Story of 2 Partitions : India & Palestine.

On one Forum there had been a heated war of words over Islamists, Zionists, Terror attacks, State terror, and so on. I got drawn into it because I chose to point out the somewhat one sided warnings issued to one side by the moderator. Then it was argued that those whose forefathers faced bloody partition (India, & Pakistan’s occupation of Kashmir) thanks to “Islamists” should be sympathetic to Israel, which too is a fellow sufferer at the hands of Islamists. It would have been hard to swallow that partition of India in 1947-48 and of Palestine in 1948 were of similar, leave alone identical, nature. West Pakistan was carved out of British India in areas where Muslims were already in majority and controlled whatever levers of power British permitted under the dominion status, and had little to fear of “majority domination”. Demand for a separate country for Muslims was stridently pursued under Jinnah’s (himself a pork & liquor consuming and non-practising Muslim) leadership by upper class Muslims in other parts of India, notably from present day UP & Bihar. Palestine in contrast was partitioned to accommodate Jews – notably from Europe – who wanted to return to their “promised land” and were suitably encouraged by Britain and USA to do so. Below is relevant exchange.

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Sadanand,

I only quoted you to show that even as a frequent supporter of XYZ’s pro-radical-Islamic and anti-American and anti-Israeli propaganda, even you were able to see the hypocrisy in what XYZ and ABC have been doing.  XYZ even went as far as to wonder what the fuss was about because his abusive invective was common practice in left wing circles.  Here is what he wrote:
“Our friends in the Progressive & Left in movements in Europe do refer to the above as racists, xenophobes & Neocons. That is part of our political lexicon.”

Of course the fuss was about ABC allowing XYZ’s abuse while censoring my responses, even though the worst I called XYZ was a jihadi, something he should actually be proud of as a member of the “Worldwide Intifada”.  I hope you know what “worldwide” means, Sadanand.  It means that YOU and other Indians are somewhere on his list.  Fortunately, they are unlikely to get past the Israelis.
BTW, I do not personally care what a member of the “Worldwide Intifada” calls me verbally – someone whose friends in Hamas would separate me from my head if they could.  I do care, however, when I am asked – by someone who is supposed to be an impartial moderator – to stop calling a jihadi a jihadi.  What else am I supposed to call a proud member of the “Worldwide Intifada”

You need to know that several of my best essays never see the light of day on B-C because they counter ABC’s agenda, and he does not hesitate to censor them. I often cite expert sources to show that I have not simply made up what I am saying as some of you do.  There is a time and place for my own essays and a time and place for citing sources.

For example, I cannot improve on the Hamas Charter or Khaled Mishaal’s summary rejection of any negotiations with Israel to show what the Israelis have faced for 64 years now after the Brits thought they had been fair in meeting the competing claims of both sides when they partitioned Israel.  Their similar partition of the Indian sub-continent has long since been accepted by both sides even though it was equally “fair” or “unfair” depending on whose ox was gored.

I marvel at the ability of some on B-C – including you, Sadanand – to ignore the parallels between the unilateral attempt to annex Kashmir by force by Muslim radicals and the almost simultaneous attempt by the Arabs to annex Israel by force in 1948 – both without any attempt to peacefully negotiate their differences.
I see that you did not respond to any of the points I made below – it must be because you agreed with every detail including what the diabolical Hamas Charter means for Israel:-))

BTW, I have not seen you asking ABC to quit using articles from the leftwing Countercurrents to spread his anti-American propaganda.  This is like posting the views of Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro on America.
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Mario,

