Palestinian bid is any way doomed because the US will veto it in the UN Security Council, it will not have to worry about the issue much any way. As India is also a member of the Security Council, it is important for India to be seen on the right side of the barricades as it were, and it will win plaudits from Muslims at home and the Muslim countries. Of course, the silly BJP, the main opposition party with its mindless support for Israel, will criticise the Congress-led UPA government as another act of Muslim appeasement, which would only please the Congress leaders all the more.

Israel, the illegal state, wants to use the issue of Palestinian statehood as a reward for good behaviour and irrational concessions like accepting West Bank Israeli colonies and occupation of East Jerusalem. Washington, under pressure from the aggressive and belligerent Jewish lobby in America, dare not warn el Aviv that it cannot misbehave. Secondly, Israel fears that once the UN recognises Palestinian statehood, Israel's shameless use of disproportionate force and incursions into Palestinian territory will not be as easy as it is now. Then, Israel will have to respect international law, and hostilities against Palestine will be treated as an act of war. Israel will also have to abide by the Geneva conventions that govern engagement in war. Not that Israel and the US have ever respected the Geneva conventions. The US has violated every one of them in the case of the inmates of Guantanamo Bay prisoners.

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