By Dr Juveriya Khan
Ramallah- A place in Palestine which is difficult to access, a place which when spoken in Israel gives you bold and suspicious looks accompanied by frowns followed by ignoring your presence as if one has disappeared or is invisible.That’s what happened to me in winters of 2007.
Ramallah-A beautiful place wreaked by the power -holders of today. A place more likened to an open imprison. Yes that’s what it should be called. The news that Indian prime minister would be visiting it made all ears stand up. Below this farce of diplomatic support for the Palestinian cause or how media portrayed this as a humanitarian cause lies an attempt to gain plus points after all the pro -Israeli approach and the level of engagements with Israel. A feeble attempt by Indian government to show outwardly a policy of equidistance miserably failed. The world knows how PM Modi has been quite vocal and feverishly making agreements and partnership with Israel in areas such as defense, security, agriculture and innovation etc.
How would he arrive there was an interesting question as so many sanctions and restrictions have indeed made it very difficult to reach. It was quite clear that even though it’s pretty natural and easy to enter there through Israel, the Indian PM would never take that route. By making two different trips to Israel and Palestine devoid of one another, Indian PM has signaled his capacity to follow his own geopolitical and pragmatic interest.
Bigotry! Or simply placating the gulf countries? An asymmetrical power balance was in show as prime minister walked with Palestinian counterpart (walking slightly ahead and not in step) as compared to his walk with Israeli counterpart few months ago. Whoever has lived in gulf knows if we have stamps of entry in Israel then we aren’t allowed entry in gulf countries. Have you ever heard of this Indian phrase “Saam Daam Dand Bhed?” well that’s what it looks like. Shouting out loud is this “hey I am a pro- Israeli but in order to get what I wish I will give humanitarian support (not much, just a candy) to Palestine .Some power bearer in gulf perhaps specifically asked this as a precondition? Or perhaps as I said prime ministers step was a smoothening touch over for his future gain of oil transactions with the gulf countries namely Abu Dhabi, Jordan and Oman? Surely prime ministers’ visit to Israel and his three days stay there would have miffed Gulf‘s oil controllers!
Somewhere reading between the lines there is this understanding that even though wars are over and no one is invading each other but imperialists of this world still rule everywhere and get things done according to their wish through our democratically elected representatives and governments.