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Criticism of Israel and support of Hamas due to Muslim vote bank politics

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Israel is not fighting a war against Islam per se. They are fighting against Islamic terrorists of Hamas, who committed the most unprecedented barbaric atrocities upon Israelis. Israel’s last war against the Arab nations was 50 years ago and even that was not a war of Judaism against Islam. Since 1979, they have a hitherto unbroken peace treaty with Egypt that had followed the Camp David Accords mediated by Jimmy Carter. They also have full diplomatic relations and two official border crossings on the shared border. As for the other major Muslim country in the region, as Reuters had reported towards the end of September, Saudi Arabia was on the verge of securing a military pact with the USA that would entail the latter to defend the kingdom in return for their opening ties with Israel. Saudis were not going to hold up the deal even if Israel did not offer major concessions to Palestinians demanding statehood. One of the main reasons of the Hamas attack on Israel was to sabotage this pact.

Yet, the Left-Liberal gang and political opportunists in India have maliciously projected Israel’s response as a war against Islam and have called upon Muslims around the world to unite against Israel. With their ideological support, there have been several anti-Israel protest demonstrations by Muslims across the country.

Moral Depravity of the Left-Liberal Gang and Political Opportunists

Nobody in the world can dispute that Hamas committed the most barbaric atrocities upon the Israelis in their terrorist attack. That includes not only murder and taking of hostages but also rapes and molestations of women in full public view. Videos are available in which the terrorists are shouting Islamic religious slogans while committing their horrendous crimes like trampling upon an Israeli woman soldier’s naked body.

Yet, the Left-Liberal gang and political opportunists refrained from criticizing Hamas for committing terror in the name of Islam, that is, Islamic terrorism. This conscienceless behaviour is consistent with their behaviour in the context of the incidents of the murder of Kanhaiyalal (Udaipur) and Umesh Kolhe (Amravati) in June 2022. The murderers of Kanhaiyalal had themselves uploaded videos in which they had exulted in the murder committed in the name of Islam in graphic terms. Yet, the Left-Liberal gang and political opportunists refused to criticize it as an act of Islamic terror.

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Unfairly Accusing Israel of War Crimes

Following military reprisal by Israel, the Left-Liberal gang and political opportunists have once again started playing the victim card. This is ridiculous. Hamas are not a regular army and they are bound to suffer more for their crimes. How can they claim to be victims now?

This playing of the victim card has intensified following the incident involving the al-Ahli hospital in which some 500 people allegedly perished. Israel has questioned the very claim of there being so many deaths and said that bodies are not seen. They regard it as propaganda of Hamas in the perception battle. There is no tenable proof that even if some explosion took place, it was Israel that caused it. Theirs are extremely high-tech weapon systems that cannot commit such errors. A country, which had asked hundreds of residents of the Palestine Tower to vacate before blowing it up, cannot attack a hospital. Moreover, Israel has furnished audio recordings of the terrorists’ conversation using its intelligence network where they are talking of one of the terrorist rockets having gone off course. The US president has also agreed with it.

This makes great scientific sense too. As I had discussed in an earlier article, the Qassam rocket of Hamas is a home-made, most rudimentary rocket. It is just a cylinder of sheet iron with propellant packed by hand in it, not much different from a Diwali firecracker rocket, only much larger. Even if I do not expound on the science of rocketry here, take it from me as a scientist that since there is no stabilization system in the Qassam rocket, not to speak of guidance, the slightest error in manufacturing (such as any asymmetry in the cylinder or alignment of the nozzle or fins, or non-uniformity in packing the powder mixture of propellant) is enough to throw it off-course in flight.

Those who accuse Israel of war crimes have two options. First, they can go through the UN route to take whatever action is permissible against Israel. Second, they can appeal to the Muslim world to gang up against Israel and attack it together the way they had done in 1948 and defeat it once and for all. Once it is defeated, they can try Israeli leaders the way Nazi leaders were tried in the famous post-WWII Nuremberg Trials. Pending that, they must shut up.

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The Hoax of a Calibrated Response

Many of them admit that Hamas committed a mistake but say that it did not grant Israel the right to do whatever it wanted. This is stupid and betrays a singular ignorance of the history and philosophy of war. Mankind has fought more than 14,500 wars in history and in not one of them there has been any calibrated response. Wars are not boxing matches governed by the Queensberry rules!

Nobody has ever prescribed nor has anyone ever agreed in history to a stupid notion that if the enemy does a thing ‘X’; you must necessarily respond with a response ‘Y’ and nothing else. Following 9/11, when the USA pulverized Afghanistan with a staggering 337,055 bombs and missiles killing some 243,000 people, the entire world hailed the Global War on Terror. No one condemned US for some 70,000 of the killed being civilians.

There has been no war in human history without collateral damage to so-called non-combatants. In modern warfare in particular, the difference between combatants and non-combatants has been blurred. The enemy might bomb an ordnance factory of yours located far from the borders to destroy your war-fighting capability. What would you call the workers killed there, combatants or non-combatants?

During a communal riot, rioters may attack your house and proceed to rape your wife, mother, sisters, and daughters, as has happened in thousands of riots. What will you do? Will you let them commit the crimes and leave after looting your house, and then solemnly complain to the police? Or, if you have some weapon at home, will you not pick up your gun and shoot as many of them as possible? For your information, the law permits you to kill in defence of yourself your loved ones and your property.

