Date: Tue, Dec 7, 2010 at 3:59 AM
Subject: Indian Leftist Loonies begin road-trip to Gaza
- How about making a road-trip FIRST to Dhaka or Barisal or Khulna or Chittagong to show your solidarity with the beleaguered minorities of Bangladesh?
- Or easier still, How about making a road-trip FIRST to Karachi or Tharparkar or Lahore or Peshawar to show your solidarity with the persecuted minorities of Pakistan?
- Or closer home, how about making a road-trip FIRST in your own country to the refugee camps in Jammu's Mishriwala, Mithi, Purkhoo, Nagrota, Kathua, Udhampur and Batal Ballian to show your solidarity with the genocide-stricken minorities of the Kashmir valley?
A group of pro-Palestine activists will start a road trip to Gaza on Thursday in a bid to take medical aid to the embargoed region.
The Asian People's Solidarity for Palestine (APSP), an organisation against Israeli occupation of Palestine, will start the journey from Rajghat and travel through Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, entering Gaza through the Rafah Crossing.
The India Lifeline To Gaza, a constituent of the APSP, will flag off the event, which is expected to be attended by veteran journalist Kuldip Nayyar and former Cabinet secretary Zafar Saifullah.
"More than 50 Indians are part of the journey. We will travel by road through Asia and hopefully get to Gaza by December 28. It should be a fantastic new year in Palestine. Since this is the first convoy from Asia to show solidarity with the Palestinian cause, our aim is only to get to Gaza and not confront the Israeli government," said Feroze Mithiborwala, founder of APSP.
The convoy will carry with it medical aid worth Rs 27 lakh and donate two ambulances to the authorities in Palestine.
Ashim Roy, general secretary of the New Trade Union Initiative that is supporting APSP, said: "This is one issue which needs a voice because the cause (Palestinian) has worldwide legitimacy and yet the rights of people are being denied."
Aid caravans, such as this, have increasingly come into the spotlight since the attack on a Turkish flotilla in May this year. So, do the participants have any fears? "There is always going to be an element of risk involved, but everyone is going with the conviction that we will fight for the right cause," said Biraj Pattnaik, Supreme Court's advisor on the Right to Food, and a member of the contingent.
JNU student Pradyumna Jairam: "This is a fantastic opportunity to make a difference, a chance that I probably won't get again." the reporter is a student of exims