Friday, July 18, 2014

On the question of justification of a Jewish state

Over the last few days, I read the history of formation of Israel and Jews in general with a great interest. There is no doubt in my mind that Jews needed a state of their own after 2400 years of continued persecution in the hand of European rulers. It is only in 19th century Jews were admitted as equal citizen in the laws of England and France. Holocaust may be the final straw, but expulsion of Jews forms the most common pattern in history everywhere and in every time with exception to Jews in India! Therefore, a Jews state was badly needed but question is definitely-was the land of Palestine a right choice? Historically or by religious text, it may be-but practically, to accommodate 5-6M jews, present land of Israel was neither suitable nor politically viable given the presence of a large native population. I am not bringing the issue of justification here because if Jews state in Israel is not justified on the ground of displacement of native, then none of the countries in North and South America is justified as all of the states have been formed by replacing the native population. Therefore displacement of local population does not form a sustainable logic but it is definitely a major humanitarian concern which if ignored, can be inflamed only.

 What a few handful Jews did in 1948 to establish a Jews state is the greatest story of dedication, sacrifice and unparalleled valor in human history. I followed that history almost day by day from 1947 to 1949, and what can be found very easily-during that time whole Jews population of Israel would have been killed by local and invading Arab army. Therefore, Jews had no choice but to form Israel. From the riots of 1930s, it was clear not a single Palestine leadership wanted a Palestine state where Jews and Arab could live peacefully. So when Palestine leadership wanted to fight it out instead of peaceful negotiation, why are they crying after losing the war after war? If they would have won the war, would they have left any single Jew alive? Palestine wanted to solve it out through war and they got what they deserve. Before 1st and 2nd Israel-Arab war they were asking for total annihilation of Israel and it is only after defeat, Israel become oppressor ?

 Instead of war, if people of Palestine wanted peaceful negotiation, they would not be in a position where they are today. Israel can not and would not have done any aggression against a non-violent population. Arab tribes in Israel are doing far better than any Arab in Middle East. Are they deprived in Israel of education, food, their religion etc? Were they afraid of Irgun in 1947-48? But truth is Haganah and world Jews population never approved them ( directly opposed them) and a settlement of a future state was always possible under British rule as India was divided into Hindu and Muslim population areas, It was the people of Palestine who wanted war from day one and they got it. They made it complicated by not accepting British attempt of secular state of Palestine or two states where both communities could have lived in peace.
I personally salute those 600,000 Jews who defended their land and homes in 1948 against British and Arabs. In contrast, most of the Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan could not resist rioting Muslim mob. Same is true for Indian Muslims who face rioting Hindu mobs in UP and Bihar. 1947 partition was a great tragedy and again British was completely responsible for it as they are responsible for Israel-Palestine mess as well.
I do not think world will have any religion in another 100 years and I strongly believe even the basic concept of state will be almost meaningless in another 50 years or so given the emergence of stateless economy and communication. Therefore fighting for political determination of a new state is already a meaningless activity. If future is what should be guide and not the past, people of Palestine should be allowed to be become Israeli citizen with equal right or form their own state and focus on their economic development by accepting Israel as their peaceful neighbor and a partner in their economic growth. Future of mankind does not have any space for the concept of enemy states. There will be only a global economy where everyone of us will participate.