India maintains silence as Israel bombs Gaza once more
More than 50 Palestinians, including 15 children, killed in latest attack on the Gaza Strip.
Three weeks ago, Adani Ports purchased Haifa Port in a joint deal with Israeli company Gadot. The purchase, worth a startling $1.18 bn will see the Indian company secure a 70% stake in the port until 2054.
It is a remarkable development and came soon after the the formation of the ‘I2U2’ (India, Israel, UAE and United States), or the ‘West Asia Quad.’
As I argued in the Middle East Eye, the bloc has ambitions to become the gatekeepers of the region from the Middle East to South Asia. It will do so by cementing economic and political ties between India, Israel and the UAE under the guidance of the United States.
And where do Palestinians fit into this new scheme? They don’t.
The Abraham Accords normalized ties between Israel and several Arab and African countries without any concessions from the Israelis. Palestinians were erased then. The quad takes the erasure one step further.
For more reading on the I2U2 or the purchase of the Haifa Port, read:
”Adani presents ambitious plans for Haifa Port” in Globes;
“What Adani's Haifa port purchase means for India-Israel ties and the Arab region” in The New Arab
On Friday afternoon (August 5, 2022), Israel unleashed a new reign of terror over the Gaza Strip.
At last count, around 51 Palestinians, including 15 children were killed in the bombing campaign that has also left 350 others injured and so many others displaced.
In one incident on Friday, a five-year-old girl was playing outside with friends when an Israeli airstrike killed her.
On Sunday, just hours before an Egypt-brokered truce had been arranged between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement in Gaza, five boys aged between 5 and 14 were killed as they sat alongside their grandfather's grave in the Falluja cemetery in northern Gaza.
The massacres are certainly not unprecedented. It happened in 2008/9, in 2012, 2014, and in 2021. The indignities are daily across the occupied West Bank,East Jerusalem and in Gaza.
For a quick brief on the over all situation in Gaza, read:
“Amid death and destruction, the latest conflict in Gaza highlights the depths of its humanitarian crisis” in The Conversation
Whereas condemnation arrived from the African Union, South Africa, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, Pakistan, Northern Island and Iran, both the US and the UK expressed support for Israeli tactics.And India? Complete silence from the foreign ministry or the BJP. This is to be expected by now, but still worth noting, especially for those who still believe that India’s new ties with Israel haven’t impacted their approach to the Palestinians.
There was also complete and utter silence from the Congress Party, India’s main opposition party, illustrating the extent to which supporting Israel is a bipartisan issue in India.
Meanwhile, over the weekend, Hindutva troll armies amplified Israeli talking across social media.
Indians supporting Israel’s bombardment of Gaza especially liked this racist cartoon pushed by one of Israel’s “influencers”.
Water Expo 2022
Last week Delhi hosted the “17th Everything About Water Expo 2022” conference, designed to encourage deeper water cooperation between India and Israel.
The event, held between August 4-6, was inaugurated by Israeli senior diplomat Naor Gilon.
“We are happy to bring 4 Israeli water experts as speakers in this Water Expo. They took part in a conference, where they shared their experience and technical know-how about advanced technologies and Israel-India partnership in the field of water. The visit of these water experts to India, to take part in this Water Expo, has further deepened the ongoing water partnership between our two countries,” Gilon said at the conference.
The conference also included an Israel Pavilion in which the technologies of eight Israeli companies were put on show. The event follows a visit by Eynat Shlein, Head of MASHAV (Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation), in June, in which both sides agreed to strengthen ties in water and agriculture.
In other news:
Hindu nationalists in India are calling for a boycott of Aamir Khan’s new film Lal Singh Chadha, a remake of Tom Hank’s Forrest Gump. It appears the boycott is based on Khan’s 2015 comments in which the Bollywood superstar said he felt unsafe as a Muslim in India.
Of course India has descended into a hell for minorities since 2015 and it has become abundantly clear that Indian Muslims (including those in Bollywood) were now living on borrowed time in the country.
And on the topic of show business, the Indian company Abundantia Entertainment will produce a remake of Israeli live-action drama “The Hood” (“Schun) in India.
The show, about a group of teenagers from a low income district, battling it out with their richer neighbours, was a major hit in Israel. It ran for three seasons.
until next time,
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UPDATE: AUGUST 10, 2022
Later on August 8, the Indian government spoke at a UN Security Council meeting in NYC. In her statement, Ruchira Kamboj, permanent representative to the UN, described the events over the weekend in Gaza as “a matter of grave concern” . Kamboj did not ascribe any blame on Israel for the unwarranted bombardment. Read her full statement below:
UNSC Open meeting on the situation in Gaza
[August 8, 2022; 1500 hrs EDT]
Thank you, Mr. President. May I also thank UN Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland for his briefing on the situation in Gaza.
2. After a year of relative calm, tensions have risen again in Gaza. It is a matter of grave concern that the violence has not completely subsided despite hectic diplomatic parleys, development initiatives and efforts by the international community to hold the fragile ceasefire negotiated last May.
3. The latest cycle has, once again, caused immense suffering and resulted in the loss of precious civilian lives, including children, and has left several injured and traumatized. We extend our deepest condolences to all those affected and their families. We support the diplomatic efforts of the UN and members of the international community, the countries in the region, especially Egypt, that has led to a ceasefire, to calm the situation further and seek to achieve durable peace. We urge all parties to de-escalate the situation to ensure that this does not spiral out of control.
4. The recent developments can also challenge the incremental gains made in the last year in addressing Gaza’s humanitarian and economic situation. Therefore, the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza must continue to remain the focus of the international community.
5. Even as this Council focuses on the cessation of hostilities in Gaza, we must also underline the urgent need for resuming dialogue between Israel and Palestine for a two-State solution. The absence of direct and meaningful negotiations between the two parties will only widen the trust deficit, which, in turn, increases the chances for similar escalations in the future.
6. Long-term peace in Israel and Palestine can be achieved only through a negotiated two-state solution leading to the establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable State of Palestine living within secure and recognized borders, side by side, at peace with Israel, taking into consideration the legitimate security needs of Israel. India has consistently called for the resumption of direct peace negotiations between the parties, which, we believe, is the best path towards achieving the goal of a two-state solution. The UN and the international community must prioritize the revival of these negotiations.
I thank you.