India Palestine Solidarity Forum Condemns The Invasion of Rafah

Rafah Gaza 3

India Palestine Solidarity Forum (IPSF) condemns the invasion of Rafah and takeover of its border crossing by Israel, and demands the immediate Israeli withdrawal from Rafah and unhindered access to humanitarian aid to the people.

IPSF stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people and with the student protestors in universities across USA, Europe, who are raising a mirror to the world on the genocide and crimes against humanity being committed by Israel and all those complicit.

IPSF demands a permanent ceasefire and strict accountability under international law for the horrific war crimes committed against Palestinians.

IPSF is a forum of Indians committed to supporting the Palestinian cause in India and across the world. On the 15 May, Palestine commemorates the 76th anniversary of the Nakba, the Catastrophe, the day when Israel was founded by the ethnic cleansing of 7,50,000 Palestinians & the destruction of more than 500 villages and towns. As we stand witness to the unfolding genocide in Gaza, across all of Palestine, we the people of India stand with the legacy of our anti-colonial freedom struggle & thus reaffirm our support for the liberation of Palestine. As the war enters the eight month, India is hence obligated both morally and legally to take a strong stand against the Israeli offensive and take determined steps to approach all international bodies to ensure that this genocidal war being waged against Palestine is brought to a permanent halt. India must ensure that Israel is held accountable for its crimes against humanity and the Palestinian people are adequately aided and their rights restored with dignity. IPSF is agonised at the escalation launched by Israel in Rafah in blatant and repeated contravention of international law, orders of international courts and binding UNSC resolutions.

We state –

1.    We vehemently condemn the genocide of the Palestinian people: The world stands aghast as we witness what is nothing but another Holocaust, this time of the Palestinian people in Gaza by the Israeli regime. In total disdain of global opinion and public demand for an immediate permanent ceasefire, Israel has now launched its invasion of Rafah and has taken control of all the major crossing-points. Israel has weaponised starvation as a means to kill, exterminate, and ethnically cleanse the civilian population. Israel thus stands in gross violation of ‘The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,1948’. The agenda is to ethnically cleanse the entire Palestinian population from the Occupied territories of Gaza, the West Bank & East Jerusalem. This is a continuation of ‘The Nakba’ in 1948, “The Catastrophe” that befell the Palestinian nation, when Israel ethnically cleansed 7,50,000 Palestinians, constituting half of the population and reduced them to refugees.

The junta led by ‘Holocaust Netanyahu’ represents the most fanatical ultra right-wing Jewish Zionist extremist regime in the history of this entity. Israel’s genocidal war on Palestine is indeed comparable to that of Hitler’s Nazi Germany in its industrial scale of mass murder & the destruction of civilian infrastructure. Here, the US, Britain, France, and Germany too stand complicit in this genocide & must be tried for war crimes along with Israel.

2.    Palestinian Resistance & Resilience: Yet, we also stand in awe of the continued resistance and resilience of the courageous and brave semitic Palestinian People, who refuse to surrender in the face of unbelievable odds. Just as their resistance continues to inspire the world, the suffering and persecution of the Palestinian nation, too has compelled the world to think, to introspect, and has thus raised our collective moral conscience, galvanising people to protest, speak out and take action, on a scale never witnessed before. 

3.    Student Uprising in the US: In these dark and sorrowful times, the student protests have truly captivated our hearts and minds & have emerged as a great glimmer of hope for humanity. The uprising of the young conscientious peaceful student protesters in the US, with the movement now fast spreading to universities across many western countries, as well as other nations of the world, is indeed laudable to say the least. The students are demanding an end to the genocidal war, as well as an end to the occupation of Palestine. More specifically, they are demanding that their universities divest from companies that are manufacturing lethal weapons of war and are supplying the same to Israel. Despite the police repression unleashed by the Zionist Biden regime, who is now also referred to as ‘Genocide Joe’, the movement has continued to garner great support and momentum. The student protests are reminiscent of the epic anti-war movement of the 1960s, where the youngsters opposed the US war on Vietnam. 

