The worst violence in Jerusalem in decades has led to massive global street protests directed against Israel. Some even erupted in India. When not breast-beating on the streets, holding “down with Zion’’ placards, the humanist lobby wrote stirring editorials in Indian publications. Sample some headlines thought up by Desi bleeding hearts: “Israel’s actions are destroying the moral legitimacy of its own claim’’ and “Zionists in Israel Have Hollowed Out Their Ties With Their Own History.”
When these Lashkars of the Left found that their arguments were being soundly rebutted by those cautioning against equating Israel with Islamist terror group Hamas, they penned a veritable intifada against Indian nationalists. One of the articles seemed to suggest that pro-Israel Indians were really Hindutva votaries living their Islamophobia vicariously through Israel’s domination of Muslims.
To be sure there’s nothing wrong in offering persuasive arguments in defence of what the Left believes are oppressed and colonised Palestinians. But when the Lashkars of the left exclusively single Israel out, one wonders if they have an agenda.
Around the time Israel and Hamas were locked in a battle of wits and rockets, another country in the region was unleashing terror. That country is Turkey. Supersonic jets and drones were scrambled by the Turkish government to rain bombs on several villages in northern Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan. Turkey claims that it is “fighting terror,’’ failing to mention there have been no major terror attacks on its soil in years. The latest reports suggest that several minority Christians have been forced to flee their bombed villages. Locals refer to the aerial attacks as an attempt at “systematic ethnic cleansing.” But were Indians shaken out of their apathy by columnists and protestors moralising over the privations of the Turkish state? No.
The question is why? Are Kurdish lives less important than Palestinian ones? Surely, not. The answer perhaps lies in the growing compact between the Left and reactionary Muslim groups. The left finds it useful to deploy the talents of Islamist groups in “fomenting societal unrest” against racism, neo-colonialism and globalisation. In fact, there’s now even a term for it: “Islamo-leftism.” By taking on Turkey or other repressive Islamic states, the Left risks endangering this unholy alliance. So, Turkey gets a free pass while Israel gets pilloried.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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