Zionism and Hindu Nationalism Bring Israel and India Together

June 7, 2021

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) visit the “Hall of Names” in the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem on July 4, 2017. Photo by Abir Sultan, AFP via Getty Images

Why Hindu nationalists have found a brother in arms in Israel and supported recent Israeli escalation in Gaza, which killed 253 Palestinians, 66 of whom are children

hen Israeli warplanes, artillery positions and armed drones rained missiles and bombs upon Gaza for 11 consecutive days last month, killing 253 Palestinians, 66 of whom were children, the Israeli Government received predictable support from the United States, but the words of solidarity it received from India has raised eyebrows around the world.

Whereas Congressional Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. offered boilerplate talking points in defense of Israeli military aggression against a largely defenseless civilian population, members of India’s ruling party – Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – and its allies unabashedly pontificated their solidarity with the self-proclaimed Jewish state on social media.

For more than a week, the hashtags #IndiaWithIsrael, “#ISupportIsrael, #IndiaStandsWithIsrael and #PalestineTerrorists were the top trending topics on Twitter in India, demonstrating widespread popular support for the Israel and its heavy-handed military response to Palestinian resistance.

Indian journalist Rana Ayyub reviewed tweets posted under these hashtags and found that “a common thread that runs through is a visceral hatred for Muslims and a bloodlust to see Muslims massacred and shown their place,” adding, “Most handles followed by one or more BJP minister or the PM himself.”

Read: Hindutva Ideology: India’s Gradual Move Towards Genocide

These tweets echoed pronouncements made by members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Government, including Member of Parliament Tejasyi Surya, who posted on Twitter, “We are with you. Stay strong, Israel,” and a BJP spokesperson, Guarav Goel, who posted, “Dear Israelis, you are not alone, we Indians stand strongly with you.”

These expressions of solidarity with Israel by members of India’s ruling party and its supporters make it easy to forget that the Indian relationship with Israel has been anything but close or even cordial, with previous Indian administrations expressing hostility towards Israel for its persecution of the Palestinian people and occupation of the Palestinian Territories.

“Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French,” Mahatma Gandhi wrote in 1938. A decade later India would become one of only 13 countries to vote against the United Nations Partition Plan, which divided historic Palestine into two separate states – thus forming the foundation of the Israeli state in 1948.

Read: What is the Future for India’s Muslims with the Rise of Hindu Nationalism?

India also voted for a UN resolution that condemned Zionism as “a form of racism and racial discrimination,” stating, “The racist regime in occupied Palestine and the racist regime in Zimbabwe and South Africa have a common imperialist origin, forming a whole and having the same racist structure and being organically linked in their policy aimed at repression of the dignity and integrity of the human being.”

India’s Cold War alliance with the Soviet Union also made it a natural opponent of the United States’ geopolitical orbit, while its large Muslim population helped the country maintain close ties with the Arab world, particularly the Palestinians – but when the Communist superpower collapsed in 1991, New Delhi hit the reset button on its relationship with Tel Aviv.

A natural thawing of relations between the two former British ruled colonies has blossomed into a full blown “special friendship,” with many likening the bond between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Modi as a full blown “bromance,” one that oversaw a record $1.5 billion arms deal in 2016, making Israel the second-largest weapons exporter to the Indian state. Bilateral trade between the two countries has ballooned from $200 million in the early 1990s to nearly $6 billion today.

This fledgling Modi-Netanyahu “bromance” is not only driven by trade deals, but also by shared values, as both Hindu nationalism and Zionism draw from the same spring of hate – ethno-nationalist ideologies. Whereas Hindu nationalists seek to transform India into a Hindu Rashtra (nation), one absent non-Hindu religious minorities, but particularly Muslims, Zionism aims to cleanse the Palestinian Territories of non-Jews, but particularly Muslims.