Even though the Zionist controlled western corporate media has been trying to discredit these protests as anti-Jewish, as anti-Semitic, posing a threat to Jewish students & supporters of Hamas – but this lying propaganda has failed to quell the rising tide of pro-Palestine solidarity. On the other hand, the movement stands increasingly united, with students from all communities and ethnicities present in the encampments. The majority of young Jewish students, as well as many prominent academics and intellectuals have countered this vile propaganda and stand hand-in-hand with their Palestinian, their Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and other fellow students. We call upon the Biden regime to immediately halt the violent repression of the student protests. The Biden regime is also trying to criminalise all criticism of Israel by equating it with anti-Semitism. This is a blatant attack on the freedom of expression & gross violation of the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution. Here, yet again, the hypocrisy of the US is on full display. With a country that shouts about ‘democracy & freedom of expression’ from the rooftops, now violently muzzling peaceful student protesters.  

4.    Palestine UN Statehood Vote: In these difficult times, we welcome the recent vote at the United Nations General Assembly (10 May 2024), which has reinforced the just demand for Palestinian statehood. Despite the strident opposition of the US, the overwhelming number of nations voted in favour of Palestine, with 143 for the resolution, 9 against, and with 25 abstaining. We appreciate the fact that India has voted ‘for’ the resolution. Though, all the demands for Palestinian membership have not yet been met, yet the vote constitutes certain major gains, with a major upgradation of its status from a ‘Non-Member Observer State’, to an ‘Observer State’. Palestine can now be respectfully seated among member states at the UN, along with far more rights. The house also voted for the UNSC to give ‘favourable consideration’ to Palestine’s request. Clearly, the US, due to its continued opposition to Palestinian statehood, is even more reviled and isolated than ever before.

5.    Threats to International Court of Justice (ICJ) & International Criminal Court (ICC): The threats by the Biden regime, both to the ICJ & the ICC, are rather unprecedented. Both the ICJ & ICC have been investigating PM Netanyahu and other Israeli political & military leaders for war crimes. The ICC soon plans to issue arrest warrants, but the US is threatening the judges with dire consequences if they proceed with the same. Meanwhile, the attacks on UN officers, offices and workers, especially that of United Nations Relief & Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) have been unprecedented and pose a threat to the sanctity of international law, peacekeeping efforts and human rights endeavours of the global community for times to come. This aggression cannot be allowed and needs to be immediately stopped by the international community.

6.    Terms for Permanent Ceasefire: We call upon Israel to accept the ceasefire on the terms already agreed upon by the Palestinian Hamas and other forces. This agreement has been mediated & supported by Qatar, Egypt & the US as well. Hamas has agreed to a permanent ceasefire, exchange of prisoners, withdrawal of all Israeli troops from Gaza, as well as an end to the Siege of Gaza. Only Netanyahu & other Jewish fanatics & hardliners continue to oppose a permanent ceasefire & a political solution to the crisis. On the other hand, Hamas has once again reiterated its support for a Two-State Solution, and thus supports the coexistence of both nations, Palestine & Israel.

7.    Political Solution Now! We thus call for an immediate end to the Israeli war on Gaza, on all of Palestine. We call for an end to the siege of Gaza and the immediate availability of food and medicine to tackle the starvation levels and the sickness and disease spreading across Gaza. We call upon the international community, especially the nations that constitute the Global South, the Global Majority, to unite and work towards the establishment of a Palestinian state, as per all relevant UN resolutions & international law.

