Skip to main content

Why Modi isn't advising ‘It's not the time for war’ to Netanyahu like he did to Putin?

By Venkatesh Narayanan, Sandeep Pandey* 

After having pounded Gaza for over three months killing more than 26,000 Palestinians, during the course of which Israel also attacked Children’s hospitals and refugee camps in West Bank, on the pretext of flushing out Hamas fighters from there, Israel, with the help of its western allies, is doing the most unthinkable thing – trying to stop the humanitarian help to the beleaguered citizens of Gaza reaching through United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.
If in the opinion of International Court of Justice what is happening in Gaza is not genocide yet - it merely said that Israel’s conduct in the Gaza war risked acts of genocide - then this effort of Israel would certainly convince the world that indeed Israel is committing genocide by preventing food and medical aid reach the hapless Gazans.
During the ICJ hearing, Israel's Prime Minister - Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been almost universally reviled globally and within Israel, reiterated that Israel would continue to bomb Gaza regardless of the ICJ verdict, or ongoing global outrage at his genocidal military campaign. He reiterated the "No one will stop us, not The Hague, not the axis of evil and not anyone else".
To clarify to the confused billions, the "Axis of Evil" he was referring to was not Israel, the US, UK, and the western governments but the international community’s near universal condemnation of and pressure to end the Israel’s crimes in Gaza.Netanyahu furthered claimed that he would continue the heinous massacres till the population of Gaza thinned out to about 200,000 from its current 2.2 Million: Netanyahu’s Goal for Gaza: “Thin” Population “to a Minimum”.
South Africa’s courageous decision to take Israel to the Hague has given a legal forum for the international advocacy for a ceasefire, and beyond that, advocacy to end the ongoing Nakba, Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians since 1948. Both South Africa and Israel are signatories to the 1948 Genocide Convention which gives the ICJ the jurisdiction to rule on disputes over the treaty.
Ironically, the Genocide Convention was the first human rights treaty adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 9 December 1948 and signified the international community's commitment to prevent the atrocities committed against Jews in the Holocaust from repeating - for any group - under the rallying cry of “never again”. Israel has ratified the convention.
Israel thumbs its nose at this convention, perpetrating the same crime committed against the very people in whose name it now claims to act. Jewish groups like JVP and Rabbis for Ceasefire have vocally protested against Israel, insisting that never again means never again for anyone and that genocide will not be committed in their name.
At least a dozen countries backed the South African legal team - Belgium, Maldives, Namibia, Bolivia, Turkey, Jordan, Malaysia, Pakistan Columbia, Bangladesh, Brazil, and more than 50 countries of the OIC and the Arab League. The Indian government -- probably wary of its participative background of pogroms in Gujarat and its occupation of Kashmir -- stayed noncommittal on the sidelines. A shameful episode which many of us noticed.
The ICJ has ruled that Israel must take all possible measures to prevent acts as outlined in Article 2 of the 1948 Genocide Convention. This entails not killing Palestinians, not causing physical or psychological harm to them, not inflicting living conditions which will be fatal, etc. Israeli military has been told to desist from such actions. Israel is to ensure delivery of basic services and essential humanitrian aid to civilians in Gaza.
Within a month Israel has been asked to submit a compliance report. United States has seen this as a vindication of its decision to support Israel’s right of self-defense in wake of the 7 October, 2023 attack by Hamas on Israel. But the side which has been defending before, since 1947, and after 7 October is mostly Palestine, not Israel which has been on the offensive more often than not.
Purchases of surveillance software from Israel and Adani's business interests in Haifa port make India's position morally indefensible
ICJ ruling is an opportunity for the Israeli Government to see what it is doing it nothing short of genocide, 75 years of apartheid and ethnic cleansing, and it must use the ICJ judgement to put an end to the atrocities it has been committing on Palestinians. 
Israeli government has used horrific munitions such as white phosphorus and starvation by preventing aid from reaching Gazans through the Rafah border making it a war criminal under the Geneva convention. It should not make the matters worse by now targeting UNRWA and choking whatever little is reaching Gaza in the form of relief and medical aid.
Role of Indian government now, after taking a clear cut position against Israel since its creation in 1947 to about four decades, is equally condemnable for being complicit in this genocide -- silent against the acts of Israel, refusing to vocally call out Israel's actions. India is conspicuous by its absence among the countries supporting South Africa in ICJ.
Narendra Modi has not offered the ‘it is not the time for war’ advice to Benjamin Netanyahu that he had for Vladimir Putin when Russia attacked Ukraine. The Indian people are aware of the Home Minister Amit Shah's purchases of surveillance software products such as Pegasus and Predator from Israel, and its oligarchic backer Adani's business interests in Haifa port. That makes India's position morally indefensible.
There is a need to stand with the Palestinian people, the people of Gaza and the resistance against its occupiers -- according to UN Resolution 2625 of 1970, Resolution 3314 of the UNGA, and UNGA resolution 37/43, Palestinians have the right to armed resistance. Israel as an occupying force has no right to self-defense. 
Israel can only be condemned in the harshest possible terms and India for reversing its long standing support for Palestine and not standing up on the right side of history.
*Venkatesh Narayanan is a self-employed professional; Sandeep Pandey is General Secretary of Socialist Party (India), who recently returned his Magsaysay Award and degrees from U.S. universities in opposition to U.S. support of Israel in its onslaught on Gaza



What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Muted profit margins, moderate increase in costs and sales: IIM-A survey of 1000 cos

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) has said that the cost perceptions data obtained from India’s business executives suggests that there is “mild increase in cost pressures”.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Govt putting India's professionals, skilled, unskilled labour 'at mercy of' big business

By Thomas Franco, Dinesh Abrol*  As it is impossible to refute the report of the International Labour Organisation, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran recently said that the government cannot solve all social, economic problems like unemployment and social security. He blamed the youth for not acquiring enough skills to get employment. Then can’t the people ask, ‘Why do we have a government? Is it not the government’s responsibility to provide adequate employment to its citizens?’

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site The article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

Youth as game changers in Lok Sabha polls? Young voter registration 'is so very low'

By Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava*  Young voters will be the game changers in 2024. Do they realise this? Does it matter to them? If it does, what they should/must vote for? India’s population of nearly 1.3 billion has about one-fifth 19.1% as youth. With 66% of its population (808 million) below the age of 35, India has the world's largest youth population. Among them, less than 40% of those who turned 18 or 19 have registered themselves for 2024 election. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), just above 1.8 crore new voters (18-and 19-year-olds) are on the electoral rolls/registration out of the total projected 4.9 crore new voters in this age group.

Indians witnessing 'regression to Hindutva politics' under Modi ahead of elections

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The forthcoming general election in India, scheduled from April 19, 2024, to June 1, 2024, to elect the 543 members of the 18th Lok Sabha and the new Government of India, carries immense significance for the preservation of India's identity as a liberal, secular, and constitutional democracy.

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.