Kolkata: Once again, Friends of Palestine raised the issue of ongoing genocide in Palestine in Kolkata. The organization held a public convention on the situation in Palestine, where for 40 days of the massacre before a 6-day temporary ceasefire, more than 15,000 people were killed, including over 8,000 children.
The convention that took place at the Islamia Institute had good attendance from listeners and speakers with diverse religious backgrounds, representing various professional fields.
The mood of the convention was set by poet Shakil Ansari with these lines: ‘Tod kar jungi kanoono ko, aur thukara ke tum UNO ko, julm-sitam rakhe zari, phir bhi Palestine tum pe bhari (By breaking norms of war laws and ruling out UNO, you are continuing with your atrocities, still Palestine is weighing heavy on you).
Ek kaam jo muskil hai, woh ho sakta hai asaan. Ghar-baith kar hi kar sakte hain hum jung ka alaan. Boycott karna hai Israeli Samaan (A work which is tough but can be easy, by sitting at home, we can announce the war, to boycott Israeli products).
Thereafter, Zahir Anwar, a writer and dramatist, said, “If you do not get disturbed by the news and what is happening in Palestine, you can understand that something is missing in you as a human. The kinds of non-describable images coming out of Palestine, is shaking us to the core . Pregnant women being burnt alive with the fetus coming out of her body, it is a horror to watch.”
He continued on the cruelty of Israel, “The morale of Israel’s police and army is dead. There are some rules in wars, but they are killing children, elderly and women. For 75 years, these atrocities have been committed by Israel.”
He also reminded people about the killing of a large number of journalists by Israel in Palestine. “In the last two-three decades, many journalists have not been killed anywhere in the world, as many Israelis have been killed in two or three months. After all these, they (Israel-America allies) tell us how to behave and claim themselves champions of human rights.”
Listen to Shakil Ansari’s poetry on Palestine
Bishamber Newar, the chief editor, informed us about the 1969 Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), where leaders from 100 countries participated.” Yasir Arafat had also come. He was welcomed grandly. He had supported India in crisis. Arafat had not only friendship with us, but he had tried to have good relations with Jews too.”
“The attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7 has also shattered the myth of Mossad, which claimed to be the best intelligence agency in the world. The Indian government takes help from Mossad. Now you can understand how useful it is?” he added.
Sohan Singh Aitiana continued from where Bishamber left, “It is a matter of concern that why Modi’s government, I will not say it BJP government, has changed the foreign policy. He questioned what was going on in the country. It is beyond anybody’s understanding. SS Aitiana pointed out the issue of Punjabi community people getting killed by the government of India in Canada and America allegedly for being Khalistan supporters.
He alleged, “No minority is safe in India today. Kisan Andolan is termed Khalistani. Khalsa Aid, which is one of the biggest humanitarian causes across the world is also being disturbed. ”
He demanded that the present foreign policy, which has been our policy for 75 years, should not be changed.
Nasir Ahmed, president of Friends of Palestine, said that behind every instance of violence anywhere in the world, America is there, “The good number of people gathering here is a message of how serious people are on this issue. It is not an issue of Hindu-Muslim. Even what is happening in Palestine between Israelis and Palestinians is against Jews and Muslims. It is a case of Zionism, which is a disease. It has been created by America. Wherever there is a matter of violence, America is there. We are against Zionists and not against Jews.”
Justice Taufiqueuddin, Father Sunil Rozario, Dr Kalim Haique and Anis Rafi were other speakers.