Refrain from any sort of complicity with Israel : Indians for Palestine Group


  • February 25, 2024
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Demanding an immediate ceasefire in Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza, the Indians for Palestine (a group of concerned citizens) has called on the Narendra Modi government to publicly endorse the latest ruling of the International Court of Justice on Gaza and refrain from “any sort of complicity with Israel”.

 

Groundxero | 25 February, 2024

 

Indians for Palestine (a group of concerned citizens) held a meeting at the Constitution Club in New Delhi on Friday, February 23 to exert pressure on the Indian government to follow the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling on Gaza and condemn Israeli actions. The meeting was attended by representatives of political parties, media, diplomatic community, legal profession, foreign policy experts, among several hundred participants. Among the speakers were lawyer Anand Grover, former ambassador K.P. Fabian, journalist Siddharth Varadarajan, and political leaders including Dipankar Bhattacharya, Asaduddin Owaisi, Amarjeet Kaur and Subhashini Ali.

 

On 26 January 2024, in response to South Africa’s application against Israel for carrying out genocidal acts in Gaza, the ICJ ruled that Israel must “take all measures within its power” to prevent such actions. This ruling is of historic significance because it is the first time that the ICJ has held Israel accountable for its violations of international law against Palestinians.

 

The session at the Constitution Club began with an introductory note by the moderators, Jean Drèze and Ayesha Kidwai. This was followed by a recording of Arwa Abu Hashhash, a Gazan citizen and representative of the Union of Palestinian Working Women’s Committee and the Palestinian People’s Party, who said language is incapable of describing the horror of the massacre that is taking place in the Gaza strip today. She emphasized that every single action of solidarity matters. Adnan Abu Al Haija, the Palestinian ambassador, highlighted how none of the resolutions passed by the United Nations have been implemented. He acknowledged the solidarity expressed by South Africa, Colombia, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Ireland, Belgium, and Spain. The speakers called upon the Indian government to publicly endorse the latest ruling of the ICJ and stand against the violation of the human rights of the Palestinians in Gaza.

 

The Indians for Palestine group expressed dismay at the Indian government’s ‘passivity’ on the issue and its refusal to forthrightly condemn Israel’s inhuman assault on Gaza and Palestinians in the West Bank. The group said that it is deeply disturbing that amid Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza, twenty Hermes-900 military drones produced jointly by Adani-Elbit Advanced Systems India Ltd. have been sent to Israel for possible deployment in Gaza.

 

Demanding an immediate ceasefire in Palestine, the group in its statement of solidarity said “We thus call upon the Indian government to publicly endorse the latest ruling of the ICJ, stand against all violations of the human rights of Palestinians in Gaza and refrain from any sort of complicity with Israel.”

 

We reproduce below the full statement of the group:

 

RESOLUTION AND STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY

 

INTERNATIONAL COURT AND JUSTICE FOR GAZA: A PUBLIC MEETING ON THE ICJ RULING

(New Delhi, 23 February 2024)

 

By January 11, 2024, the daily death rate in Gaza was higher than in any other major 21st-century conflict. The death toll in Israel’s ongoing assault on Gaza has now crossed 29,000, most of whom are women and children, with over 70,000 Gazans wounded. Among those killed are approximately 85 journalists and media workers, 152 UN workers, 600 health workers and 12,000 children. The long-term impacts of this continuing massacre go far beyond the immediate casualties: deepening poverty, severe water crisis, the shutdown of healthcare systems, and chronic trauma. According to international experts, the victims of starvation and disease in Gaza may exceed the number of those killed directly during Israeli attacks.

 

On January 26, 2024, in response to South Africa’s application against Israel for violating the Genocide Convention in its attacks on Gaza, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Israel must “take all measures within its power” to prevent such actions. This ruling is of historic significance because it is for the first time that the world’s highest court has held Israel culpable for its violations of international human rights laws concerning Palestinians. In this regard, the ICJ has deemed the arguments from South Africa as substantiating a plausible claim of genocide.

 

This landmark order of the ICJ also imposes a moral and legal obligation on other country members of the ICJ and signatories of the Genocide Convention, including India, to cease funding or facilitating Israel’s military actions. The signatories to the Genocide Convention are obligated to prevent genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, incitement to commit genocide and complicity in genocide. They risk transgressing the Convention if there is no reprimanding of, or suspension of economic-cultural-social relations with Israel – a member country now being tried for genocide. Such is the devastation already caused by Israel’s actions that there is a moral responsibility on all signatories to the Convention to unequivocally oppose Israel’s continuing onslaught.

 

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa declared in a statement on 8th February that given his country’s legacy as a nation that has fought and defeated Apartheid, it has a particular obligation to stand up for the rights of people everywhere. It is crucial to remember that India’s position has also been one of opposing Apartheid.

 

Given this shared stance, we are dismayed to note the Indian government’s passivity on the issue and its refusal to forthrightly condemn Israel’s inhuman assault on Gaza and Palestinians in the West Bank. Unlike many other countries in the Global South that are re-assessing their relations with Israel, India continues its close collaboration with it, particularly in the defence and surveillance sectors. It is deeply disturbing, for instance, to learn from recent media reports that amid Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza, twenty Hermes-900 military drones produced jointly by Adani-Elbit Advanced Systems India Ltd. have been sent to Israel for possible deployment in Gaza. Many other Indian companies are also involved in subsidized joint ventures with Israeli weapons manufacturers.

 

The Indian government is also facilitating the recruitment of Indian workers in replacement of Palestinian workers whose work permits are now suspended. This move is objectionable not just in its support of Israel’s decision against Palestinian workers but also in its indifference to the possible dangers facing Indian workers being sent to Israel. The Indian government has further played into the hands of Israel by suppressing all attempts to protest against the unfolding genocide in Gaza.

 

We thus call upon the Indian government to publicly endorse the latest ruling of the ICJ, stand against all violations of the human rights of Palestinians in Gaza and refrain from any sort of complicity with Israel. We demand an immediate ceasefire in Palestine.

 

We further call on people across Asia to demonstrate collective solidarity with the people of Palestine – in spirit, resources, speech, and action. We particularly welcome the recent decision of the Water Transport Workers Federation of India – representing 3,500 workers at 11 major Indian ports – to refuse any cooperation with the loading or unloading of “weaponized cargoes from Israel or any other country which could handle military equipment and its allied cargo for war in Palestine”. Many other steps can be taken to express support for Palestine, including the submission of photo/video evidence of ongoing war crimes (accessed through verified accounts of Palestinian journalists) through the online portal of the International Criminal Court. We should not be left behind as mass protests are sweeping across the world.

 

Stand for Palestine! Stand for Humanity! Ceasefire Now!

 

— Indians for Palestine (a group of concerned citizens)

 

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