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Rediff.com  » News » Palestinians seek Indian Christians' help for their cause

Palestinians seek Indian Christians' help for their cause

July 17, 2012 12:55 IST
The brutal war between Israel and Palestine has been an age-old phenomenon. But now the Palestinians have found another way of garnering support for their cause and have decided to take the help of Indian Christians.

A section of the Palestinians have now come to India and are tapping Indian Christians to seek their support, and in this regard have been holding seminars and talks at churches in India.

A non-governmental organisation by the name BADIL, which is also a centre for Palestinian refugee and residency rights in Bengaluru, has been at the forefront of these efforts.

The NGO along with Father Jamal Khader, a  Latin Patriarchate from Jerusalem, recently held a seminar at the St Marks Cathedral on MG Road, Bengaluru. This group would also travel to Chennai and New Delhi where they would dish up the support of Indian Christians.

They say that Palestinians are living as refugees in their own country as 78 per cent of the land has already been encroached upon by the Israeli government. There is around 15 per cent remaining with us and till date nearly 10 families are being evicted out of their own soil on a regular basis, Father Jamal says.

"There are 500 check points that have been set up to keep a tab on us and this is an international crime. The Israelis are destroying the social and cultural fabric of Palestine," he adds.

Father Jamal also says that Palestine is now fighting this battle through non violent means and "we are now refusing to pay taxes. Palestine is fighting with a three point agent called BDS (boycott, disinvestment and sanctions)," he points out.

Seeking to strike a chord with the Indians, Father Jamal says that they want to base their struggle on the lines of the Indian freedom struggle and follow the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi.

He also says that the arms struggle by the Palestinians is validated even by the International Court of Justice.

However, regarding the Hamas, the Palestinian Sunni Islamic party that governs the Gaza Strip, Father Jamal says that most of the native Palestinians do not subscribe to them.

"I do not believe in an Islamic regime, but we believe in peace and freedom," he notes.

Father Jamal adds that the concept of "love thy neighbour" as mentioned in the Bible has been misinterpreted by Israel.

We want peace in both countries, he notes.

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru