#NotoNetanyahu No to complicity with Israel’s Apartheid

Statement by Activists, Academics and Concerned Citizens

Image Courtesy:vosizneias.com
In the coming week, Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu will tour different cities of India along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This visit comes at the beginning of a year that sees Israel globally ever more isolated and ever more aggressively advancing its ethnic cleansing and annexation of Palestinian land. To invite the leader of Israel’s apartheid regime for a diplomatic visit is nothing short of an open endorsement of Israel’s crimes and ominous for the Palestinian and the Indian people.

2018 marks 70 years since the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians to forcibly establish Israel. The process of making Palestinians refugees, destroying villages and towns, conquering lands that began then continues till today. Israel has established a regime of settler-colonialism, occupation and apartheid against Palestine which operates in utter violation of international law and human rights. Israel’s exceptionalism rests on the support it still receives from western imperialist powers and increasingly now from India.

After the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in violation of international law and Palestinian rights, the thuggishness of both Trump and Israel have been opposed by the entire world in the UN General Assembly resolution ES‑10/L.22 in which 128 countries voted against this decision. This was met with open threats by the US Ambassador to the UN. And now, Modi rolls out the red carpet for Israel, all out to build the alliance of Hindutva and Zionism and to strengthen a Trump-Israel-Modi axis of anti-democratic policies of exclusion, repression and supremacy.

This visit is being hailed as a milestone in Israel-India relations. What really have these relations done for India? India is the biggest importer of Israeli weapons, which go on to strengthen the capacities of repression of the Indian government against any form of dissent and undermine our democracy. Israel’s technology in agriculture is bringing forth unsustainable contract farming models. Despite having been shown to be disastrous in its impact, Israeli state and corporate investments in Indian agriculture are garnering favours by state governments. Israel is assisting the increase in surveillance technology, it is privatizing water resources, and yet it is being celebrated by pro-government agencies. These trade and military relations finance the repression of Palestinians and help Israel’s PR attempts to whitewash its crimes.

There is another connection between Modi and Netanyahu- their visceral fear of resistance. Palestinians have shown the path to the rest of world with their valiant and ongoing resistance in the face a brutal regime, sustained by imperialist powers. 12 years ago, Palestinians have called upon the world to join their resistance by building a movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. This movement has grown across the world to become one of the biggest challenges to Israel’s apartheid in its efforts to hold Israel accountable for its crimes and isolating it till it respects Palestinian human rights.
Israel is currently engaged in an all-out “war on BDS” but it is compelled to acknowledge that all its money and military cannot stop people from acting in solidarity. The movement continues to grow. Similarly, in India, dissenting voices of Dalits, minorities, farmers, students, journalists, etc. are regularly threatened, attacked and even killed by henchmen of the ruling regime and delegitimized as ‘anti-national’. Four senior judges of the Supreme Court of India have recently expressed their grave concern at the state of democracy in India, showing just how each aspect of civil rights and freedoms in India is under threat.

Palestinians were inspired by the Indian experience of boycotts when they launched their call for BDS. Today, we have to remember the history of Indian solidarity with Palestine and inspire ourselves with the steadfastness and courage of the Palestinian resistance.

We, the undersigned, refuse to be a part of the growing complicity of India in Israel’s crimes. We are deeply aware of the political climate of India today and how, with this alliance of Hindutva and Zionism, we are endangering our future as a nation. It is more important than ever before for the progressive and liberal political forces and individuals to come together to extend steadfast solidarity to the Palestinian resistance. Standing for Palestine is to stand for justice, freedom, equality and secularism- in Palestine, in India and everywhere. Supporting the BDS movement is to stand up to corporate bulldozing everywhere. Standing for Palestine is standing on the right side of history. Therefore, we wish to state in absolutely clear terms- Netanyahu is not welcome here!

Individual Endorsements:

