Sunday, August 06, 2006

Indians and Israel-Lebanon Conflict

I have found a lot of my fellow bloggers to draw a parallel of India and Israel. A lot of them are related to Jewish-Indian Reception’ held earlier this year at Columbia University in New York. The invitation letter is present in many of the sites. Let me link to some of them :
1) Haroon Moghul describes how right wing politics made India and Israel allies. He has copy-pasted from a writing of Mike Marquese(next link in the list) of about ties of India and Israel.
2) Palestine News reports on the axis between India-Israel-US.
3) India News points out how Israel could learn from India in dealing the extremism. The summary is :
Israel can learn from India’s emphasis on dealing with the source of the problem rather than the manifestation. Israel has used violence in Lebanon under the mistaken impression that it will make Israel more powerful. It could not be more wrong

But it neglects the difference of India and Israel in terms of population and shock-absorption capability.
4) Indian strategies in the Israel-Lebanon war is being discussed in this blog. It noted that :
This is a good reason for India to not take a moralistic position in favor of one side against the other. Beyond humanitarian considerations India has no immideate stakes in the conflict between the Hezbollah and Israel. There are however long term Energy Security concerns. Therefore India should restrict itself inside deplorations of Human Rights violations only, no moral support should be given to any of the parties.
5) This one discusses about Indian diplomats sandwiched between Neuclear deal and supporting US stance in Israel-Lebanon conflict.
6) An Israeli blogger argues that India will learn from Israel. Here's a few positive words from his writings :
India and Israel must and probably will stand together in the near future against a common enemy. As I always grow tired of saying because I'm not in the business of prophecy: India, not China, is the world's future. It is America's natural successor and will before we know it be Israel's most important ally. One of these days I'll go into full detail as to why.
7) An interesting view from an Indonesian studying in AMU, India. He quotes from Jakarta Post :
Having a good relation with Washington is beneficial in one sense but it can also be very delicate to handle. India’s current position is an example of this. It has good relation with both Washington and the Middle East but at the same time, it has to balance the two so as not to fall into the trap of unilateralism. Furthermore, if India is still ambitious enough to play major role internationally it must take corrective actions in the current crisis in the Middle East and must balance its national and international position so as to keep multilateralism intact. A failure to do so would not only bring down the government in New Delhi but would also put India at par with Israel and other Washington’s allies.
8) The Chennai-living asks Indian Govt to act more 'proactively' against terror like Israel. Another blogger writes that the Israel and India are not the same and India is not expected to go Israel way.

My opinion

Overall, Indian educated class is quite divided over Israel-Lebanon conflict. A set of people who always find conspiracy among anything's done by West and Israel, the other group always find problems with Arabs. But, I liked the some of the more rational views.

One rational view include that we should support anything that can encourage peace. We should stop Israel so that loss of lives can be avoided. They should meet Hezbollah in a table instead of a battle ground. I see this section of people are in majority in educated class.

The other view is totally self-centered. Given the fact that I am an Indian, in the current geo-politics, I am expected to be attacked by the Hezbollah and Hamas but not the Israeli Army. Hezbollah and Hamas may not bomb us directly, but they can embrace groups like LeT who are known for their anti-India strategies. Ultimately, I live for myself, not for people of Lebanon and Israel. I saw this is the major reason behind whoever supports Israel in India.

However, I am not quite sure of if I should at all support anyone in this particular warfare. Israel is condemned because they bomb civilians - but where your enemy is hiding themselves inside the civilians (which is against International Laws - Protocol 12, Geneva Convention), the responsibility goes to Hezbollah. Hezbollah is no innocent child, they are often engaged in bombing several Israeli and Jewish targets (and of course targets include civilians) around the world. But, Hezbollah had no other option but to resort to guerilla warfare to defend Lebanon against mighty Israel. Overall, Occupation if Gaza and West Bank and attacks on civilians are deplorable Israeli actions, whereas, trying to wipe out Israel is a impractical and condemnable attempt by it's neighbours.

If we take a larger picture of the scenario, we'll see the majority of Middle-Eastern states are engaged in threatening to wipe out Israel from it's birth - which keeps Israel suspicious about it's neighbours. On the other hand, US and EU are pursueing hard to keep it's decision to 'implant' Israel after Second World War by Palestine Partition plan. I see that the whole Middle-East crisis as a 'gift' of Colonial masters of the world. If we forget the past; Israel, Palestine and Lebanon - all has their right to exist. But, shaking off the legacy is almost impossible and in the labyrinth process of cause and effect made peace a unattainable object. Middle-East badly needs leaders who can sacrifice for a bigger cause.