What would that country do if a terrorist group fires hundreds of rockets at it, enters its borders, slaughters innocent people at a music festival, decapitates children, parades women naked and then kidnaps them? That oppressed nation will do what Israel has been forced to do. As a result, no one has the right to criticise Israel’s actions at this time. I’m not going into history here, for the current conflict is not about Jews and Muslims. This is a dastardly attack by the deadly terrorist organisation Hamas against the brave citizens of Israel. And the present crisis should be viewed in this context only. If you look closely, you will understand that Hamas has proven to be an enemy of Palestine too. For, the attack on
Israel has weakened even the justified demands of Palestinians.
Do you know that Hamas has occupied the Gaza Strip of the same Palestine that it talks about? Except for the Gaza Strip, the rest of the country is ruled by the government of Palestine Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, but the Gaza Strip is ruled by Hamas. The 132 members of the Palestine Legislative Council are elected by the Palestinian population of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem. An agreement was signed in Oslo between PLO, i.e. Palestine Liberation Organisation, and Israel. Under this agreement, PA was established in 1994 as an interim administrative body.
India has consistently backed Palestine. India was the first non-Arab country to recognise Yasser Arafat’s PLO. In 1988, India recognised Palestine as a nation. In 2017, its President Mahmood Abbas also paid a visit to India. India voted in favour of Palestine becoming a full member of UNESCO. India also backed the installation of the Palestinian flag in the UN building in 2015. Not only India, but many other countries around the world, have shown sympathy for Palestine. The Indian position remains that Palestine and Israel should coexist peacefully. My personal belief as an Indian is the same too, but Hamas has hurt the cause of Palestine. Those who are supporters of Palestine are also standing in support of Israel today because of the misdeeds of Hamas. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also said that India stands with Israel in this difficult time. Let me remind you that Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Palestinian area in 2018 and the President Mahmoud Abbas had awarded Modiji the country’s highest honour ‘Grand Collar of the State of Palestine’. What I mean to say is that we have had cooperation with Palestine and also friendship with Israel.
I was shaken to the core after watching the footage of Hamas’ attack on Israel! Can anyone be so wicked as to behead small children? Can someone be so brute as to parade women around naked and then kidnap them? Such footage of Hamas’ cruelty is emerging that it can make anyone tremble with fear! I am shocked and unable to understand how Mossad, the world’s top intelligence organisation, failed! How did Israel’s defence system fail, allowing the barbarians to perpetrate extreme brutality?
I have also been to Israel and have also seen the Palestinian area. I have also visited the pilgrimage sites in Jerusalem. I have been a fan of both countries. People are very nice there. After all, who doesn’t want to live in peace and harmony? People in both countries desire the same thing. I feel that the conflict should be settled peacefully. The world is currently headed in this direction. The relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates have improved. There has also been a positive start to mutual understanding between Israel and Saudi Arabia. There was anticipation that the countries in the Middle East would develop an atmosphere of peace and harmony and all nations would advance. But Hamas carried out this dastardly attack. Its main objective is to frustrate any peace talk. Because of internal political disturbance, Hamas misunderstood that Israel was weak and vulnerable. I don’t want to get into the discussion whether Iran or any other entity masterminded the attack or logistically supported Hamas, but I do want to emphasise that the perpetrators have seriously dented and damaged the Palestinians’ cause.
The world is well aware of Israel’s approach. Irrespective of who is leading the government in Israel, it is an established principle that if the enemy kills one, they will kill 10. And this is the biggest terrorist attack in the history of Israel, so the question of Israel taking it lying down does not arise. Not only those living in Israel but also those living in other countries are returning home, leaving their jobs, to teach Hamas a lesson. Let me give you an example of what patriotism means to them. An Indian friend of mine lives in Israel. There, 32 months of military service is mandatory for every boy and 24 months for every girl. After that, they are registered in the reserve force. My friend did not want to send his daughter to the army, so he decided to send her abroad to study, but his daughter put her foot down, insisting that she would go abroad only after serving in the army. This is the spirit!
If Israel, a country with such a spirit, has pledged to destroy Hamas, its destruction is a foregone conclusion. However, innocent Palestinians are also being killed in the conflict. Where will the millions of Gaza residents go? Currently, only air strikes have been carried out. We have witnessed the horrors of phosphorus bombs. What will happen when the Israeli army enters the Gaza Strip? For Palestine, this is an era of horrific devastation. For this, the mentality that gives rise to terrorist organisations like Hamas, Hezbollah, IS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram or Taliban is responsible. It is this mentality that daydreams of conquering the entire world in the name of religion. The Hamas chief has bragged that he will rule the entire world. But he should understand that if America and China cannot think of world domination, Hamas simply does not stand a chance! These terrorists destroyed Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Somalia and many other countries in the name of religion. Such terrorist organisations must be exterminated! People who are aiding and abetting terrorist organisations by giving money and guns, should be hunted down. The entire world will have to rise unitedly against terror!