The historian at the University of Exeter, UK spoke to Pranay Sharma, excerpts from which appeared in print
Is Israel becoming a rogue state and is the international community totally powerless to rein it in?
It is becoming a rouge state in the eyes of the civil society worldwide, but it is not depicted this way by the political elites or the mainstream media. Although one should say that Apartheid South Africa was first ostracized from below and the elites were dragged screaming into imposing sanctions on it.
Is Israel’s ongoing military action on Gaza justified?
No. There is a serious Hamas offer based on the removal of the illegal siege on Gaza and the release of prisoners. The Hamas Fatah unity government was able to represent most of the Palestinians under occupation and had been recognized by the USA there discussion about the fate of Palestine would have been done through negotiations and not war. However, Israel fears Palestinian unity, and frankly Palestinian agency. If it can not dictate its will through diplomacy it does not hesitate to do it through war.
Can it go on killing innocent civilians in the name of dealing with Hamas militants?
It will go on unless the international community will be brave enough to call a spade a spade and describe Israel's policies as war crimes. From an Israeli perspective the very ghettoisation of Gaza was the first step of dehumanising the people living there. Bombing them, when they refuse to live under such conditions in a way that can only lead the carnage we are witnessing today, is not an issue.
Why has the liberal Israeli/Jewish voice been so silent during this operation of Tel Aviv? Has that voice been lost?
There are handful of very brave Israeli dissenting voices and when they can they demonstrate. But their life is a peril when they do this as both the mobs and the police disperse them with brutal force. But the crux of the matter is that the liberal voice inside Israel has subsided long time ago. By and large the society has become nationalist and racist and backs fully the government's policy. This is why the only strategy now is pressure from the outside in the form of BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign.
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
>>>> "Is Israel’s ongoing military action on Gaza justified?"
>> "No. There is a serious Hamas offer based on the removal of the illegal siege on Gaza and the release of prisoners."
Israel considers its inhuman blockade of Gaza to be its birthright!
You can take the BDS---Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and shove it into a waste basket. Israel was a state born from true grit with nothing called as resources except its far flung diaspora. They have built it brick by brick in the hard desert. The people had a scientific temper and were able to bring out concepts like Kibbutz and how they changed the country. So whether you do sanctions or ban or boycott or divest or whatever you choose to do, you can do it but they will survive because they have the will. It was a country which was born because the Jews decided that enough of running and they would have a place they could call their own. So, go ahead, impose sanctions and boycott them, who cares.
Think about the other side. The islamist countries which have surrounded Israel right from day one have waged and lost so many wars. Only when it became untenable that Egypt came to the peace table. If they had been left in peace I dont think things would have become so bad. Years of bad neighbours practices have made them skeptical and distrustful of every body and I think this includes the US.
Think about it, why HAVE HAMAS built tunnels? Why? So they could carry out covert terror activities, right. Not for any peaceful or safety reasons.
So just stop crying and get on with your lives. What the muslims sowed, they are reaping it atleast in Israel.
Incidentally why are you guys keeping quiet on minorities being exterminated in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and even NON SUNNI muslims being killed and persecuted in same Paki, Iraq, Syria etc., I am sure you guys support ISIS and its intended WORLD CALIPHATE.
Movement to Boycott Israel Gains Momentum in Europe
The war in Gaza and its aftermath have inflamed opinion in Europe and, experts and analysts say, are likely to increase support for the movement to boycott, disinvest from and sanction Israel, known as BDS.
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