On March 12-14, an all-India conference gathered hundreds of activists and representatives in Delhi to discuss the situation and the struggle in the Arab world and to further Indian solidarity with Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries under attack.
The conference, entitled âWar, Imperialism and Resistance: West Asiaâ was the first major event of its kind in India, with speakers from the Arab world giving a first hand account of developments in the region. Some 400 people â activists, academics, trade union leaders, party representatives â came to listen and to discuss strategies of solidarity.
The program for the first two days gave time for analysis of the situation in the Arab world, and the role of Apartheid Israel in the region and within US imperialist policies. The third day of the conference was dedicated to campaign outlines for Indian parties and civil society. Special priority has been given to the campaign to end all arms trade with Apartheid Israel. The CPI-M, which gives the current Indian government vital outside support, passed a motion against arms trading with Israel more than a year ago already, but it has yet to show its muscle within the political power game of the Indian government.
India has historically been an important ally of the Palestinian struggle and spontaneous support for our struggle is still found in the general Indian public. However, in the last decade the Indian government has reversed this tradition, turning India into Israelâs best client for arms. At the same time many of the civil society ties between Palestine and India have been lost and are in dire need of rebuilding. This conference was an important start.
For Jamal Jumaâ, coordinator of the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign and other delegates from Syria and Lebanon, the conference was further followed by a 5-day trip to Calcutta, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Overwhelming receptions from supporters in these cities were paired with a concrete will to act. Active participation in the BDS campaign from this region will give tremendous impetus to our struggle as well as have a significant impact on Israelâs bottom line, We look forward to a renewed alliance with this important community of anti-colonial struggle.
For the Full Text of the International Conference on War, Imperialism and Resistance: West Asia 12th-14th March 2007, click here.