NEW DELHI, Oct 30: Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday said the Congress has been consistent over the years in its strong belief that both the Palestinians and Israelis have the right to live in a just peace.
In a statement, he said: “We value our friendship with the people of Israel. But this does not mean that we erase from our memories, the painful history of forced dispossession of the Palestinians from what was their homeland for centuries, and of years of suppression of their basic right to a life of dignity and self-respect.”
“Contrary to some mischievous suggestions, the position of the Indian National Congress has been long-standing and principled: it is to support direct negotiations for a sovereign independent, viable and secure State of Palestine coexisting in peace with Israel,” Kharge said.
He said: “This is also the stand taken by the Ministry of External Affairs on October 12, 2023. It is noteworthy that the reiteration of India’s historic position on Palestine came only after Israel began its assault on Gaza. The Prime Minister had made no mention of Palestinian rights in the initial statement expressing complete solidarity with Israel.
The Indian National Congress is strongly opposed to India’s abstention on the recent United Nations General Assembly Resolution calling for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities” between Israeli forces and Hamas in Gaza.”
Writing in The Hindu, Congress Parliamentary Party chief Sonia Gandhi noted “how the world was diminished by the brutal attacks on Israel, and the world stands diminished again by Israel’s disproportionate and equally brutal response.” She said it is a war where humanity is on trial now.
She wanted the world to act. She said there are voices on both sides speaking for an end to this madness. Many Israelis, having lost friends and family in the terror attacks, still believe that a dialogue with the Palestinians is the only way forward, Sonia said, adding that many Palestinians also acknowledge that violence will only lead to more suffering and take them further away from their dreams of life of self-respect, equality and dignity.
Sonia said it is unfortunate that many influential countries are being wholly partisan when they should be trying their utmost to end the war.