It is said that ignorance of law is no excuse, but ignorance of history certainly is. You are so fond of claiming again and again the “parallels” between Kashmir and Israel in 1948 that we need to visit both situations more closely. The partition on India was a complicated business. Apart from British India, there were some 562 major & minor princely states under British suzerainty. British crown declared that its “paramountcy” over princely states would end with grant of freedom to British India, and would thus render them sovereign. Since Britain was handing over power to Congress and Muslim League, it could have also ceded paramountcy in their favour. But didn’t. Princely states thus had the choice to remain independent, or were advised to join either of the newly formed states of India & Pakistan. Travancore was one of the states that wished to be independent just like Maharaja Hari Singh in Kashmir harboured visions of independence. Travancore changed its decision when suitable pressures were brought to bear upon it, and probably also due to the deadly attack on the person of its Dewan, C P Ramaswami Aiyar. Hyderabad held out longer until in September 1948 Indian army was sent in and Nawab’s accession was secured. In another distant corner in the west, Mohammad Mahabat Khanji, Nawab of Junagarh, chose to accede to Pakistan on 15 September 1947. Indian government pointed out that the state was 80% Hindu, called for a plebiscite to be held, and imposed embargo along with deployment of army on borders. Pakistan agreed to discuss plebiscite provided Indian troops were withdrawn. India refused, Nawab fled to Pakistan (26 October) in face of hostilities with Indian army after emptying out treasury, and Dewan of Junagarh, grandfather in law of the current president of Pakistan, requested India to intervene and take over the administration. Maharaja Hari Singh in J & K twiddled and proposed standstill agreement with India & Pakistan on 12 August 1947. As a counterpoise to Junagarh, J & K was predominantly Muslim state, overwhelmingly so in the Kashmir valley, ruled by a Hindu king. But unlike in Junagarh, it had a history of vibrant peoples’ movement. Since 1931, National Conference under the leadership of Sheikh Abdulla and others had been fighting against the autocratic and repressive feudal rule of Hari Singh. Tribal fighters from Pakistan invaded J & K (not India) on 20 October 1947, actively aided and abetted by the Pakistani army. Hari Singh flees to Jammu region of his kingdom abandoning his subjects to their brutal fate and signs the instrument of accession the very day Mohammad Khanji left for Pakistan. Kashmir valley would almost certainly have been swallowed by the marauding Pakistanis had not National Conference raised a force of 10,000 men and women Kashmiri militia to stem the advance, guard critical installations, and run the administration. So it is thanks mostly to Kashmiri Muslims lead by Sheikh Abdullah that we get to see Kashmir as it stands today. When Indian army was airlifted to Srinagar, it was cheered by the local crowds and welcomed as brothers. Same Indian army is seen as an occupying force today by many in the valley. Anyone who cares to study the dateline, the nuances of the legalities, and the ground conditions would have to admit that accession of states to India & Pakistan was indeed an intricate exercise fraught with grave complexity. It would be stupid to imagine there were any moral winners. British negotiated transfer of power with Congress and Muslim league in British India. Both parties had demonstrated their popularity in their respective areas of strength probably with the exception of NWFP, where Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan’s movement (allied with Congress) was very popular among Pathans, and yet were forced to go along with Pakistan. But Pakistan was allowed to take birth with an anomaly of two bodies separated by huge distance of India and supposedly linked by tenuous soul of Islam. One part was more populous but played second fiddle politically and militarily. It was also a major foreign exchange earner, but the benefits went to the other. The son of the man who invited India to Junagarh state, Zulifkar Ali Bhutto, made conditions in East Pakistan miserable when he chose to repress popular anger and revolt that resulted from denial of prime minister ship to Shaikh Mujibur Rehman. Anomaly was corrected and Bangladesh was born. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have an internationally recognised settled border in areas coterminous with British India, where as it is LOC (line of control) in areas where Princely states existed. Partition of India was done among more or less settled population, though the communally charged atmosphere that led to partition resulted in mass orgy of violence, and forced displacement and resettlement in huge numbers on either side of the border.

