‘Palestine issue to the centre stage of West Asian politics’
Israel’s recent actions in Gaza amounted to war crimes given the scale and intensity of the damage inflicted on the people in the region, former Ambassador M.K. Bhadrakumar has said.
He was delivering a web-lecture on “The Palestine Question and West Asian Politics” organised by the Vakkom Moulavi Memorial and Research Centre (VMMRC) in association with the Institute for Global South Studies and Research (IGSSR) on Thursday.
Mr. Bhadrakumar said all that happened in the 11-day episode in West Asia has exposed many things. There was now an international recognition that Israel had been practising apartheid in the Palestinian territory and the global public opinion had become increasingly critical of Israel for its role in the conflict.
The former Ambassador said there was a demographic shift within Israel with the recent inter-communal riots which did not augur well. The Palestine question has now come to the centre stage of West Asian politics with more room for negotiations.
West Asian has been the fulcrum of the world order for more than a century and the U.S continued to play a critical role in the region. Though there were talks about a U.S. retrenchment from the region, it was quite inconceivable in the short or even in the medium term, he said.
Stanly Johny, International Affairs Editor, The Hindu, who chaired the session, said the recent conflict had underlined the fact that Jerusalem remained the core of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Sidestepping the Palestine question in any negotiation or accords would not ensure peace in the region, he said.
Moreover, the conflict had shown that the Palestinian people were united on the question of liberation notwithstanding the internal divisions between Fatah and Hamas who controlled the West Bank and Gaza.
Dr. Johnny said the fact that the emerging international public opinion in support of Palestinians in Western countries, which traditionally supported Israel, could be a signal that Israel had come under pressure to come to terms with the realities in West Asia.
K.M. Seethi, honorary chairman of the IGSSR, welcomed and Shahina Javad of VMMRC proposed a vote of thanks.
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