India's Movements Oppose Visit Of Israel's President To India
NEW DELHI: A joint statement signed by more than 70 personalities, 30 groups and networks representing over 1000 organizations across India has denounced the visit of Israel’s president Reuven Revlin, and the upgrade of relations with this state, which has held the Palestinian people under occupation for decades, displacing communities, segregating people, and besieging them behind cement walls.
Uniting under the slogan “25 years of Indo-Israeli diplomatic relations: No reason to celebrate!“ the endorsers underline that:
“India’s economic linkage with Israel channels our public money through military deals to Israeli arms companies that transform these funds into lethal military technology applied in the oppression, colonisation and ethnic cleansing, of the Palestinian people.”
“India’s cultural and academic relations strengthen the promotion in India of the supposed ‘Brand Israel‘, including its war machine and its illegal actions, its horrific wars and its apartheid policies. It puts several Indian companies on the wrong side the growing global movement for the boycott, divestment and sanctions of companies and institutions that are justly believed to bear complicity in Israeli war crimes.”
This statement is part of the global movement based on the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), which has been launched in 2005. Last year Revlin himself has defined the BDS movement a ‘first-rate strategic threat’ to Israeli policies of occupation and apartheid.
The full statement reads as follows:
25 years of Indo-Israeli diplomatic relations:
No reason to celebrate!
Say No to India’s 'intense engagement' with Israeli apartheid!
India’s diplomatic relations with Israel began in 1992 as part of a 'peace' process that dramatically failed the Palestinian people but brought Israel the benefit of international recognition which broadened the number of global actors who shared in complicity with its crimes against humanity. Over the last 25 years, ties between India and Israel have been growing on all fronts – trade, economy and technology, military, as well as academia and culture while the people of Palestine are today further away from peace and justice than ever before.
Indo-Israeli ties have proven to be an unhealthy relationship that has grown stronger since the current government headed by the BJP assumed office. We are deeply disturbed to learn that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi intends to start a celebration of a quarter-century of relations, by receiving an official visit from November 15 by Israel’s president Reuven Rivlin.
We also learn that Mr Modi plans to be the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel. No official plans have been announced, but we are alarmed to see that in recent weeks, Prime Minister Modi has sought to advertise his resolve in meeting India’s security challenges by likening a supposed cross-border operation along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, with Israel’s frequent lawless raids into Palestinian villages and neighbouring Arab states.
We are shocked that Israel, with its lawless conduct has emerged as role model for the Indian nation-state, born in the struggle against colonialism and committed to peaceful relations in the neighbourhood. We refuse to accept that Israel’s undemocratic and exclusionary regime of apartheid is the new model for India under Prime Minister Modi.
There is nothing to celebrate in this relationship, neither for the Palestinian people nor for Indian citizens who cherish human rights, democracy and peace.
Rivlin will be accompanied on his visit by a delegation of ‘unprecedented size’, as the official announcement puts it. Among the aims of the visit is to strengthen Indo-Israeli ties at all levels. Relations with Israel provide financial support and legitimise the policies of a state that continues to violate international law and human rights with impunity, has set up an apartheid regime against its own Arab citizen, transformed the majority of the Palestinian people into refugees by expelling them from their homes and destroying their villages, and brutalises the daily lives of the people in the West Bank and Gaza, where it has been in military occupation since 1967.
India’s economic linkage with Israel channels our public money through military deals to Israeli arms companies that transform these funds in to lethal military technology applied in the oppression, colonisation and ethnic cleansing, of the Palestinian people.
India’s cultural and academic relations strengthen the promotion in India of the supposed ‘Brand Israel‘, including its war machine and its illegal actions, its horrific wars and its apartheid policies. It puts several Indian companies on the wrong side the growing global movement for the boycott, divestment and sanctions of companies and institutions that are justly believed to bear complicity in Israeli war crimes.
Israel claims to transfer its know-how to India. In truth, it is using our markets and tax money to finance its crimes and to promote world views built on walls, wars and exclusion. India fares better without this.
As citizens of conscience, we call on all Indians to demand that our government halt this next step in its relations with Israel, from military and security ties to business as usual.
1. All India Peace and Solidarity Organization (AIPSO)
2. All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA)
3. All India Students Association (AISA)
4. All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP)
5. Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR).
6. Badayl, Goa, India
7. CPI-M Liberation
8. Delhi Science Forum
9. Delhi Solidarity Group
10. Free Software Movement
11. Indian Cultural and Academic Boycott Campaign of Israel (InCACBI)
12. Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF)
13. Intercultural Resources, Delhi
14. Jana Natya Manch, Delhi
16. Jharkhand Mines Area Coordination
17. LeftWord Books, Delhi
18. National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)
19. National Fishworkers Forum
20. New Socialist Initiative
21. New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI)
22. Palestine Solidarity Committee
24. Public Finance Public Accountability Collective (PFPAC)
25. Research Collective - PSA
26. Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA)
27. South Asia Forum for Human Rights (SAFHR)
28. Studio Safdar Trust, Delhi
29. Theera Desha Mahila Vedhi
30. IndoPal Foundation
1. BACBI (Belgian Academic and Cultural Boycot of Israel).
2. BDS Nederland
3. Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within (Israeli citizens for BDS)
4. US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI)
5. Women in Black The Netherlands