Read: India Makes the Lives of Kashmiri Prisoners Worse During COVID19

At the core of the Modi Government’s ideological DNA is the militant Hindu organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which has long admired Israel’s brutality of the Palestinian people. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat gave voice to this sentiment when he said in 2016, “Israel was attacked by surrounding Islamic countries on five occasions, but the Israeli people repulsed their aggressions and extended their boundaries due to strong resolve to save motherland.”

Somdeep Sen, an associate professor of international development studies at Roskilde University in Denmark, accurately observes, “The electoral successes of the BJP have meant that what was once a fringe Hindu nationalist love affair with Israel has now become a matter of public policy.”

It’s no surprise then that India has modelled its settler-colonial-project in Kashmir on Israel’s settler enterprise in the Palestinian Territories by turning military outposts into settlements, and settlements into bona fide towns and even small cities. In both projects, the occupying force rules over a restive Muslim majority population, and it’s for this reason India has turned to Israel for its supply of occupation management tools and strategies.

JAMMU & KASHMIR: A CASE OF BRUTAL DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGES AMID A GLOBAL PANDEMIC

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The Indian government has not refrained from its nefarious agenda to alter the demography of occupied Jammu and Kashmir amidst the global pandemic.

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The demography of Kashmir has become a subject of debate especially after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu Nationalist government has imposed a new set of laws. It includes a controversial and contentious domicile law through which citizens from all across India can get the rights of living in the disputed territory.

The new domicile law allows being eligible for domicile certification to those who have resided in the region for fifteen years or studied for a period of seven years and appeared in class 10 or 12th examination through educational institutes located in the area. It also gives out residency rights to central government officials who have served in Indian-administered Kashmir for ten years and their children. Initially this law also included provisions that allowed all Indians to apply for jobs specified for Jammu And Kashmir except the low-level jobs. But after the severe backlash even from the Hindu-dominated region of Jammu, the decision of reservation for jobs was overturned. These steps of the Indian government violate the fourth convention of International Law as it declares that “The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

Indian government abrogated article 370 and 35A of the constitution that guaranteed special status for jobs, scholarships, and allotment of land to permanent residents of Indian-administered Kashmir, in early August, last year. The law also gave rights to people of Jammu and Kashmir to establish their rule of law through their Parliament and have their own flag. Subsequently, the region having a Muslim majority was divided into two union territories, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. The law also stripped any Kashmiri woman who married outside Kashmir of the right to own property in their native land so as to protect the unique identity of the region.

The new laws are widely seen as an attempt to implement a long-standing ideological vision of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), for the occupied region. RSS is broadly considered as the parent organization of India’s ruling Hindu nationalist faction, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The RSS has been demanding the abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir for decades. They also passed a resolution that laid out their vision to remodify the geographic structure of the region such that it would benefit the Hindus. The BJP has also exploited the slogan of the resettling of Hindu Pandits, who were displaced during the uprising of last 1980s, for their electoral gains. This is due to which BJP has managed to create a significant voter base especially in Jammu.

Indian authorities have made several efforts to change the geographic dynamics of the occupied territory. First of which was in August-November 1947, when hundreds and thousands of Muslims in Jammu ware massacred by the Dogra ruler and the then-Indian government of Indian National Congress. There is no official account of this brutal bloodbath so we have to heavily rely on the reports of British newspapers operating in that area. Horace Alexander wrote in his article on 16 January, 1948, in The Spectator, that the number of people killed in those two months exceeds 200,000. Whereas Ian Stephens, the editor of The Statesman, claimed that more than a half-million people were killed and the other 200,000 were either displaced or went missing. Due to this genocide, the overwhelming majority of Muslims in the region were reduced to just 30 percent of the total population. Jammu’s demography was again altered by the Agrarian Reforms Act, 1976. The act provided land ownership opportunity to natives of Jammu and through this, thousands of non-natives were granted ownership of land by means of forged and tempered records. Another intrigue can be noticed by observing a sharp increase of the Hindu population in Leh and Kargil districts from 2001 to 2011. The population of Hindus has grown from 6.2 percent to 12 percent in this time frame. Experts claim such an increase of a hundred percent is unimaginable and impossible, considering the economic conditions of the region.

