NEW DELHI — India’s religious leaders from different faiths and prominent citizens have appealed the peace loving nations of the world to impose economic and diplomatic sanctions against Israel to bring the Jewish nation to its knees so that it gives up its aggressive military and expansionist policies against the helpless Palestinians and withdraws from occupied Al-Quds(Jerusalem) and also all other occupied Palestinian territories.
The appeal was made at an online press conference held under the banner of “Indian Friends for Palestine” organised on Wednesday.
The speakers at the press conference also issued a joint statement, appreciating India’s stand at the United Nations Security Council, supporting the cause of Palestine which is in line with its old policy on Palestine.
Former Member of Parliament K C Tyagi, who is also a member of the Executive Committee of Parliamentarians for Al Quds (Jerusalem), said that what was the most worrying thing during the current Israeli aggression was the forcible displacement of 52,000 Palestinians from around the Al Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem. What it means is that Israel, which is continuing its policy of expansion since 1948 by capturing Palestinian lands every year, would settle Jewish migrants in these areas that would pose a threat to the safety and security of Al-Aqsa, Islam’s third holiest place. As the Israeli police frequently prevents Muslims and Palestinians from having access to the mosque, the Israeli settlers around Al-Aqsa would further create problems for Muslims going to Al-Aqsa.
“I oppose removal of people from around Al-Aqsa,” Mr. Tyagi, whose party is a constituent of National Democratic Alliance ( NDA) government at the Centre headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said. “Israel wants to settle Jews by removing Palestinians from around the Al-Aqsa mosque,” Mr. Tyagi said. He said that Israel that was given only one-third of the Palestine land by the UN when Israel came into existence, has now captured two-thirds of Palestine by use of military power and with the assistance of US and other global powers. The United Nations, he said, passed several resolutions against illegal occupation of Palestinian land but Israel is not ready to change its expansionist policies.
Stating that issue of Palestine was a “global humanitarian issue and not a religious one”, he said, “The current conflict and protests in Jerusalem and other parts of occupied Palestine are due to Israel’s aggressive expansionist policies and actions on the ground. The current unrest erupted when the Israeli government, in violation of all international laws and treaties, launched a campaign to forcibly evict the Palestinians living in Sheikh Jarrah and other neighbourhoods near Al-Aqsa Mosque. We welcome the announcement by Mr. TS Tirumurti, India’s Representative to the UN Security Council, that India fully supports the just cause of Palestine.”
All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s (AIMPLB) acting general secretary Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, who also convened the program, pointed out that: “The Al-Aqsa Mosque is a holy place for Muslims all over the world and their religious sentiments are associated with it. The city of Al Quds (Jerusalem) is important for three major religions of the world. Therefore, Israel has no authority to change the demography or status of the city and its structures”.
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind President Syed Sadatullah Hussaini, addressing the meet, said, “Mere condemnation of Israel’s barbaric aggression is not enough. All justice-loving countries of the must take all the steps that the United Nations Charter entitles them for seeking appropriate action against hostile and lawless nations. They must pressurize Israel and impose strict economic and diplomatic sanctions against it. The Zionist rulers and soldiers of Israel must be indicted and put on trial for war crimes in the International Court of Justice for their atrocities in Gaza and other Palestinian territories”.
Mr Hussaini also appreciated India’s permanent representative in UN Security Council T S Tirumurti for supporting the cause of Palestine in his speech two days ago.
“The Government of India has always been against the expansionist ambitions of the colonial powers and under this policy, it has always supported the Palestinian liberation movement and the rights of the oppressed Palestinians. We welcome the announcement by Mr. T S Tirumurti, India’s representative to the UN Security Council, that India fully supports the just cause of Palestine. We rightfully expect and demand that our government, in keeping with this historic declaration, play a key and effective role in ending Israel’s oppression of Palestine,” Mr Hussaini further said.
Former Parliamentarian and General Secretary of Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind Maulana Mahmood Madani, endorsing the position of “Indian Friends for Palestine”, said: “The main reason for most of the Palestinian protests and intifadas (resistance movements) are the unprovoked attacks on Gaza by Israel, its daily atrocities against Palestinian civilians, and its covert and open diplomatic activities in the Middle East. Israel has been violating many UN resolutions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Even in bilateral agreements, Israel has a history of backtracking on its commitments. Israeli political class and its rulers intensify their aggression from time to time to subvert focus from their local political problems”.
Renowned Islamic scholar and cleric, Maulana Khalil-ur-Rehman Sajjad Nomani, pointed out that: “These heinous acts are being concealed from the world and attempts are being made to publicize the Palestinian resistance operations unilaterally. The way journalists are being targeted and their offices being demolished to keep the world unaware of the truth and facts on the ground is a serious challenge to the whole free world. I call upon all justice loving countries, including the Arab world, to take the lead in resolving this crisis as soon as possible”.
All India Milli Council general secretary Dr. Manzoor Alam said: “The immediate solution to this problem is to swiftly end the Israeli occupation of Al-Quds and other occupied Palestinian territories and to force Israel to stop all its cruel and aggressive intentions and actions. The United Nations must play its role in stopping Israel. Israel’s actions are illegal, against all international treaties and equivalent to war crimes against the whole world”.
Darul Uloom (Waqf) Deoband rector Maulana Muhammad Sufyan Qasmi, addressing the conference, said that he supported the stand taken by the group and hoped that the Palestinians get justice and are liberated from the illegal occupation of Israel.
Others who also addressed the online press meet include Maharshi Goswami Sushil Ji Maharaj, Dr. M D Thomas, Mr. Vinay Kumar, Secretary-General of Press Club of India and Mr. Santosh Bhartiya, senior journalist and commentator.
The signatories to the joint statement include Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, Acting General Secretary, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (Convener), Mr K. C. Tyagi, Member of Executive Committee of Parliamentarians for Al Quds, Maharishi Bhrigu Pithadhishwar Goswami Sushil Ji Maharaj, National Convener of Bhartiya Sarva Dharma Sansad, Dr. M D Thomas, Founder Director of Institute of Harmony & Peace Studies, New Delhi, Mr. Syed Sadatullah Hussaini, President of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Maulana Mahmood Madani, General Secretary of Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, Maulana Muhammad Sufyan Qasmi, Rector of Darul Uloom Waqf Deoband, Dr. Manzoor Alam, General Secretary, All India Milli Council, Maulana Khalil-ur-Rehman Sajjad Nomani, Director, Imam Shah Waliullah Academy, Mr. Vinay Kumar, Secretary-General of Press Club of India, Mr. Santosh Bhartiya, Senior journalist and commentator.