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India embassy in Oman responds to pro-Israel comments by expats

May 20, 2021 at 12:56 pm

The national flags of Israel and India stand in the campus of the Centre of Excellence for Vegetables at Vadrad village, some 70 kms from Ahmedabad, on 12 January 2018. [SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images]

The Indian embassy in Muscat has issued a statement on social media in response to a surge in comments made online by members of the Indian expat community in support of the Israeli military’s on-going war crimes in Gaza. Many such comments have been posted along with the hashtag #IndiaStandWithIsrael.

The notice, which has been posted in both Arabic and English, reads: “We have seen several unverified reports on social media relating to Indian community in Oman. The Indian diaspora in Oman is law-abiding and has played a key role in developing the strong bonds of friendship between the two countries. In these challenging times it is important we remain focused and united in our fight against COVID-19 and not get distracted by unverified posts with malicious content.”

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Gulf News reported that such a post by someone from the Indian community in Oman has drawn the ire of the local population who are in support of the Palestinian cause. In response to the embassy’s statement, one user commented: “Our Indian friends are always welcome in their second home Oman. However, it must be absolutely clear to your citizens that Oman’s collective solidarity with Palestine is not to be intimidated or challenged in any way.”

Over the weekend, many far-right Hindu nationalists drew ridicule from other users on Twitter after they replied en masse to a post by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which he thanked the governments of 25 countries for their support of Israel and included their flag emojis. As India was omitted from the post, hundreds of Indian users implored Netanyahu to include their flag too.