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Invoking the Blunder of the Khilafat Movement Again

It needs no special insight to discern that this ‘immoral support’ of Muslim terrorists, and unabashedly playing of the victim card while whitewashing terrorist atrocities has only one objective, namely, the politics of the Muslim vote bank through appeasement of Muslims. This is an exact parallel of the most unethical stand the Congress had taken during the Khilafat Movement and subsequent atrocities by the Moplah Muslims on Hindus in 1921.

The Khilafat Movement had exposed at least some Muslims’ (their percentage can neither be determined nor does it matter) trans-national obsessions or Pan-Islamic loyalties. Why in the world do Indian Muslims have to bother about what was happening to the Sultan and his Caliphate in distant Turkey defies common sense? In contrast, in February 2022, Pakistan’s then Prime Minister Imran Khan, defended China for its policy regarding Uyghur Muslims despite popular criticism for that. Sitting in Pakistan, he was not morally or legally responsible for them, just because they also happened to be Muslims.

Criticizing Gandhi’s placing the Khilafat problem on the same level of political importance as Home Rule for India; eminent historian Dr R. C. Majumdar wrote in ‘Struggle for Freedom’ that Gandhi failed to realize that if a hundred million Muslims were more vitally interested in the fate of Turkey and other Muslim States outside India than they were in the fate of India, they could hardly be regarded as a unit of the Indian nation. If Gandhi admitted that the Khilafat question was a vital one for Indian Muslims, it meant that he accepted that they formed a separate nation; they were in India, but not of India.

Regarding the Moplah atrocities on Hindus, Dr Majumdar says that Congress leaders at first disbelieved the stories. When hundreds of Hindu refugees arriving at Calicut confirmed the most terrible stories of barbarous and fanatical cruelty, not only did Gandhi fail to condemn them, but he lauded them by calling them ‘brave God-fearing Moplahs’ who were ‘fighting for what they consider as religion, and in a manner which they consider as religious’. A resolution passed by the Congress at Ahmedabad castigated the British government for not taking the help of Maulana Yaqub Hassan in controlling the situation and not allowing Gandhi to proceed to Malabar!

The unholy political agenda is obvious in the current episode too. Following the al-Ahli hospital incident, they started asking questions from PM Modi for his support of Israel. This is ridiculous. PM Modi is not conducting that war nor is he answerable for all that happens during the war. India’s support to Israel is the support of a nation to a friend and valuable partner nation which is under attack.

Israel is our fourth biggest defence partner after Russia, France and the USA. India happens to be Israel’s third-largest trade partner in Asia and seventh-largest globally. Our bilateral trade has diversified into several sectors such as pharmaceuticals, agriculture, IT and telecom, and homeland security. Israeli companies have transferred technology to India in areas like renewable energy, telecom, and water technologies. Supporting Israel does not mean that India is obliged to comment on everything that happens in Israel, such as the protests against Netanyahu that had been taking place.

Playing a Dangerous Game

The same dirty game of the Khilafat Movement era is being played once again by those who pretend to be messiahs of Indian Muslims for the obvious politics of the Muslim vote bank. One of them went to the extent of saying that many in India are supporting Israel not because they love Israel but because they hate Muslims. It must be pointed out for their edification that hating someone or harbouring hatred in one’s mind is not a crime as per the law in India; spreading hatred in public is. The ‘many Indians’ they talk of are legally free to hate ‘some other Indians’ in their minds. Deal with it. Supporting Israel does not amount to spreading hatred against Muslims.

Some of them are indulging in a semantic debate about there being no universally accepted definition of terrorism. Should that be so, Israel is simply retaliating for an attack irrespective of its provocations. Why complain about it then? They are free to go to the International Criminal Court, if they can. It cannot be argued that Hamas had a ‘divine right’ to fire 5,000 rockets and commit brutal murder and rape for whatever reason but Israel is under some sort of obligation to restrain itself. They cannot seek to tie the hands of Israel by teaching morality to them and, at the same time, pardon the crime of Hamas as a minor aberration of a deviant kid! You cannot have such shameless double standards, can you?  

They are projecting Islamic terrorist criminals as ‘fighters for the noble cause of Islam, fighting against Zionist oppression’ and exhorting the Indian Muslims to sympathize with them and identify with them. Further, insinuating that those supporting Israel, that is, indirectly including the Government of India itself, hate Muslims amounts to instigating Indian Muslims against them. Besides being offences punishable under Sections 153A, 505(2), 505(1)(c), and 505(1)(b) IPC, this is a dangerous design to disintegrate India ‘from within’ and must be dealt with sternly.

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Dr N C Asthana IPS (Retd)
Dr N C Asthana IPS (Retd)
Dr. N. C. Asthana, IPS (Retd) is a former DGP of Kerala and ADG BSF/CRPF. Of the 51 books that he has authored, 20 are on terrorism, counter-terrorism, defense, strategic studies, military science, and internal security, etc. They have been reviewed at very high levels in the world and are regularly cited for authority in the research works at some of the most prestigious professional institutions of the world such as the US Army Command & General Staff College and Frunze Military Academy, Russia. The views expressed are his own.

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