"Resolution of the Convention for Solidarity with Palestine
February 7, 2009 New Delhi
The savage military aggression by Israel on the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza is genocide. More than 1300 Palestinians -- including hundreds of women and children -- have been killed and over 5000 wounded. More than 26,000 homes have been destroyed with targeted bombing of schools, hospitals and basic infrastructure. The Palestinians are today without electricity, drinking water, medicines and food. The hospitals are not being able to take care of the injured with an acute scarcity of not just medicines, but doctors and medical staff.
The Israeli military has pulled out but the siege continues. The Israelis remain in command and have been blocking the supply of food and medicines for the Palestinians. The US, European Union are accountable for Israel's repeated invasions of Gaza and the continued occupation of Palestinian land. The Indian government, while paying lip service to the Palestinian cause, is the biggest buyer of Israeli arms and is helping subsidise the Israeli armed forces.
We cannot remain mute spectators to this genocide and need to come together to express our solidarity with the Palestinian people and pressure the international community and the government of India to act against Israel. The role of the media is also questionable, as the attack on Gaza was barely covered by Indian newspapers and television channels. And except for a couple of days, most of the national newspapers did not even report the death and destruction on the front pages.
Going beyond the humanitarian crisis of Gaza, this convention expresses its firm solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people to form their independent state on the whole territory that is theirs by right and to pursue their path of development, overcoming the machinations of Israel and its western patrons.
This Convention calls upon the government of India to:
1) Reverse its pro-Israel foreign and security policies
2) snap military ties with Israel;
3) cancel the 10,000 crore missile deal with Israel Aircraft Industries
4) boycott all goods from illegal Israeli settlements
5) take an initiative on Palestine along with other non-aligned countries
Amongst the speakers were N. Ram (Editor The Hindu), SP Shukla (Former Secretary, Min. of Finance), Zikrur Rehman (India's former Consul to Palestine), Aijaz Ahmed (Professor), Prince of Arcot -- Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, Prakash Karat, CPI(M), AB Bardhan, CPI, Umareddy Venkateswaralu, TDP, Danish Ali, JD(S), Debabrata Biswas, Forward Bloc, Prabhat Patnaik (Professor, JNU), Achin Vanaik (Professor), Saeed Naqvi, (Journalist), Saeed Mirza (Film maker). Seema Mustafa chaired the meeting. Others who have already agreed to be in the Organising Committee include Justice PB Sawant, (Retired Supreme Court judge), Khushwant Singh (writer and journalist), Goutam Ghosh, (Film maker), Tushar Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi Institute), Anand Patwardhan, (Film maker), Habib Tanvir, (Theatre person), Zahed Ali Khan, (Editor Siasat) and many others.
The Convention also resolved to start a mass campaign on the issue of Palestine and India's independent foreign policy. As a part of the campaign it was announced that a signature campaign by Members of Parliament on India Israel military ties and the Rs. 10,000 crore [approx 2 billion US Dollars] missile deal with Israel Aircraft Industries would be started once the Parliament opens. Other measures include organising boycotts including academic boycott, creating exhibitions and film screenings on Palestine, organising medical and other relief material for Gaza. The Committee would meet soon and to chalk out a concrete program on these and other possible measures."