Over the years, through documentation, research and activism on questions of self-rule, development and social justice, we have constantly sought to align ourselves to the voices of the people and their struggles. From campaigns by the Narmada Bachao Andolan to Jharkhand, from Manipur to Kerala, our endeavour has always been to support the movements that we study. In this exercise we are not restricted to India alone but extend solidarity to various international movements across the world. The India Lifeline to Gaza: Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza is one such campaign.
The question of Palestine and the Palestinians, those living in Israel, Israel–occupied West bank and in Gaza, as well as the tens of thousands displaced and forced to move into other countries is the greatest moral question afflicting us. We believe that all people of the world have a stake in solving this crisis and ensuring justice of Palestinians and their struggles through the decades.
In this, a few groups in India and Asia have come together to jointly organise the India Lifeline to Gaza: campaign to End the Siege in Gaza. This campaign is an initiative to bring together people’s and social groups working in Asia on diverse issues onto a common platform to demand from justice for Palestinians. We believe that dialogue and interaction is the strongest tool available to people’s groups and movements in order to build ties that transcend nationalities, countries and continents.
As part of the Coordination Committee, we are involved in building a network of groups, organisations and individuals in Asian countries who will travel to Gaza along with aid and volunteers. The motive behind this campaign is to challenge the high-handed tactics adopted by the Israeli Government in both Gaza and the West Bank and build a collective that is committed to the struggle of the Palestinians.
Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza: India Lifeline to Gaza
We the people of India extend our solidarity to the courageous people of Palestine in their struggle and resistance against the occupation of their land. Israel’s occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories has lasted for more than six decades in violation of international law, international humanitarian law and numerous United Nations resolutions. The occupation of Palestine must end! Gaza has been turned into a vast open-air-prison-cum-concentration camp for its 1.5 million inhabitants. The Palestinian population in the West Bank and in Jerusalem is under continuous repression, assaults and in a permanent state of siege due to the ever expanding settlements & the apartheid wall. The Palestinian people must have the freedom to exercise their right to self-determination including their right to establish on all the territories that Israel has occupied, an independent sovereign state with Jerusalem as its capital. The structure of Zionist apartheid, based on ethno-religious discrimination that Israel has established, must be dismantled and it must grant equal rights to all its citizens, including the “Right of Return” to the Palestinians refugees.
Defend the right of Palestinian people to resist the occupation through all legitimate means
The campaign and struggle to end the blockade of Gaza is an integral part of, and a step to this larger struggle for self-determination of the Palestinian People and for a State of Palestine. The people of Gaza are being subjected to the Israeli policy of collective punishment for asserting their democratic right to decide for themselves the leadership and political organisations to lead their struggle; govern their society and represent them in all negotiations.
The genocidal nature of the war unleashed on Gaza, is also meant to serve as a warning to the rest of the Palestinian People. Israel, backed by the US and reactionary forces, is using war, terror and blockade to break the will of the people of Gaza. The Blockade of Gaza since 2007 has resulted in lack of essential supplies, petrol for electricity, imminent shortage of medicines, food and water which has triggered a humanitarian crisis that the world needs to respond to with urgency.
The freedom and peace loving people of the world and democratic states have to defeat this nefarious design. Palestine is today one of the defining struggles for freedom, democracy and equality for peoples and nations.
Let us unite to win this battle
This struggle is broad, varied and multi-dimensional. It is humanitarian and for peace, freedom and human dignity. It is against occupation, imperialism, apartheid, Zionism and all forms of discrimination including religious discrimination. We call upon all organisations, movements and individuals to engage, contribute, actively participate and join the struggle. We commit to respect the right of all participants to share, emphasize and focus on any aspect and dimension of the struggle that is accordance with their own views, belief and ideology, provided they do not divide, weaken or vitiate the common and broad front against the blockade of Gaza and the very struggle for the liberation of Palestine.
After the terrible massacre aboard the Freedom Flotilla on 31 May 2010, citizens around the world are taking action to help break the siege which is suffocating the lives of the people of Gaza and denying them their very right to exist.
