New Delhi, July 4 (IANS) Calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel a “complete turning point”, senior CPI-M leader Prakash Karat on Tuesday said it was a part of an overall Hindutva ideology which was coming into play both domestically and in terms of foreign policy.
The former Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) General Secretary also added that Modi’s visit was also an open declaration that India doesn’t stand by the Palestinian cause anymore.
“What the Modi government is doing within India, this foreign policy is an extension of that,” said Karat at a public meeting organised by the Palestine Solidarity Committee, stressing there was a need to oppose this direction of foreign policy as well as the strategic alliance between India and Israel “which betrays the Palestinian cause”.
Calling Modi and the BJP “ideological soulmates” of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party, Karat said that it was under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government that then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited India “and now fittingly it is a BJP Prime Minister who is visiting Israel for the first time”.
Modi on Tuesday embarked on a three-day visit to Israel — the first by an Indian Prime Minister.
The visit coincides with India and Israel marking 25 years of their diplomatic relations and 50 years of occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Karat said the visit would lead to “total identification” of the Indian government — and through that of India — with the Israeli occupying state and would “legitimise all atrocities” and the occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel.
“This is a complete reversal from India’s long-held traditional stand the centre of which was Palestinian fight for independence.
“From (Mahatma) Gandhi’s time till the 1980s, India stood firm with Palestinian struggle for freedom. And today that is completely abandoned.
“This visit is an open declaration that we do not stand by the Palestinian cause anymore even though lip service is still paid by the Modi government to the creation of an independent Palestinian state,” said Karat.
He added that Modi’s visit was more than symbolic as it marks culmination of relationship which has been developing between Israel and India.
“We have reached a stage where there is now open strategic alliance based on military and security collaboration.”
During the meeting, RJD leader Manoj Jha said that while Palestine was never a “Muslim cause” when he was growing up, but it “suddenly” seemed to have become one.
“We have lost the cause of Palestine and we have failed Palestine.”
Jha said that there was a different rhetoric in media today involving “complete silencing of the Palestine like it doesn’t exist”.
Achin Vanaik from the Palestine Solidarity Committee said Modi’s visit would legitimize the “brutality” of Israeli forces.