The Opposition Maharashtra Congress and Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi on Wednesday called upon the Centre to immediately suspend bilateral trade ties with Israel and send prompt aid to the besieged people of Palestine.
Congress state Working President Naseem Khan and VBC President Prakash Ambedkar issued separate statements on the current crises afflicting Palestine and Israel, a day after the bombing of Al-Ahli Arab Hospital which killed hundreds of civilians.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Khan reminded him of the relationship India enjoyed with Palestine since decades, right from former PMs Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Atal Behari Vajpayee and Dr. Manmohan Singh, and the former Palestine Liberation Organisation Chairman the late Yasser Arafat.
“So far the Israel-Hamas war has claimed over 3,000 lives and left more than 10,000 injured… India has always had very good relationship with the leadership and people of Palestine and we have always stood with them in the hour of need on humanitarian grounds,” said Khan.
Ambedkar rued that “the difference in support for Palestine by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Bharatiya Janata Party-RSS is problematic”, and asked if Modi was trying to appease the BJP-RSS by not sending humanitarian supplies for the Palestine children and women.
“The support and admiration displayed by the goons of the BJP-RSS for the bombings, collective punishment against Gaza residents by Israel is putting India into an awkward and embarrassing position on an international stage,” pointed out Ambedkar.
The VBA chief pointedly demanded that if India’s longstanding and consistent policy on Palestinian state has truly remained unchanged, “then what is stopping Modi from sending medical and humanitarian aid to Palestine for Palestinian children, women and civilians, who have been caught in this conflict?”
“The way in which Israel has bombarded Gaza with banned bombs killing innocent kids, women and thousands of people, especially yesterday, is a highly condemnable and shameful act,” added Khan.
The Congress leader demanded an immediate stop to all bilateral trade with Israel and help to the people of Palestine grappling with shortages of food, medicines and other relief materials in Gaza. Ambedkar also recalled how India always spoke loudly at various international fora in support of Palestine, but the country’s current soft stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict is a total inversion of the principled stance of all the former PMs of India.