In the current situation, the more than half-million Indian soldiers deployed in the region can buy land and become residents while Indian Muslims are too poor to do so and resettle in the area. Indian government plans to replicate the Israeli model of illegal settlements in occupied Palestine. A Kashmir-based political analyst told Middle East Eye, on the condition of anonymity, that “These domicile laws have been devised only to facilitate a non-Muslim Indian influx into Kashmir. Indian Muslims are poor. They don’t have resources to buy properties in Kashmir. In Kashmir, businesses are not running. Job opportunities are dismal. Any Indian who does not have the state financial and military muscle behind him can’t sustain in a conflict zone like Kashmir. Indian Muslims would never get any such support from the ruling government.” Kashmiris have long-feared such changes in their demography, culture and identity. Shimon Peres, the then-former Foreign Minister of Israel who afterward served as President of Israel, on his visit to India on 18 May, 1993, suggested that “India should not be afraid or hesitate to populate Kashmir with people from all over India. Only a demographic change in Kashmir can help India to claim it. The idea of a Muslim majority state living peacefully with a Hindu majority community is idiotic and this idea is nothing but anathema.”

While the world is busy in finding a way to cope with COVID-19, India has taken the pandemic as an opportunity to further oppress the people of occupied territories. They have also set aside the UN Resolution about the state of Jammu and Kashmir which clearly state that its fate lies in the hands of the people and they should be given their right of self-determination. The information ban and lockdown are extended as cases of Coronavirus increase. But all of these actions carried out and illegal laws being implemented without the consensus of local leaders may result in the eruption of another series of riots just like in the late ’80s.


By Hassan Aziz
Source: One World

Imam Khamenei Condemns Anti-Muslim Violence in India

 March 5, 2020

Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei denounced massacres committed against Muslims in India, calling on the New Delhi government to confront extremist Hindus.

“The hearts of Muslims all over the world are grieving over the massacre of Muslims in India,” the English Twitter account of Imam Khamenei said in a post.

“The govt of India should confront extremist Hindus & their parties & stop the massacre of Muslims in order to prevent India’s isolation from the world of Islam,” the tweet added.

The post ended with the hashtag “Indian Muslims ln Danger”.

The Indian parliament in December passed a law that fast-tracks citizenship for persecuted non-Muslim minorities from neighboring countries. More than 40 people were killed last week in New Delhi in sectarian violence sparked by the citizenship law.

Violence erupted last week, leading to a three-day-long rampage, with Hindu mobs attacking Muslim homes, shops and mosques.

Source: Iranian media

MUSLIMS ARE BEING MURDERED IN INDIA. THIS IS THE TRUE NARENDRA MODI

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On 9 to 10 November 1938 the German government encouraged its supporters to burn down synagogues and smash up Jewish homes, shops, businesses, schools. At least 91 Jews – and probably many more – were killed by Nazi supporters egged on by Joseph Goebbels, the minister for public enlightenment and propaganda, in what became known as Kristallnacht – “the Night of Broken Glass”. It was a decisive staging post on the road to mass genocide.

On 23 February 2020 in Delhi, Hindu nationalist mobs roamed the streets burning and looting mosques together with Muslim homes, shops and businesses. They killed or burned alive Muslims who could not escape and the victims were largely unprotected by the police. At least 37 people, almost all Muslims, were killed and many others beaten half to death: a two-year-old baby was stripped by a gang to see if he was circumcised – as Muslims usually are, but Hindus are not. Some Muslim women pretended to be Hindus in order to escape.

Government complicity was not as direct as in Germany 82 years earlier, but activists of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, were reported as being in the forefront of the attacks on Muslims. A video was published showing Muslim men, covered in blood from beatings, being forced to lie on the ground by police officers and compelled to sing patriotic songs. Modi said nothing for several days and then made a vague appeal for “peace and brotherhood”.