Different movements across the world are mobilising to end the blockade of the Gaza Strip and to bring humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people. The IHH (Insani Yardi Vakfi or The Foundation for Human Rights, Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief) participated in the Freedom Flotilla in which 9 of its peace activists were murdered in cold blood by Israeli soldiers on board of Mavi Marmara. The “Free Gaza Movement” has challenged the siege by organizing ships to the shores of Gaza. The “Viva Palestina” has mobilized more than 500 vehicles and 60 ships that will reach Gaza in September. “The European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza” will be sending more than 9000 delegates. Many more organizations around the world are now galvanizing the global solidarity movement and will be contributing with their local and global actions. Convoys from North and South Africa and ships from the USA, New Zealand, Canada & Australia are also due to join the global effort.
We are committed to and believe that there must be a strong Asian involvement in the global movement to end the siege of Gaza and for the liberation of Palestine. It is important that India plays a part in initiating and building the Asian process for solidarity with Palestine.
It is against this background that the undersigned organisations undertake to organise an Asian land convoy to Gaza. This convoy will leave from New Delhi in December 2010 and will travel across Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and ultimately through the Rafah Crossing into Gaza-Palestine. The Asian convoy will be joined by delegations and vehicles in each of the nine countries through which it passes. We will coordinate with existing and new organisations and alliances in each of these countries and commit together to develop an Asia level campaign to free Palestine. In each of these countries public meetings, press conferences, meetings with mass organisations and political parties will be organised.
We endorse the Solidarity Caravan from India to Palestine.
1. Aman Bharat
2. Awami Bharat
3. Asha Parivar
4. Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM)
5. Bharat Bachao Andolan
6. Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha
7. Campaign for Peace & Democracy (Manipur)
8. Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha (Mazdoor Karyakarta Committee)
9. Ekta Parishad
10. Forum against Oppression of Women
11. Free Gaza – India
12. India Palestine People’s Solidarity Forum
13. Intercultural Resources
15. INHURED International (Nepal)
16. Insaaniyat (Bombay)
17. Jan Sangarsh Morcha
19. Mazdoor Ekta Manch
20. Muslim Intellectual Forum
21. Muslim Political Council of India
22. National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers (NFFPFW)
23. New Socialist Initiative (NSI)
24. New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI)
25. Palestine Solidarity Movement
27. People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)
28. Phule-Ambedkar Vichar Manch
29. Programme against Custodial Torture and Impunity (PACTI)
30. Republican Panther
31. Saheli Women’s Resource Centre
32. South Asian Network of Gender Activists and Trainers (SANGAT)
33. South Asia Peace Alliance (SAPA)
34. Trade Union Centre of India (TUCI)
35. Vidyarthi Bharti
36. Yuva Koshish
1. Achin Vanaik, New Delhi
2. Agdish Nagarkar
3. Amol Madame
4. Anand Swaroop Verma, New Delhi
5. Arif Kapadia
6. Ashish Kothari, New Delhi
7. Asif Khan
8. Aslam Ghazi
9. Bajrang Sonawane
10. Brigadier Sudhir Sawant
11. Chetna Birje
12. Com. Vasudevan
13. Ghazala Azad
14. Ihtishaam Ansari
15. Jai Sen, New Delhi
16. Javed Naqvi, New Delhi
17. Kalyani Menon Sen, New Delhi
18. Mukta Srivastava
19. Mukul Sinha (Jan Sangarsh Morcha)
20. Mulniwasi Mala
21. Munawwar Azad
22. Munawwar Khan
23. Reshma Jagtap
24. Ritu Menon, New Delhi
25. Salman Usmani, New Delhi
26. Sandeep Pandey (Asha Ashram)
27. Sanjay Shinde
28. Savyasaachi, New Delhi
29. Sayeed Khan
30. Shabnam Hashmi, New Delhi
31. Sheikh Muhammad Hussain
32. Shyam Sonar
33. Sudhir Dhawale
34. Syed Iftikhar Ahed
35. Tusha Mittal, New Delhi
36. Varsha V V
37. Vilas Gaikwad
38. Winnie Thomas
39. Yawar Ali Qazi
For more information on the Campaign, please visit:
- Amnesty petition on Vedanta mining company
- Screening of "The Groundwater Up Project"
- Mahuva Rally being undemocratically prevented and over 1000 people detained and arrested