A joint statement signed by more than 70 personalities, 30 groups and networks representing over 1000 organizations across India has denounced the visit of Israel’s president Reuven Revlin, and the upgrade of relations with this state, which has held the Palestinian people under occupation for decades, displacing communities, segregating people, and besieging them behind cement walls.
Uniting under the slogan “25 years of Indo-Israeli diplomatic relations: No reason to celebrate!“ the endorsers underline that
“India’s economic linkage with Israel channels our public money through military deals to Israeli arms companies that transform these funds into lethal military technology applied in the oppression, colonisation and ethnic cleansing, of the Palestinian people.”
“India’s cultural and academic relations strengthen the promotion in India of the supposed ‘Brand Israel‘, including its war machine and its illegal actions, its horrific wars and its apartheid policies. It puts several Indian companies on the wrong side the growing global movement for the boycott, divestment and sanctions of companies and institutions that are justly believed to bear complicity in Israeli war crimes.”
This statement is part of the global movement based on the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), which has been launched in 2005. Last year Revlin himself has defined the BDS movement a ‘first-rate strategic threat’ to Israeli policies of occupation and apartheid.
See the full statement with endorsers below.
25 years of Indo-Israeli diplomatic relations:
No reason to celebrate!
Say No to India’s 'intense engagement' with Israeli apartheid!
India’s diplomatic relations with Israel began in 1992 as part of a 'peace' process that dramatically failed the Palestinian people but brought Israel the benefit of international recognition which broadened the number of global actors who shared in complicity with its crimes against humanity. Over the last 25 years, ties between India and Israel have been growing on all fronts – trade, economy and technology, military, as well as academia and culture while the people of Palestine are today further away from peace and justice than ever before.
Indo-Israeli ties have proven to be an unhealthy relationship that has grown stronger since the current government headed by the BJP assumed office. We are deeply disturbed to learn that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi intends to start a celebration of a quarter-century of relations, by receiving an official visit from November 15 by Israel’s president Reuven Rivlin.
We also learn that Mr Modi plans to be the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel. No official plans have been announced, but we are alarmed to see that in recent weeks, Prime Minister Modi has sought to advertise his resolve in meeting India’s security challenges by likening a supposed cross-border operation along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, with Israel’s frequent lawless raids into Palestinian villages and neighbouring Arab states.
We are shocked that Israel, with its lawless conduct has emerged as role model for the Indian nation-state, born in the struggle against colonialism and committed to peaceful relations in the neighbourhood. We refuse to accept that Israel’s undemocratic and exclusionary regime of apartheid is the new model for India under Prime Minister Modi.
There is nothing to celebrate in this relationship, neither for the Palestinian people nor for Indian citizens who cherish human rights, democracy and peace.
Rivlin will be accompanied on his visit by a delegation of ‘unprecedented size’, as the official announcement puts it. Among the aims of the visit is to strengthen Indo-Israeli ties at all levels. Relations with Israel provide financial support and legitimise the policies of a state that continues to violate international law and human rights with impunity, has set up an apartheid regime against its own Arab citizen, transformed the majority of the Palestinian people into refugees by expelling them from their homes and destroying their villages, and brutalises the daily lives of the people in the West Bank and Gaza, where it has been in military occupation since 1967.
India’s economic linkage with Israel channels our public money through military deals to Israeli arms companies that transform these funds in to lethal military technology applied in the oppression, colonisation and ethnic cleansing, of the Palestinian people.
India’s cultural and academic relations strengthen the promotion in India of the supposed ‘Brand Israel‘, including its war machine and its illegal actions, its horrific wars and its apartheid policies. It puts several Indian companies on the wrong side the growing global movement for the boycott, divestment and sanctions of companies and institutions that are justly believed to bear complicity in Israeli war crimes.
Israel claims to transfer its know-how to India. In truth, it is using our markets and tax money to finance its crimes and to promote world views built on walls, wars and exclusion. India fares better without this.
As citizens of conscience, we call on all Indians to demand that our government halt this next step in its relations with Israel, from military and security ties to business as usual.
- All India Peace and Solidarity Organization (AIPSO)
- All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA)
- All India Students Association (AISA)
- All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP)
- Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR).