The government’s real attitude towards the violence was shown when it instantly transferred a judge critical of its actions during the riots. Judge Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court was hearing petitions about the violence when he said that the court could not allow “another 1984” to happen, referring to the killing of 3,000 Sikhs by mobs in Delhi in that year after the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. He said the government should provide shelter for those who had been forced to flee and questioned if the police were properly recording victims’ complaints.

The government says that Judge Muralidhar’s transfer had already been announced and claims that its speedy implementation of the move had nothing to do with his remarks.

Accusations of fascist behaviour by present day political leaders and their governments, similar to that of fascist regimes in Germany, Italy and Spain in the 1930s and 1940s, should not be made lightly. Such comparisons have been frequently levelled in recent years against nationalist, authoritarian populists from the US and the Philippines to Poland to Brazil. Often the allegation is believed by the accuser and, at other times, it is simply a term of abuse. Yet Modi and the BJP appear closer than other right-wing regimes to traditional fascism in their extreme nationalism and readiness to use violence. At the centre of their agenda is their brand of Hindu nationalism and a relentless bid to marginalise or evict India’s 200 million Muslims.

The rest of the world has been slow to grasp the gravity of what is happening in India because the Modi government has played down its project to shift India away from its previous status as a pluralistic secular state. The sheer number of people negatively affected by this change is gigantic: if the Muslim minority in India was a separate country then it would be eighth largest state in the world by population.

The violence in Delhi this week stems from the fear and hatred generated by the government-directed pincer movement against Muslims in India. One pincer is in the shape of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), under which non-Muslim migrants can swiftly gain Indian citizenship but Muslims cannot. Even more threatening is the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which is likely to deprive many Indian Muslims of their citizenship. It was the non-violent protests and demonstrations opposing these measures that provoked the Hindu nationalist mobs into staging what was close to a pogrom earlier this week.

Just how far Modi and the BJP will go in their anti-Muslim campaign is already in evidence in Jammu and Kashmir, the one Indian state with a Muslim majority. It was summarily stripped of its autonomy last August and has been locked down ever since. Mass detentions and torture are the norm according to the few witnesses able to report what they have seen.

For 150 days after the government revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, the internet was cut off and it has only been restored to a very limited degree since January. The security forces detain who they want and distraught family members complain that they cannot find their relatives or that they are too poor to visit them in prisons that may be 800 miles away.

The isolation of Kashmir has largely worked from the government point of view in sealing it off from the outside world. But would it make much difference if events there were better known? The burnings and killings in Delhi this week are well publicised, but regarded with a certain tolerance internationally: Modi can trade off India’s reputation as a ramshackle democracy and a feeling that “communal violence” is traditional in India, like hurricanes in Florida or earthquakes in Japan, and nobody is really to blame.

There has been an encouraging, though fiercely repressed, wave of opposition in India to the degradation of its non-sectarian traditions. The danger here – and the mobs in Delhi may be a sign of this – is that Modi and his government will respond to these protests by playing the Hindu nationalist card even more strongly.

Dealing with foreign criticism, the government may say that, regardless of its domestic political programme, it is supercharging economic growth and this excuses its other failings. Authoritarian regimes, with control over most of their own media, often make such claims and, when economic statistics show the opposite, they simply fake a new set of figures. A recent study of the Indian economy noted that, while overall economic growth had supposedly risen strongly, the growth in investment, profits, tax revenues, imports, exports, industrial output and credit had all weakened in recent years.

In one respect, Modi is in a stronger position than Germany after Kristallnacht. President Roosevelt responded with a statement denouncing antisemitism and violence in Germany and promptly withdrew the US ambassador. President Trump, on a two-day visit to India at a time that Muslims were being hunted down and killed a few miles from where he was sitting, said he was satisfied that Modi was working “really hard” to establish religious freedom.


