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THREAD: Why Kashmir is an important issue for Palestinians and why it is incumbent upon us to stand in solidarity with our siblings there. This thread will contain information about some current and historical direct linkages between the colonisation of both homelands.
My friend @TheSunnyZaman has written a short thread outlining some areas of comparison between the people of Palestine and Kashmir. I, however, will outline some connective areas that make the homelands not just similar or comparable, but interconnected.
Of course, let us start with the basics. Both Palestine and Kashmir were occupied within a year of one another in 1948 and 1947 respectively. Both occupations created large amounts of refugees, many of whom remain refugees to this day.
The Israelis imposed settler colonial rule in Palestine, and although Article 370 prevented this from being the case in Kashmir, India was not stopped from occupying the valley militarily and acting as a police state. Today, it is the most militarised place in the world.
Kashmiri solidarity with Palestinians can be traced as far back as the 50s and 60s, if not earlier. In the 60s, the Kashmiri liberation movement sought to align itself with struggles around the world, including those in Vietnam, South Africa, and of course, Palestine.
Indian relations with Israel also began during the 1950s. Although he publicly championed the Palestinian cause, Nehru recognised Israel in 1950 and permitted the opening of an Israeli consulate in Mumbai in 1953.
India and Israel however took a more substantive step towards one another during the late stages of the Cold War, coinciding with the outbreak of armed insurrection in Kashmir. India opened an embassy in Tel Aviv in January of 1992, under the rule of Congress PM Narasimha Rao.
This happened for a few reasons. First, India needed a new arms supplier after the fall of the USSR, while Israel needed to boost their suffering economy. India could not purchase weapons en masse from the US and Europe due to a combination of legal devices and sanctions.
This made Israel India's most convenient supplier, since as a fellow nuclear rebel, they were not prevented from doing business with India by said devices and sanctions. This, however, is only one dimension of the relationship.
The other dimension more obviously connects the oppression of Palestinians and Kashmiris, and this is that the justifying logics that Israel and India to employed began to converge, highlighting issues of security, counter-terrorism, and the threat of Islamic extremism.
In 1992, then Indian defence minister Pawar admitted to Indian-Israeli collaboration on counter-terrorism. This included exchanging information on "terrorist groups" as well as on "operational excellence" (i.e. tactics of occupation and domination).
Furthermore, India's public stance on Palestine began to reflect its public stance on Kashmir. Both matters became matters of domestic concern. The rise of the BJP in the 1990s further catalysed the Israelisation of the occupation of Kashmir.
Many BJP aspirations and policies are clear knock-offs of existing Israeli laws and practices. Sumantra Bose expands on this idea in the linked article below. theconversation.com/why-indias-hin…
The RSS, a paramilitary group connected to the currently-in-power BJP, have long been actively petitioning the Supreme Court to repeal the state subject laws that prevent settler colonists from purchasing land and residing in Kashmir.
Furthermore, the Israeli settlement model is the clear inspiration behind the idea expressed by BJP lawmaker Ravinder Raina, who stated that the government will create Hindu-only settlements in Kashmir protected by the Indian army.
Aside from the parallels in policy, even more informal discourses emanating from supporters of the current regime in India resemble old Israeli refrains. Both Israel and India claim to be exceptional democracies, despite their clear othering of large swathes of their populations.
Both Zionists and Hindu Nationalists argue that there are many Muslim countries around the world and that Israel and India are respectively the only Jewish and the only Hindu states in the world (although Nepal was officially a Hindu state until recently).
Both claim that their presence in both the West Bank and Kashmir are purely for secuity and counterrorism purposes. There are others that I may add to this thread later. I argue that these are not simply coincidental. These discursive similarities are coordinated.
If you look closely enough, particular right now, you can see these similarities all over Twitter. It would be hilarious if not for tragedy of the millions of lives that hang in the balance in both homelands. Watch this and cringe:
To come back to the point regarding arms, India is today the biggest purchaser of Israeli arms. The pellet guns used to blind civilians in Kashmir are manufactured in Israel, as are many other arms and tools used by the Indian army.
As @AjeebAurat and @akkasistan explain , the tactics and practices that India uses to control the civilian population in Kashmir strongly resemble those used by Israel. These include "arbitrary arrests, extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, curfews, (continued)
collective punishment, administrative detention, torture, rape and sexual abuse, the suppression of freedom of speech and assembly, house demolitions, and so forth".
The revocation of Articles 35A and 370, as well as the change in the legal status of Kashmir now pave the way for the Indian presence there to further mirror the Zionist presence in Palestine, since this allows them to rule without the middleman of the state legislature.
The Kashmiri state legislature and its main politicians, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, will feel very familiar to Palestinians. It operates as a native management system that facilitates the occupation, very much in the vein of the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas.
As things move forwards, it is increasingly obvious that the colonisations of Kashmir and Palestine will become more and more interdependent on one another. What Israel does in Palestine will happen in Kashmir and what India does in Kashmir will happen in Palestine.
So as Palestinians, it is our duty to help our siblings in Kashmir not only because of the moral bond and duty of solidarity, but also because defeating one colonial power will represent a massive step towards defeating the other one.
Palestine has been a Kashmiri issue for decades and everyone knows that, and there also exists a tradition of Palestinians fighting for Kashmir as well. Our generation of Palestinians must continue that tradition too in our own activism.
We will be affected by what happens in Kashmir, just as how Kashmiris have been affected by what has happened to us. I am sure that I have forgotten to include quite a few things in this thread, so please forgive me and reply if you want to make a contribution.
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