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Indo-Israel relations and celebrations – Distortion of History to create a ‘Friend’

Israel celebrates the 1918 Battle of Haifa with India while Israel did not exist in 1918 – Distorting History for hyping non-existent historical ties

It was shocking to see India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Israel’s Ambasaddor to India Daniel Carmon, celebrating the 1918 Battle of Haifa at the TeenMurti Bhavan in Delhi, yesterday 23rd September. Perhaps you too may be in a bit of a confusion as to what is this all about, right?

Let’s just go through a quick recap of the Battle of Haifa and the Birth of the Jewish State of Israel 30 years after that! During the World War 1, the British Monarchy occupied India, and Indian princely states were at the disposal of the British Regime. As such, the British used the Indian 15th (Imperial Service) Cavalry Brigade, 5th Cavalry Division and part of the Desert Mounted Corps to attack the rearguard forces of the Ottoman Empire that resulted in the capture of the towns of Haifa and Acre.

Haifa in 1918 was under Ottoman Empire, and the land it came under was known as Palestine. There was no state known as Israel then. This means, the Indian soldiers who were “under the British Army”, mostly cavalry taking blind orders from British commanders, fought a war in which India did not exist as an Independent India, nor did Israel exist in any form other than in a British Imperialist agenda to take effect 30 years later.

Contrary to the above history, the Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar tweeted from his Official Twitter account paying tribute to the Indian Soldiers in the Battle of Haifa, while calling it “an enduring symbol of Indo-Israel relationship.”


The Israeli Ambassador to India, Daniel Carmon tweeted from his official Twitter account, “honoring the #Heroes of #India who liberated #Haifa (1918).”

While the Head of public diplomacy@ Embassy of Israel, New Delhi, Froim Ditza casually tweeted “tribute 2Fallen Indian soldiers who led the charge in WW1 2liberate Haifa from 400yrs of Ottoman control”

The above expressions of Indo-Israel relationship by the officials of India and Israel are over an event in 1918 in which neither the Independent India existed, nor Israel. What existed then was the British Imperialist and Colonial Agenda in India and West Asia, particularly surrounding Palestine. The British had occupied India and was fighting against the Arab Ottomans in West Asia, while 90% of the Jews stayed in Europe and were not part of this battle. I would call this as a distortion of history, pushing a certain agenda, and flying stories out of nothing.

Remarks from Israeli officials such as “Liberating Haifa from 400 years of Ottoman control” are an insult to Indian history, as the very forces which trampled upon Palestine, are the forces which occupied India for 150 years, and used Indian Soldiers in WW1 as sheep to be slaughtered in a battle in which India had no opinion. This is sheer distortion of India-Palestine historical relations and misleading the Indians in particular about the dark history of Israel.

Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of India, has clearly stated our ethical and moral support for Palestine when he stated that “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. … Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home.” (Published in the Harijan 26-11-1938)

Later on May 15 1948, the British pushed the UN to create the State of Israel for the Jews of Europe, driving away the Palestinians from Palestine and renaming it as Israel.

With the said true historical reality of the birth of Israel on the corpses of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, then and through till date for 70 years, there can never be an Indian-Israeli bond, not with respect to our histories, nor with respect to our foundations. Why are Indo-Israeli relations being thrown in the media as historically significant while there is no historical connection? Why the Hype of Indo-Israel historical ties when there weren’t any? Is this a manifestation of a covert relation which was thriving beneath the corpses of the wars fueled by the British, which has divided India and broken Palestine for Imperialist gains? If not, where did this relation emerge from? On what grounds can India support Israel, a state created on religious and ethnic grounds, while we pride our nation as the largest democratic and secular nation? Are we making the right partners?

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