By Patrick Cockburn
Source: The Independent

Hindutva And Fascist White Nationalism: A Match Made in Hell

By Adam Garrie
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In 2011, the fascist Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik detonated a bomb in central Oslo before travelling to Utøya island where he opened fire on children on a camping holiday. Overall, Breivik murdered 77 people whilst he injured over 300. While Breivik has been behind bars since committing the atrocities of 2011, his name has been back in the news after the terrorist behind the barbaric attacks on two New Zealand mosques claims that Breivik (through his proxies) offered his support for the atrocities in Christchurch.

In many respects, the Australian terrorist of Christchurch infamy acted in a manner that sought to copy the methods and mentality of Breivik. This including the drafting of a political manifesto that was published online just before the beginning of the attack.

Going back to 2011, it is helpful to remember that in addition to citing figures from European history as inspirations for his attack, Breivik also extolled what he thought to be the virtues of the Hindutva ideology.  But far from distancing himself from Breivik, former BJP Indian parliamentarian B.P. Singhal openly revelled in Breivik’s anti-Islamic cause. In 2011, Singhal stated:

“I was with the shooter in his objective, but not in his method. If you want to attract the nation’s attention, surely you need to do something drastic and dramatic, but not killing people”.

Whilst Singhal’s qualified support for Breivik is both disturbing and distasteful, Singhal then went on to qualify his initial qualified remarks by apparently justifying violence against Muslims. According to Singhal, the Holy Quran is “violent” and as such, sometimes “violence must be fought with violence”.

But far from being an aberration, Singhal’s support for a fascist European killer follows on from a long line of Hindutva politicians and theorists who openly praised Adolf Hitler and other extreme European leaders. Hindutva’s founding father Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was an unabashed admirer of both Nazi Germany’s Adolf Hitler and fascist Italy’s Benito Mussolini. Beyond this, Savarkar blamedEuropean Jewry for the Holocaust and went on to compare his own views on south Asian Muslims with Hitler’s views on European Jews.

At one point, Savarkar stated that Indian Muslims should be treated in the way that African Americans were treated in the United States during the Jim Crow Era, even though this racist remark was mild compared to his desire to create a Hindutva empire that would see Pakistan (West and East as it was at the time) wiped off the map.

With the revival of Hindutva extremism under the BJP government of Narendra Modi, a fascination with Hitler and European fascism in India has likewise been documented by foreign observers. As recently as 2017, even the BBC recognised that neo-fascists in Europe and North America were reviving the concept that Hindutva extremism and white supremacist extremism should cooperate in order to fulfil various socially exclusive goals. In particular, the BBC noted how 21st century western fascists have come to admire the European born Hindu convert and promoter of Hindutva ideology Savitri Devi as a figure of inspiration.

Just months ago, Qatari broadcaster and news outlet al-Jazeera observed that based on both pre-Hitler theories on how central Europeans were related to ancient Indo-Aryans and also due to a shared contemporary hatred of Muslim people and the religion of Islam, the world had witnessed a burgeoning growth in a political and ideological alliance between western fascists and Hindutva extremists in India and beyond.

But the story does not end there. Through the power of the internet, it is now possible for western fascists to watch English language Hindutva television programmes on a 24/7 basis. While there is plenty of western pro-fascist material to occupy the time of western extremists, because Indian media tends to give extremist views a veneer of respectability that is otherwise missing in much of Europe and North America, Hindutva propaganda is in many respects the perfect way for western fascists to both gain inspiration and to further internationalise their cause.

Thus far, Turkey’s broadcaster TRT World has been helpful in offering the wider world a critical glimpse of the hateful rhetoric that spews continually from pro-BJP platforms as well as in film.

The growing ties between the western fascist revival and India’s increasingly prominent Hindutva socio-political movement continue to receive only marginal attention. And yet, while the BJP’s militant wing RSS continue to promote violence in India, Europe and the west as a whole are sleepwalking into an era in which a western version of RSS may well be right around the corner.

If people throughout the world are genuinely concerned with ebbing the flow of extremism, the Hindutva-Fascist axis must be both named and shamed.

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