8.    We call upon the government of India to take a categorical and consistent position in opposing the Israeli war and the occupation of Palestine. As has been our rich anti-colonial legacy, India must take a leading role in supporting the Palestinian cause by calling for an end to the Apartheid Colonial Israeli Occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state on the basis of relevant UN Resolutions. On the issue of Palestine, India must refrain from abstaining at the UN and must categorically vote in sync with all the nations of the Global South, the Global Majority. Thus, India must distance itself from the pariah Israeli entity and desist from following the western colonial position. It must be stated herein that reports of certain Indian companies, namely the ‘Munitions India Ltd.’, under the Ministry of Defence, supplying weapons to Israel are extremely worrying & shameful. For this act, New Delhi could be dragged to the ICJ & the ICC for being complicit in the war crimes being committed by Israel. The Adani-Elbit Advanced Systems India Ltd. is already known to supply Israel over 20 Hermes Drones, with Elbit facing worldwide protests. 

9. Aid & Rebuild Palestine: This nation has endured the worst attacks and devastation at the hands of Israel. The entire world needs to rise up to the moment and help rebuild Palestine, ensure unfettered aid and access to resources. We have failed in not being able to stop Israel from inflicting this genocidal war and killing more than 35,000 Palestinians, the majority being children and women, destroying their homes, schools, universities, hospitals, mosques and churches, water and electricity plants, their entire civilian infrastructure. Thus, it is our collective responsibility as a global community to correct this wrong and ensure that justice prevails.

10.    Palestine, the Most Popular Cause in History: Over the course of the last eight months of this genocidal and horrific war, we have witnessed thousands of mass protests practically across every nation in the world. Peaceful and democratic anti-war protests are a symbol of humanity still thriving and it is critical that people be allowed to voice their protest without fear of reprisals. Clearly, ‘Palestine Solidarity’ has emerged as the most popular cause in the history of humanity and is undoubtedly the greatest moral issue of our times. Palestinian flags and keffiyeh’s adorn every protest march, universities, football stadiums, rock concerts, to the streets. They are now a symbol of our collective defiance to the powers that be, as well as a symbol of our shared humanity & moral conscience.

Endorsed by:

Dr. G. G. Parikh, Tushar Gandhi, Com. Prakash Reddy, Feroze Mithiborwala, Dr. Sunilam, Dr. Suresh Khairnar, Shyamdada Gaikwad, Shabnam Hashmi, Javed Anand, Prof. Ram Puniyani, Sandeep Pandey, Adv. Mihir Desai, Dr. Shujaat Ali Quadri, Com. Rajendra Korde, Meraj Siddiqui, Com. Ajit Patil, Subodh More, Moses Mazgoankar, Prashant Tandon, Com. Charul Joshi, Irfan Engineer, Jatin Desai, Prof. Rakesh Rafique, TSS Mani, Prof. Ritu Dewan, M J Vijayan, Adv. Lara Jesani, Guddi S L, Mujtaba Lokhandwala, Dev Desai, Sheelu Francis, Com. Anuradha Reddy, Prasad Chacko, Prof. Nasreen Fazalbhoy, Sayeed Khan, Arun Srivastava, Farid Khan, Putul, Jagriti Rahi, Prof. Sant Prakash, Noorjehan Diwan, Anoop Shramik, Adv. Farhana Shah, Muhammad Abdul Irfan, Ghazala Azad, Adv. Saeed Akhtar, M A Khalid, Nuruddin Naik, Salim Alware, Dr. Salim Khan, Sarfaraz Arzu, Arvind Sontake, Mufti Ashfaq Hussain Qadri, Com. Shyam Gohil, Maulana Shahabuddin Razavi, Santosh Ambekar, Abu Ashraf Zeeshan, Sunil Khobragade, Adv. Asfak Ahmed Aswi, Amol Madame, Nazir Mazumdar Noori, Vishal Hiwale, Muhammad Yusuf, Sharad Kadam, Zeeshan A Karimi, Khalid Fakih, Suraj Bhoir, Santosh Ambekar, Archana Tajane, Sumedh Jadhav, Farouk Mapkar, Irshad Khan, Ali Bhojani, Yashodhan Paranjpe and others . . . .

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