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Israeli bombs and rhetoric are dropped on both Palestine and Kashmir

Netanyahu and Modi: Kashmir and Palestine are punchbags for their occupiers - Cartoon [CarlosLatuff]

While Israel is still dodging questions about why it has been secretly arming the genocidal Myanmar military regime during its ethnic cleansing operations against Rohingya Muslims, it has emerged that the Zionist war machine is also at the heart of the rising tensions between India and Pakistan.

Earlier this week, Pakistan announced that its air force had shot down two Indian Air Force fighter jets over the disputed border region of Kashmir; India confirmed the loss of one aircraft after videos emerged in Pakistan of one of its captured pilots. The incident on Wednesday came after India launched its own air strikes over disputed Kashmiri territory.

Israeli-made bombs were used by India against Pakistan on Tuesday. Indian Mirage fighter jets were armed with Spice 2000 smart missiles sold to New Delhi by Israel as part of one of the largest weapons deal in the Zionist state’s history. Even the rhetoric used by India to explain and justify its pre-dawn raid could have been scripted by Tel Aviv; maybe the bombs came with their own propaganda instruction booklet as an optional extra.

OPINION: Kashmir and Palestine are punchbags for their occupiers

Israel is now India’s main arms supplier, with deals worth around a billion dollars a year. Over the past two years, the allies have conducted joint drills and frequent exchange visits between senior officers. Among the items sold by Israel to nuclear-armed India are radar systems and ammunition, as well as air-to-ground missiles which have been tried and tested on Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip during three military offensives and numerous armed incursions over the past decade.

Addressing the media this week, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said that the air force had targeted Jaish-e-Mohammad training camps in a “pre-emptive strike”, after intelligence indicated that a terrorist attack was being planned. Gokhale offered no evidence of this, but relied on the sort of textbook excuses that we have become used to hearing from Israel justifying its attacks on unarmed Palestinians.

Using heavily loaded Islamophobic language of a nature often adopted by Israel, the minister said that his country is fighting “Islamic terrorism”; he even called the targeting of Balakot a “pre-emptive manoeuvre”. The influential Times of India says that this can only mean that New Delhi is changing its defence doctrine from “defensive defence to active defence”. The latter is the same doctrine to which Israel subscribes, something not lost on the newspaper’s leader writer.

Urging caution, an editorial stated: “A country like Israel doesn’t care about the moral high ground because, again, it perceives an existential threat. But if India wants to pursue active defence and have the moral high ground at the same time, then it would need to diplomatically isolate Pakistan as a pariah state. And that means convincing all other countries that Pakistan is a threat to the international order.”

OPINION: Kashmir from Nehru to Modi; what’s changed?

This is also a strategy adopted by Tel Aviv as it works tirelessly to isolate Palestine on the international stage with its powerful political and coercive lobbying. However, Pakistan is not Palestine. China is already supporting Pakistan economically, and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman recently signed deals worth $20 billion with Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad.

After Tuesday’s air strike, Pakistan said that there were no casualties, whereas India insisted that its missiles killed “a very large number” of militants. Since the two states often issue contradictory statements, it’s very difficult to get to the truth of the matter although the use of hate speech — again, something embraced full on by Israel — was in evidence.

The Rohingya Muslims were demonised beyond recognition by the military regime in Myanmar, which bandied around terms like “Islamic terrorists” to justify its own ethnic cleansing programme against the minority group, mirroring Israel’s justifications for its murderous activities in Gaza against Palestinian civilians. Such hate speech was also heard in India as political leaders talked about “Muslim terrorist operations”.

While Israel continues to remain coy about the arms it has sold to the regime in Myanmar for use against the Rohingya Muslims, the deals between Israel and India are boasted about openly by both sides. Moreover, there are very real fears about the escalating tensions between Pakistan and India, which are both nuclear powers (as, of course, is Israel).

India claims that its air strike was a response to a suicide bombing in the disputed land of Kashmir, a region often described as the “forgotten Palestine” because of the parallels drawn between the plight of the Palestinians and Kashmiris. While New Delhi blamed Islamabad for the Pulwama attack in which 46 members of the armed forces died, Pakistan’s Imran Khan refuted the allegations strongly and asked for evidence. So far, none has been forthcoming; instead, India launched an Israeli-style pre-emptive strike which has ratcheted-up tensions in the already volatile region. The 14 February attack was the worst on Indian forces since the start of the 1989 insurgency in Kashmir and came as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is embroiled in an election campaign.

Pakistan’s military spokesman, Major Gen Asif Ghafoor, confirmed that Indian aircraft crossed into the Muzafarabad sector of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. He added that they released their Israeli-supplied payload “in haste” near Balakot as the Pakistan Air Force scrambled its own fighters.

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Kashmir is split between India and Pakistan but claimed by both in its entirety; it has been the cause of two wars between neighbours. A third war was fought in 1979 over East Pakistan, which gained independence with the help of India and became Bangladesh. The people of Kashmir were promised a plebiscite to decide their future, but this has never been forthcoming.

It seems that the right-wing Zionism and its racist tendencies espoused by Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party is finding a sympathetic ear among the right-wing Hindu nationalists in Modi’s BJP. Both push the narrative that they are victims of Islamic terrorism and have a superior claim to the land that they occupy. As Zionist nationalism finds common ground with Hindu nationalism the biggest losers will be ordinary Palestinians and Kashmiris who have both suffered decades of occupation, hardship and pain. The international community has basically sat back and done nothing about occupied Palestine and Kashmir, allowing both Israel and India to act with apparent impunity. How much longer is this shameful injustice going to last?

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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