NEW DELHI: It was one event which was not so much of an “event”. It was a conversation about the shared anguish against the Israeli genocide and the mutual commiseration for the Palestinians. It was a frank and unvarnished interaction with the men on the ground.Or maybe not exactly on “the” ground , yet,certainly having a much nuanced and better understanding of how things are in the Middle East than we can verily have from this part of the world.

Organized by the Centre for Police Analysis (CPA), this forthright interaction discussing 'The Political Crisis in the Middle East focusing on the Israeli genocide in Gaza' had visitors from that very region talking honestly and candidly on the above-mentioned subject.

This explicit interaction which was held on August 11 from 4 pm and went on till about 6 in the evening was attended by eminent journalists, activists and students.

The speakers Michel Nseir, Munther Isaac and Daniel Ayuch, all Christians from the Middle East, were on a tour of India to make the Church here conscious of the plight of Palestinians and to extend their support to the struggle.

Chaired by John Dayal, the seminar began with an honest account by Munther Isaac who is a Christian Palestinian. Talking about the ongoing,yet, never-ending Palestinian struggle,he made an intriguing yet a very realistic observation. He said “It’s funny how for the last ten years,people are saying that the 2-state solution is dying. I think it is rather dead”, adding “ We need to see what’s happening on the ground.Negotiations continue to fail because we have an uneven broker”.

Accentuating the significance of ground-level movements with respect to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,he commented- “This conflict can and will not be solved by diplomacy. Nor can it be solved by force. It can only be solved by ground movements in Palestine.”

Highlighting the fact that Israel is blatantly and ruthlessly targeting activists now when they at least claimed that only targeted terrorists, the only option left for the Palestinians is “resistance”. “That’s our best and the only option”, he remarked.

Giving details about how this Gaza-Israel was is historically connected and how the media is only presenting a very narrow perspective on it, he reminded everyone of the known yet often ignored fact that “Two-third of Gazans are refugees. Now they have become refugees again inside Gaza. They are being targeted, being imprisoned and displaced”.

Further stressing again on how the Gaza siege must be mentioned more and rather, accurately by the media and how the public opinion needs to keep changing, he said “activism must continue and should not stop”.

Concluding his oration, he indeed had an emotional and heartfelt comment to make. “Yes, I am a Palestinian and I fight as a Palestinian. But this is rather an issue of justice,of equality and dignity. It is not saying that Israel is bad or anything, but in this case, it is a matter of justice.”

Perceiving this issue from an entirely different plane, Daniel Ayuch, who introduced himself as a “Professor of Bible”,added that “my input to this issue is to do with the way I teach to read the Bible”.

He patiently and earnestly explained that in reality, the Bible talks about three main issues- the Issue of Promise, the Issue of Land and the Issue of People.

Ayuch made an extremely interesting and thought-provoking observation. Mentioning that the Bible talks about inheriting the land , he said “You can only inherit the land from God. You can’t possess it. You can only possess the land by killing God. So, if one is saying that they ‘possess’ the land, it means that you are killing the God”. “That’s how I look at it”, he added.

The third guest speaker, Michel Nseir talked at length about the “culture of impunity” where one can’t even approach the International Courts and mentioned briefly about this impunity culture with respect to Iraq invasion, Syria and Lebanon.

He further talked about the Arab nations have always needed the support of Israel and thus, their present position with respect to the War on Gaza. Adding “These Arabs have been supporting them shamelessly, openly”.

The interaction ifollowed by a varied set of questions asked to them- from India’s response on this issue, the Arab supporting Israel to Peace Industry in Palestine- all were profoundly, assiduously and openly answered.

This, one of its kind interaction left all the people in the room with a different theological perspective on the issue and of course, a little more sadness and anger.