Political parties in Norway and India have taken the first steps in moving towards the isolation of Apartheid Israel. Over the last month, left-wing parties in Oslo and New Delhi have passed similar resolutions condemning the Apartheid Wall, affirming Palestinian rights and calling for sanctions and arms embargos on Israel. A closer look at the resolutions and the history and current political situations in these countries helps not only to understand the significance of the motions passed at a national level, but more importantly points towards new trends in the global trajectory of Palestinian solidarity.
In India CPI (Communist party of India) and CPI(M) (Communist Party of India â Marxist) have demanded from the Indian government:
- A cessation in it military co-operation with, and all military procurement, from Israel.
- Sanctions on Israel in all international forums, until Israel ends the occupation.
Meanwhile the Norwegian SV (Socialist Left Party), in light of its possible participation in the next government pledges to:
- Establish a Norwegian boycott and embargo of arms trade with Israel as long as it continues the oppression of the Palestinians in violation of International law, and propose an international prohibition against arms trade with Israel.
- Propose sanctions against Israel through the UN.
The motions reflect a history of commitment to the struggle for freedom in Palestine. Many today might link Norway and its capital to the Oslo Agreements, one of the most tragic attempts to normalize Israeli occupation and colonization. However, during the 1970s and 1980s, Norway was an important backyard player in the Palestinian struggle.
Moreover, India has articulated its support for the Palestinian cause more consistently, as a leading member of the non-alignment movement and a strong supporter of national liberation movements around the globe. Again this reputation became tarnished in the late 1990s during the Hindutva governments of the BJP, whereby New Delhi established a very cosy relationship with Israel based on common pro-US stands and racist anti-Muslim/anti-Arab policies and ideologies.
Now there is a marked sense of optimism that in response to the continuing Zionist colonization and occupation of Palestine, epitomized by the Apartheid Wall, the political tides in Norway and India are changing. There is hope that through the initial moves to isolate Israeli Apartheid, both countries will renew their position as strong advocates for the Palestinian struggle against Apartheid and Occupation.
In India the Congress party was returned to power in elections last year and is governing with the support of the Left Front (mainly constituted by the CPI and CPI(M) and which holds 11% of seats in parliament). In Norway there are strong indications that the forthcoming elections will be won by the left-centre coalition, and in which the SV will take at least 10% of parliamentary seats become part of the new administration. The resolutions passed by the three left wing parties could turn out to have a positive impact on future government policies.
It is to be hoped that the layers of deceit which permeate through the current optimismâ for âpeaceâ, as relayed by the mainstream media and international diplomacy, will be broken down by progressive moves such as those made in Norway and India together with a growing awareness of the realities of Israelâs Apartheid Wall and colonial occupation of Palestine. Norway and India are representative of nations which have been at the forefront of promoting national liberation struggles in the past. Now is the time for progressive and parties and governments across the globe to remember their anti-racist and anti-colonial discourse and provide effective and concrete support for the Palestinian national liberation struggle. It is from such a basis of boycotts, sanctions and isolation of Apartheid Israel, that the Palestinian struggle can find the support necessary to break down the Wall and one of the worldâs most brutal and racist colonial regimes.