  1. Geeta Kapur, Art Critic, Art Historian and Curator
  2. Vivan Sundaram, Contemporary Artist
  3. Anuradha Kapur, Theatre Director
  4. Ram Rahman, Photographer
  5. Pushpamala N, Artist
  6. Shivasundar, Editor, Gauri Lankesh Patrike
  7. Nivedita Menon, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  8. Madan Gopal Singh, Musician
  9. Saba Dewan, Filmmaker
  10. Sharmila Samant, Academic, Shiv Nadar University
  11. Uma Chakravarti, Feminist Historian
  12. Sadanand Menon, Academic, Art Curator and Photographer
  13. Pramod Balakrishnan, Architect
  14. Belinder Dhanoa, Writer and Artist
  15. Prabhat Patnaik, Renowned Economist and Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  16. Shaina Anand, Filmmaker
  17. Archana Hande, Artist
  18. Arvind Sivaramakrishnan, Academic
  19. Indira Chandrasekhar, Publisher
  20. K P Jayasankar, Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
  21. Kalpana Sahni, Author
  22. Shivaji K Panikkar, Professor, Ambedkar University Delhi
  23. Shireen Jungalwala, Director, Chemould Prescott Road
  24. Madhusree Dutta, Filmmaker
  25. A. Mangai, Theatre Activist
  26. Gita Jayaraj, Research Scholar
  27. Nayantara Sehgal, Writer
  28. Mary E John, Centre for Women’s Development Studies, Delhi
  29. Imrana Qadeer, Retired Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  30. Vinod Bhardwaj, Writer 
  1. Tishani Doshi, Poet and Dancer
  2. Achin Vanaik, Retd. Professor of International Relations, University of Delhi
  3. Pamela Philipose, Journalist
  4. Jahangir Asgar Jani, Artist
  5. Gauhar Raza, Poet and Artist
  6. Anjali Monteiro, Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
  7. Rania MADI, Alternative Refugee Center, Geneva, Switzerland
  8. Ranjan Solomon, Director, BADAYL- International
  9. Periyasamy
  10. Deepa Natarajan
  11. Ramdas Rao, People’s Union for Civil Liberties
  12. Subba Ghosh, Artist
  13. Vijay Prashad, Chief Editor, LeftWord Books
  14. Uma V Chandru, Bangalore
  15. Banojyotsna, United Against Hate
  16. Marcy Newman, Author: The Politics of Teaching Palestine to Americans
  17. Subhash Gatade, Writer and Activist
  18. S.Kannaiyan, South Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (SICCFM)
  19. Kavita Krishnan, All India Progressive Women’s Association, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)
  20. Prabir Purkayastha, Founding Editor, Newsclick.in
  21. Arundhati Ghosh, India Foundation for the Arts
  22. Rahul Roy, Filmmaker
  23. Harsh Mander, Social Worker and Writer
  24. Gautam Navlakha, Human Rights Activist
  25. Ilina Acharya, Student, Ambedkar University Delhi
  26. Orijit Sen, Artist
  27. Ayesha Kidwai, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  28. Chaman Lal, Novelist and Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  29. Roselle Solomon, Child Psychologist
  30. K Satchidanandan, Poet and co-editor, Guftugu
  31. Githa Hariharan, Writer and Founder Editor, Indian Writers Forum
  32. Sudhanva Deshpande, LeftWord Books
  1. Moloyashree Hashmi, Jana Natya Manch
  2. Anand Patwardhan, Documentary Filmmaker
  3. K. V. Subrahmanyam, Academician
  4. Ram Puniyani, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism
  5. Sanam Roohi, Assistant Professor, St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore
  6. Anand Chakravarti, Retd Professor of Sociology, Delhi University
  7. Vijoo Krishnan, All India Kisan Sabha
  8. Bindu N. Doddahatti, Alternative Law Forum
  9. Vikramaditya Sahai, Consultant, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
  10. Jayati Ghosh, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  11. Rajni Palriwala, Professor, Delhi University
  12. Meenu Pandey, Delhi
  13. Tapan Kumar Bose, Human Rights Activist and Filmmaker
  14. G. Arunima, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  15. Sukumar Muralidharan, Journalist
  16. Dunu Roy, Director, Hazards Centre
  17. Nandini Sundar, Professor, Delhi University
  18. Kasturi Sen, Social Scientist
  19. Pushpendra, Patna
  20. Zoya Hasan, Retd. Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  21. Xavier Dias, Editor, Mines, Minerals and Rights
  22. Sohail Hashmi, Writer and Filmmaker
  23. Urvashi Sarkar, Independent Journalist
  24. Usman Javed, Centre for Equity Studies
  25. Burhan Qureshi, Research Scholar, Delhi University
  26. Suvrat Raju, International Centre for Theoretical Sciences, Bangalore
  27. Subasri Krishnan, Independent Filmmaker
  28. Sukruta Alluri, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata
  29. Soibam Haripriya, Assistant Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati
  30. Subhadeepta Ray, Assistant Professor, Tezpur University
  31. Apoorva Gautam, Palestine Solidarity Committee
  32. Amrapali Basumatary, Assistant Professor, Kirorimal College, Delhi University
  33. Bonojit Hussain, Independent Researcher and Activist
  1. Hiren Gandhi, Ahmedabad
  2. Saroop Dhruv, Ahmedabad
  3. Vasundhara Jairath, Guwahati
  4. Leki Thungon, Assistant Professor, Lady Sriram College, Delhi University

Organizational Endorsements:

  1. New Socialist Initiative
  2. Editorial Collective, Indian Writers Forum
  3. Delhi Queerfest



Related Articles