Situation in Palestine was vastly different. Jews have had to suffer many mass exoduses in their history visited upon them by their own Jehovah. Serious & earnest persecution of Jews in the Roman Empire began when Emperor Constantine accepted Christianity. This lead to what is described as Jewish diaspora or the process of scattering away of Jews to lands far away from their origins. The process of harassment and brutality continued for centuries throughout the medieval period in Europe under the auspices of Christian Church. Judaism’s world-view is ultra-exclusivist predicated as it is on “chosen tribes of Israelis” and “promised land”. It is totally uncompromising on both. Some time in 19th century a movement began called Zionism in response to growing anti-Semitism in Europe to return back to the “promised land”. Such exodus did begin first as a trickle. Records of the Ottoman Empire, which ruled Palestine for centuries after the fall of Roman Empire, show that in 1900 over 94% of the inhabitants there were Arab. When Ottoman Empire sided against British crown in WW-I, the access to India – jewel in British crown – via Suez Canal came under serious threat. In 1915 a geo-strategic decision is made by Britain to establish land bridge in Arabia to link Mediterranean with Persian Gulf. British and French reach a secret agreement in 1916 – Sykes Picot agreement (Tsarist Russia too was a minor party) – as to how to carve Arabia among themselves. Meanwhile through the agency of T E Lawrence (of Arabia) Britain had promised the Arabs a national homeland in Greater Syria in exchange for their fighting against Ottoman Empire by siding with them. In 1917 Bolsheviks in Russia published the Sykes Picot agreement. Arabs came to know that treaties with them were never meant to be honoured just the way Africans, native Americans, and others learnt before them about the treacherous ways of (Christian) colonisers and imperialists. Zionist leader and Anglophile, Ze’ev Jabotinsky was urging Britain since 1915 for forming Zionist volunteer force to serve under the British army. Cozying up to Britain served its purpose when Zionist project of return to “promised land” met its suitor in the Imperialist power’s interest of “establishing a land bridge in Arabia”. Thus the Zionist-Imperialist project found its fruition in Balfour Declaration of 1917, which assured Jewish state in Palestine in return for Jewish support. Jews now started moving to the “promised land” in hordes. Yet, population statistics concerning Palestine right up to the end of 1946 is revealing.

End 1946 Arabs Jews
Population 1,203,000 (65%) 608,000 (33%)
Growth Factors Natural Increase Immigration mainly.
Land ownership (whole) 85% 7%
Land Ownership Jaffa District 47% 39%

Source : Foreign Policy Journal.

UNSCOP (UN special committee on Palestine) reported that Arabs outnumber and hold more land in every single district of Palestine. It also observed that there is no clear territorial separation between Arabs and Jews by large contiguous area. Yet it proposed that an Arab State should be formed with 45.5% of land area and the balance 54.5% be given to the Jewish state. Could there be more unjust award? UNSCOP totally disregarded the by then internationally recognised principle of right to self-determination. It was overlooked as it would have put paid to the project of establishing a Zionist state and driving a permanent sword in the Arab soul. The demographic figures cited above also prove that Zionist project was a forced resettlement project made possible by imperialist powers for mutual benefit. Arabs on the other hand proposed, “Freedom and independence for one State in the whole of Palestine which would respect human rights, fundamental freedoms and equality of all persons before the law, and would protect the legitimate rights and interests of all minorities whilst guaranteeing freedom of worship and access to the Holy Places”. But would “chosen people” ever accept sharing with gentiles? Now that one has seen the patently unjust nature of the project, one should also read a well referenced and therefore lengthy article by Jeremy Hammond (http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/10/26/the-myth-of-the-u-n-creation-of-israel/), which shows how it was patently illegal. He argues in his article, “There is a widely accepted belief that United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 “created” Israel, based upon an understanding that this resolution partitioned Palestine or otherwise conferred legal authority or legitimacy to the declaration of the existence of the state of Israel. However, despite its popularity, this belief has no basis in fact, as a review of the resolution’s history and examination of legal principles demonstrates incontrovertibly”. Unfortunately, going through his article requires patience and some application of mind too. In contrast to Indian partition of settled population, the partition of Palestine was designed to forcibly resettle Jews arriving from Europe and elsewhere. It was to be work in progress. Right since its creation Israel has and continues to actively encourage Jews to “return home” and resettle in their “promised land”. The Zionist State’s hunger for Palestinian land is insatiable. Palestinian Authority is a joke. Israel invades Palestine areas at will, uses naked aggression wilfully, indulges in disproportionate violence, redraws boundaries whenever it wants, and is pretty much left to its wayward behaviour untested by international scrutiny because US has repeatedly and predictably ‘vetoed’ even a simple disapprobation of its delinquent behaviour leave alone proposals for harsher measures. When the Zionist state is both extremely unjust and illegal, how can one expect settlement? No parallels too between the two partitions.

O O O O O O O O O O O O O
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