Why India should boycott Israel

Palestine Update  135

Why India should boycott Israel

        In November 2017 a global campaign to boycott Israeli industry celebrated the reported cancellation of a $500-million deal with an Israeli military firm for manufacturing Spike, an anti-tank guided missile, as a “huge blow” to the military industry of Israel. The Indian defence ministry has decided to cancel the India-Israeli venture as it would adversely impact the indigenous development of the Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) by the Defence Research and Development Organization. The cancellation was seen as a huge setback to the Israeli weapons industry which is heavily implicated in war crimes against the Palestinian people. Jamal Juma, member of Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) national committee secretariat and coordinator of the ‘Stop the Wall’ campaign referred to the decision as “a major setback for Israel’s propaganda hubris that its technology is indispensable for India’s development and modernization. Jamal Juma added: “As many Indians are recognizing Israel is marketing military and agricultural technologies in India to entrench Indian dependence on Israel.” said Juma. Earlier, Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the BDS movement noted that Israel’s “regime of oppression can never be a model for the great Indian nation that once led the non-aligned movement and upheld the right of all nations to self-determination”. The hope was that this was “the beginning of the end of Indian complicity in Israel’s egregious violation of international law and Palestinian human rights”.

The peasants and farmers wing of the Communist Party of India also joined the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in October last year. The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) with has 16 million members endorsed BDS efforts in order to support the “rights of the Palestinian people and to resist the corporate takeover of Indian agriculture sector by Israeli companies.” AIKS also says it will work to “raise awareness among Indian farmers to prevent Israel and its corporations from reaping profits in India that finance military occupation and apartheid in Palestine.” AIKS is clearly rejecting the hateful politics of Prime Minister Modi, Netanyahu and Trump, and uniting for freedom and justice.

More recently, as Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian teenage girl’s began, over 10 million Indian women from the Indian women’s movement insisted on her release alongside all other Palestinian child prisoners.

While these remain highlights in the BDS campaign, there have been other important boycotts by eminent academics and artists who Israel have invited to Israel as a way to break the barriers of isolation it is threatened with.

Sociologist Lisa Taraki, co-founder of Palestinian campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel describes the potential of the BDS Movement as “the struggle against Israeli colonization, occupation and apartheid”. It is a compelling rights-based strategy to oblige Israel to comply with international law and conventions and recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination.

As of early April, a loose network of anti-Zionist campaigners in India met in Bangalore under the support of SCM India, with support from the South Asia Coordinator at the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee. We planned strategies to enlarge the scope of civil society initiatives against apartheid policies and practices against the Palestinians. The network hopes to expand its numbers and scope through meetings and workshops that will include Palestinian leaders as resource persons.

Ranjan Solomon
Readers please note that Palestine Updates will be out-of-circulation from the 27th April till 10th May, 2018.

Israel refuses Indian delegation access into Palestinian territory
– Delegation protests in letter to Indian PM-

The members of an Indian delegation who were allegedly not let into Palestinian territories by Israeli authorities have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, claiming that the “government’s appeasement of Israel has only augmented Israeli arrogance, high-handedness and discourtesy in dealing with Indian citizens holding valid passports and valid visas to visit Palestinian National Territory”.

Human rights activists Agnivesh and John Dayal and politicians Mani Shankar Aiyar and Mohammad Salim were among those who signed the letter. The 13-member delegation was scheduled to attend an international conference on Jerusalem in Ramallah, Al Jazeera reported on April 12. Israel also reportedly barred the entry of a mufti from Sri Lanka, a Bosnian Muslim scholar, the head of Australia’s Islamic Council and a Ghanian MP.

Security forces reportedly stopped the delegation at a check post on the Israeli side of the King Hussein bridge, which connects the country to Jordan. They reportedly allowed only two members of the delegation to enter the country as they were carrying diplomatic passports, and that too after intervention of the Indian Mission in Tel Aviv and the Office of the Indian Representative in Ramallah. The others were humiliated and refused entry despite possessing valid travel documents, the delegates claimed in their letter. They also accused the Israeli Army personnel of behaving rudely with them.

This, the signatories to the letter alleged, exposed the Centre’s claims about Israel’s feeling of goodwill towards Indians and the assertion that it stands up for Palestinians. “What is urgently called for is immediate corrective action,” the delegates said. “We, the members of the Indian delegation, call upon the government of India to agitate this ill-treatment of Indian citizens with the Israeli authorities and ensure reciprocal discourtesy to Israeli citizens visiting India if the Israelis will not apologize and mend their ways.”


Don’t befriend me for a day, and leave me a month. Don’t get close to me if you’re going to leave. Don’t say what you don’t do. Be close or get away.
لا تصاحبني يوماً .. لتهجرني شهراً ولا تقربني .. لتبعدني .. لا تقل ما لا تفعل كُن قريباً .. أو ابتعد.
Mahmoud Darwish.