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Protest against assault on Gaza

Staff Reporter
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‘Down, down’:Members of various students and intellectual organisations holding a protest outside the Israel Embassy in New Delhi on Monday.- Photo: V. Sudershan
‘Down, down’:Members of various students and intellectual organisations holding a protest outside the Israel Embassy in New Delhi on Monday.- Photo: V. Sudershan

Several civil society organisations protested outside the Israeli Embassy here on Monday against the ongoing attack on civilians in Gaza. Demanding “immediate intervention” of the international community, the protesters condemned the “silence” of the Indian Government on the issue.

The protesters, who included activists from the All India Students’ Association (AISA), Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA), the JNU Students’ Union, All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Left and Democratic Teachers’ Federation (LDTF) and All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA), burnt an effigy of Israel.

Calling the “assault” on Gaza an “election stunt”, academician Prof. K. M. Chenoy said: “Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, started attacking Gaza with the intention to win elections which are scheduled in January next year by manipulating the sense of insecurity of the Jews.”

Criticising the statement issued by External Affairs Ministry on Sunday, asking Hamas and Israel to “show restraint”, Mr. Chenoy said “India needs to come out of the pressure from the US and Israel because going by Indian response to the ongoing crisis in Gaza it seems that we have become United States’ 51{+s}{+t}State.”

Addressing the protesters Rakhi Sehgal of the New Trade Union Initiative said: “India cannot claim to be a ‘great nation’ without protesting against the merciless killings of innocents by imperialist Israel. The Government response on Gaza is just a lip service and a complete farce.”

Comparing India with Israel, Ms. Sehgal argued that “the conflict torn regions like Jammu and Kashmir, Chhattisgarh and North-East were in no way different from Gaza. For the sake of increased militarisation, India has become almost a silent partner of Israel. In all these regions, the Indian State has been sending citizens to jail just because they ask for their land and natural resources.”

Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president Lenin Kumar said the Israeli Government’s argument that the attack was a response to the month-long rocket attacks on the civilian population of Israel by Hamas was false. “The reality of the situation can be understood from the fact that in the current attack around 24 Palestinians have been killed and more than 400 have been seriously injured, while the death toll has reached four in Israel and around 30 injured.”

Senior journalist Seema Mustafa said “Israel has broken all norms of human rights and international relations, but was still being backed by the US and strategically by the Indian Government as well.”

Academician Nivedita Menon appealed to the Government to take a “courageous stand on Gaza violence because the people of this country are with the people of Palestine and Gaza”.

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