Vinod Mubayi


To any rational, fair-minded person with no stakes in the outcome, the current fuss over Iran would seem puzzling indeed.  Iran is a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty; it allows inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect its nuclear facilities; and, under the rules of the treaty, it is allowed to enrich uranium to produce fuel for use in civilian nuclear facilities, such as power reactors or reactors for producing medical isotopes.  There is another state in the Middle-East, however, which is known to possess hundreds of nuclear weapons, including bombs and missiles, acquired clandestinely, has not signed the non-proliferation treaty, and, of course, does not permit IAEA inspectors entry into the country or into its nuclear facilities.  The latter country is Israel.


But all the pressure, including ruinous economic sanctions and threats of military action is directed at Iran, while Israel enjoys the unstinting support of the major NATO countries, including, most importantly, the United States.  American politicians vie with each other to demonstrate their fealty and loyalty to Israel, a country that routinely threatens and attacks its neighbors, and practices apartheid at home against the hapless Palestinians, all in the name of “self-defense” that justifies even its most egregious aggressions.


Recently, Israel again embarked on a campaign of bombing Gaza in the name, of course, of “self-defense.” Gaza, often called the world’s largest open-air prison, is an area whose borders, electric supply, water supply, food supply, essential medical supplies, and everything else needed to maintain life, is completely at the mercy of Israel, which often turns off the supply whenever it pleases it to do so. Like many prisons, Gaza has its prison uprisings from time to time when its youth, frustrated by 50% unemployment and a life that is controlled by a vicious occupier with no hope of change or improvement, vent their frustration by shooting crude, homemade rockets into Israel, one of the world’s most advanced military powers.


As time goes on, the rockets have become somewhat more sophisticated with help smuggled in from some other Islamic countries, but, technologically, Israel is several steps ahead as is to be expected. Its Iron Dome system, built with billions of dollars of advanced research and hardware supplied by Uncle Sam, destroys rockets while they are airborne. Another cease-fire was declared a few days ago after the ratio of Palestinian to Israeli deaths had reached a figure large enough (somewhere between 10 and 100 at least) for Israel to consider minimally acceptable as a condition for stopping its pummeling of Gaza.  Meanwhile, the so-called two-state solution is going nowhere and will not do so as long as Israel enjoys unlimited support from the U.S. and the West, keeps on grabbing more and more Palestinian land with no repercussions, and its population evinces a more and more racist attitude towards the original inhabitants of the area.


India’s historic support of the Palestinians, put in place by Gandhi and Nehru, has been diluted somewhat over the last two decades after Israel emerged as a supplier of sophisticated military hardware and software to India and diplomatic links were established in the 1990s.  As to be expected, these relations became somewhat closer during the BJP led NDA regime.  However, in view of the upheavals in Libya and the ongoing conflict in Syria, India has maintained a neutral stand more recently especially vis-à-vis the positions adopted by the NATO countries.  On Iran too, India has resisted the more extreme demands of Israel and the West, in line with other countries such as China, Brazil, and Russia.  It is very important that it continue to do so and maintain its independent position on this issue.

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