By Abdul Bari Masoud
New Delhi, Nov. 18: As Israel’s aggression and genocidal attacks on the besieged occupied Gaza Strip continued on 42nd day resulting in death of over 12,000 civilians, including children, Congress, the main opposition party here, for the first time condemned the Israeli brutalities. Jairam Ramesh, MP, and General Secretary (Communications), AICC described Israel’s actions following Hamas’ “condemnable” attack on their citizens are genocidal. Congress demands immediate stop to Israeli aggression in Gaza, he said.
The targeting of civilians, women and children, hospitals and shelters violate the values of humanity and every international norm of war, he underlined.
Belatedly reacting to the gory happenings in Gaza, the Congress leader said after blockading fuel, power, medicines, anaesthetics and humanitarian aid for weeks on end, hospitals are now being targeted militarily. Even premature infants have been deprived of medical care, this is a horrific and unprecedented development even in times of war. Over 12,000 people have been killed of which more than half are children. The WHO has recorded that one child is being killed every ten minutes in Gaza.
All this while statements of genocidal intent from the top Israeli leadership are being made. PM Netanyahu has himself called for turning parts of Gaza “to rubble” and has called the wanton killing of men, women, and children “collateral damage”.
The Congress leader also criticised Israeli leaders for using provocative language against Palestinians. “The kind of dehumanising language used by some Israeli ministers on Palestinians is like the language that preceded the Holocaust.”
Ramesh also came down heavily on Western nations for their doublespeak on human rights.
“It is shocking that many influential countries, that choose to speak the language of human rights and justice when convenient, are lending their unstinting support to Israel’s actions. The double standards being applied in Ukraine and in Gaza is apparent.”
The need of the hour is to de-escalate and declare a ceasefire immediately. The world cannot watch in silence as a second Nakba unfolds and the ethnic cleansing and dispossession of the Palestinians, as was done in 1948, is carried out once again with impunity.
The Indian National Congress urged the Government of India to do all it can to pressurise the governments of the USA, Israel, and the EU so that they may use their power to stop the violence being committed by Israel in Gaza.
How many more lives will have to be taken before our collective conscience is stirred and awakened? Ramesh asked.
Earlier, left parties had condemned the Israeli aggression in no uncertain terms and demanded immediate halt to genocidal war. While other opposition parties like SP, RJD, TMC, JDU, JDs, etc. did not utter a single word about the Israel’s genocidal attacks on hapless Palestinian people.