Thursday, December 7, 2023

‘Dehumanising occupation, larger issue at stake’, says Tharoor

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Congress Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor said that though the Hamas attacks on Israel should be condemned one needs to be aware that there is a “larger issue” at stake here and one needs to take note of the “dehumanising occupation” continuing at various places in Palestine.

“While we understood the Prime Minister’s standing up for Israel and showing solidarity at this time of great grief and this horror…, at the same time we felt that his statement was incomplete,” Tharoor said while speaking to on Wednesday.

“We felt that at the same time, we needed to remember that there was a larger issue at stake here and the reason behind all of this which is that there is a dehumanising occupation continuing at many places,” he added.

Condemning the Hamas strike in Israel that has killed over 1200 in Israel, Tharoor said, “The entire situation has been provoked by the surprise attack by Hamas during a national holiday in Israel. It was done in the cruellest possible way.”

“It was a terror operation.They killed innocent civilians, children, elderly people, and youths attending a music festival. It was almost impossible to accept any justification of what Hamas did and I certainly join in on the condemnation of the terrorist act,” the Congress MP added.

Speaking about the poor living conditions of the people in Gaza, Tharoor said, “The people in Gaza have felt imprisoned in that strip for a long time.The people of West Bank have a wall which is interfering with their normal freedom of movement and conditions of life.”

On the settlement buildings that have been on the rise in Palestine, he said, “It is a difficult situation for the Palestinians especially since settlement buildings, construction of new homes for the Jewish settlers in the occupied territories has been continuing unabated all these years.”

Tharoor said that the peace treaty that the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) agreed upon has failed given the poor living conditions of the Palestinians.

“Therefore the grand bargain under which the PLO gave up the way of the gun and chose the way of peace and dialogue and the world was heading towards a two-state solution, that has essentially been completely stagnant. For the last two-and-a-half decades there has been no progress on that.”

Condemning Netanyahu’s firm hand against the Palestinians, Tharoor said, “Israel has had under Prime Minister Netanyahu a very tough government that has made no compromise towards the Palestinians but has also been continuing what the world considers illegal settlements in the occupied territories.”

Explaining the reason why Congress has taken a slightly different stand on the Israel-Hamas issue, Tharoor said, “For us in the Congress party and traditionally for India our position is very clear. We want both Israelis and the Palestinians to live in peace and dignity behind secure borders and conditions where neither has to fear for their lives any time.”

Over 1200 Israelis have died and 2700 have been wounded in the conflict that broke out in Israel on Saturday.

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