Gandhians to protest with roses before Israeli consulate

May 13th, 2008 - 5:27 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, May 13 (IANS) Armed with roses and get-well-soon cards, followers of Mahatma Gandhi will hold a novel form of protest before the Israeli consulate Wednesday, the 60th anniversary of the nation, to highlight the plight of the Palestinian people. “What we want to highlight is the tragedy. The flight of the common Palestinian people from their homeland. The issue no doubt has global ramifications but in ultimate analysis it is the human tragedy that gets repeated every day,” said Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and convenor of the India Palestine People’s Solidarity Forum (IPPSF).

“It is surprising that on one hand we lament the plight of Kashmiri Pundits but on the other hand all of us, including Kashmiri Pundits, refuse to take a stand on the Palestinians whose land was usurped 60 years ago.

“It is a misnomer to term this year as 60th year of Israel’s independence because independence entails a prior forcible occupation. This was certainly not the case with Israel,” Gandhi told IANS here Tuesday.

IPPSF co-convenor Feroze Mithiborwala added: “We certainly believe and accept that the Jewish people themselves have undergone immense suffering for several centuries, over 2,000 years. They should be the first to empathise with the persecuted Palestinian people. Instead, we find them with each passing day becoming more and more dehumanized.”

This dehumanization, according to Gandhi, “indicates sickness of the psyche - possibly an affliction that has scarred their soul. That is why we want to demonstrate love and not protest in front of the Israeli consulate and also spread awareness among masses about not just the travails of the Palestinian people but also of other ethnic groups facing such persecution.”

Mithiborwala said the need of the hour “is to bring about a spirit of reconciliation”. “We want to make a plea to the Israeli state that Palestinian people be allowed to lead a life of dignity in their homeland.

“Through our gesture we wish to highlight the violence and the persecution being inflicted upon the Palestinians and for the Indian people as well as the people of the world to empathize with them.”

Several progressive groups, Dalit activists and Left parties have expressed solidarity with the IPPSF and its “protest through love”.

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