India Indymedia | 09.09.2003 11:34
Even the crimes committed by the Sangh Parivar in Gujarat pale into insignificance compared to Sharon's bloody record. Sharon was the mastermind the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 which resulted in the loss of 18,000 lives. His career as defence secretary was ended after it was revealed he ordered the massacre of around 800 Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps. He has long championed the cause of the settlers, who have illegally occupied Palestinian land despite condemnation from the UN. Instead of keeping to Israel's commitments under Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 to destroy illegal Jewish settlements, more Jewish housing developments are being built on Palestinian land. His insistence on visiting Temple Mount in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in 2000 sparked off the current intifada. His response to the uprising has been brutal - the assassination of Palestinian political leaders, the killing of hundreds of Palestinian children and the desturction of hundreds of Palestinian homes.
Sharon's visit to India comes shortly after the release of an Amnesty International report condemning the construction of a wall designed to physically segregate the population and the "imposition of disproportionate and discriminatory restrictions on Palestinians' movement in the Occupied Territories which have crippled the Palestinian economy and caused widespread poverty, unemployment and increasing health problems". The visit also coincides with the Israeli parliament's passing of a racist law which forces Palestinians marrying Israelis to live separate lives or leave Israel.
Indians have a right to be concerned over Sharon's visit. They are asking themselves whether Sharon's ethnic cleansing will become a model for the Sangh Parivar.