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Indian diaspora in US stands with Israel, calls Hamas attack crime against humanity’

Author: Press Trust of India
Publication: India Today
Date: October 12, 2023
URL:    https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/indian-diaspora-in-us-stands-with-israel-calls-hamas-attack-crime-against-humanity-2447976-2023-10-12

A prominent Indian diaspora group in the United States has extended solidarity to the people of Israel, calling the Hamas attack 'crime against humanity'.

A prominent Indian diaspora group has extended solidarity to the people of Israel, and said that the attack by Hamas militants against innocent civilians in the country is a crime against humanity.

The multi-pronged attacks against Israel by Hamas militants from Gaza since Saturday and the subsequent Israeli retaliation have left over 2,300 people dead.

The Israeli authorities said more than 1,200 people, including 155 soldiers, have been killed in Israel, while the Palestinian side put the death toll in Gaza at 950.

“We stand in solidarity with the people of Israel and condemn these unprovoked and barbaric attacks,” said Khanderao Kand, director of Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS). “Hamas’ and Jihadi terrorists' goal is to destroy Israel, and its attacks on innocent civilians are a crime against humanity,” he said.

FIIDS welcomed the US House bipartisan resolution, introduced by Congressman Michael MaCaul and Gregory Meeks, and supported by 392 House of Representatives, condemning the attack and supporting Israel in the ongoing war.

FIIDS compared Hamas' attacks to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. “This is a 9/11-like attack on Israel,” he said.

“It is a cowardly and barbaric attack on innocent civilians. The world should not allow Islamic Jihadi extremists to succeed in its goal of destroying Israel and peace. We must stand with Israel and make sure that other Islamic countries do not help Jihadi terrorism,” Kand said.

“These attacks are a setback for peace in the Middle East with a global implication,” he said. “They are also a threat to Israel’s peace and prosperity initiatives under the Abraham Accords to normalize relations with Arab countries,” he added.

Indian Americans across the country are joining Israeli events and groups to express their solidarity with them in this hour of crisis.

An Indian scholar at the Harvard University slammed canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for not being part of a joint statement by several heads of state condeming Hamas.

Observing that India, as a repeated target of terrorism fuelled by radical Islam, can empathise more deeply with Israel at all levels, Mrinalini Darswal, from the Harvard School of Public Health, said.

“I was not surprised to find Mr. Trudeau’s name missing from the heads of state who signed the joint statement against Hamas and in favor of Israel’s right to defend herself,” Darswal said.

“He might risk sounding duplicitous as he wears the cause of Khalistani terrorism as a badge of honour on his chest. But Mr. Trudeau would do well to remember that terrorism in any form is the blight that will eventually bite the very hand that nurtures it,” she said.

India and Canada are in the midst of a diplomatic row that erupted following Trudeau's allegation linking Indian agents to the killing of Khalistani separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June. India strongly rejected the charges. Nijjar was shot dead by two masked gunmen. India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020.

Indians, Darswal said, stand in steadfast solidarity with Israel and condemn Hamas’ perpetration of a "pre-planned butchery of innocents on Israel’s soil unequivocally".

"Even more condemnable is the glee and celebration by supporters of Hamas across the globe, who are not shying away from celebrating the massacre of small children, women, and old people," she said.

"India, as a repeated target of terrorism fueled by radical Islam, can empathize more deeply with Israel at all levels,” Darswal added.

The Harvard scholar said Israel had every right to defend her sovereignty, peace, and borders.

"In fact, unlike other nations, we recognise that terrorists compel Israel to fight for her very existence, and it’s a fight for survival... Civilized nations can share some of the cost by standing unwaveringly with Israel in her hour of need,” she said.

Darswal also slammed the Harvard University students organisations who in a statement have held Israel "entirely responsible" for all the unfolding violence.

“We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence. Today’s events did not occur in a vacuum. For the last two decades, millions of Palestinians in Gaza have been forced to live in an open-air prison. Israeli officials promise to 'open the gates of hell' and the massacres in Gaza have already commenced," a statement signed by several student organisations at the university said.

"Palestinians in Gaza have no shelters for refuge and nowhere to escape. In the coming days, Palestinians will be forced to bear the full brunt of Israel’s violence,” said the 30 student organizations from the university. The apartheid regime is the only one to blame. Israeli violence has structured every aspect of Palestinian existence for 75 years," it said.

"From systematised land seizures to routine airstrikes, arbitrary detentions to military checkpoints, and enforced family separations to targeted killings, Palestinians have been forced to live in a state of death, both slow and sudden," it added.

Darswal said a handful of Harvard student organisations have misleadingly supported the cause of Hamas.

“While it is a pointer to the fact that Harvard tolerates variegated opinions, it in no way indicates that crimes against humanity, the barbarity of which is unprecedented in the Hamas attack on defenseless citizens of Israel, can ever hope to find even a smatter of legitimacy among the larger Harvard community." she said.

"It’s time we call a spade a spade and condemn Hamas's vulgar, vicious, and brutal acts in the harshest of terms,” she said," she added.
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