- Badayl, Goa, India
- CPI-M Liberation
- Delhi Science Forum
- Delhi Solidarity Group
- Free Software Movement
- Indian Cultural and Academic Boycott Campaign of Israel (InCACBI)
- Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF)
- IndoPal Foundation
- Intercultural Resources, Delhi
- Jana Natya Manch, Delhi
- Jharkhand Mines Area Coordination
- LeftWord Books, Delhi
- National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)
- National Fishworkers Forum
- New Socialist Initiative
- New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI)
- Palestine Solidarity Committee
- Public Finance Public Accountability Collective (PFPAC)
- Research Collective – PSA
- Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA)
- South Asia Forum for Human Rights (SAFHR)
- Studio Safdar Trust, Delhi
- Theera Desha Mahila Vedhi
- BACBI (Belgian Academic and Cultural Boycot of Israel).
- BDS Nederland
- Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within (Israeli citizens for BDS)
- US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI)
- Women in Black The Netherlands
- Aarushi Prakash, South Asia Forum for Human Rights (SAFHR)
- Achin Vanaik, retired professor, University of Delhi
- Amit Sengupta, Delhi Science Forum
- Anil Chaudhary, PEACE, Delhi
- Anuradha Chenoy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
- Ashish Kothari, Kalpavriksh
- Ashok Chowdhary, All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP)
- Avijit Wasi, political activist of All India union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP)
- Ayesha Kidwai, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
- Bindu N Doddahatti, social justice lawyer, Bangalore
- Devjani Saini, South Asia Forum for Human Rights (SAFHR)
- Dunu Roy
- Gautam Navlakha, journalist
- Githa Hariharan, writer
- Hiren Gandhi, Ahmedabad
- Ish Mishra, associate professor at Delhi University, Delhi
- Javed Shaik
- Jayati Ghosh, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
- KalyaniMenon-Sen, Feminist Learning Partnerships
- Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
- Kavita Krishnan, CPI-ML Liberation
- Khaled Mouammar, Former President, Canadian Arab Federation
- Komita Dhanda, theatreperson and academic
- Kumar Sundaram, IndiaResists.com
- M. Gauhar Iqbal, Palestine solidarity movement, Delhi
- Madhuresh Kumar, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)
- Mahnoor Yar Khan, Drama therapist
- Mani Shankar Aiyar, former MP and minister of Panchayat Raj
- Mazin Khan, Pharos Media, Delhi
- Meena Tiwari, All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA)
- Meera Sanghamitra, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)
- Mohd. Shahid Akhtar, journalist
- Moloyashree Hashmi, theatreperson and educator
- Nina Rao, retired professor Delhi University, guest faculty at SPA Delhi
- Nishrin Hussain
- Nivedita Menon, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
- Nivedita Menon, prof., Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.
- Prabhat Patnaik, prof. Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
- Prabir Purkayastha, Free Software Movement
- Rahul Roy, Professor Indian Statistical Institute
- Rajni Palriwala, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
- Ram Rahman, artist
- Ranjan Solomon, Badayl, Goa
- Rita Manchanda, South Asia Forum for Human Rights (SAFHR)
- Saeed Mirza, artist
- Saroop Dhruv, Ahmedabad
- Shahnaz Rizvi
- Subhash Gatade, New Socialist Initiative
- Sudhanva Deshpande, theatreperson and publisher
- Sudhir Vombatkere, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)
- Suhas Kolhekar, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)
- Sukumar Muralidharan, journalist
- Sumit Sarkar, retired professor, Delhi University, Delhi
- Sunaina Maira, associate prof. of Asian American Studies at the University of California
- T. Jayaraman, prof., Tata Institute of Social Sciences
- Tanika Sarkar, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
- Tanika Sarkar, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
- Tapan Bose, South Asia Forum for Human Rights (SAFHR)
- Urvashi Sarkar, independent journalist, Delhi/Mumbai
- Usama Zakir, M.A English, Jamia Millia Islamia
- Vasundhara Jairath, New Socialist Initiative
- Venkatesh Balakrishna
- Vikas Bajpai, Dr., assistant professor, Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
- Virendra Vidrohi, INSAF, New Delhi
- Vivan Sundaram, artist
- YC Subrahmanya, retired senior central government officer
- Herman De Ley, prof. Dr., Ghent University, Belgium
- James Dickins, Prof. of Arabic, University of Leeds, UK
- Jonathan Rosenhead, prof., London School of Economics, UK
- Magid Shihade, Birzeit University, Birzeit, Palestine