Palestinians sympathize with Kashmiris as they have common tragic stories. Palestinians are very sympathetic to Kashmiris. Contextually, both Palestine and Kashmir are legacies of British colonial treaties and arrangements. Its also their cartographic and demographic manoeuvres. They feel the Kashmiris’ pain & struggle. Its because both suffer from horrendous daily oppression by the military regimes that occupy their respective lands. Thus, Occupied Palestinians and Occupied Kashmiris have so many common tragic stories.
“At each tragedy, we express solidarity with the Kashmiris” says Ahmad Fayyad, a Palestinian activist. “We feel that we face the same occupation, meant to ethnically cleanse occupied people from their land”, he added.
India-Israel Defense Ties
India is one of Israel’s biggest exporters of arms. In addition, the Indian police forces have been receiving training in Israel. Both Israel and India refer to such training as “anti-terror operations”. When indeed police forces are trained to oppress occupied people in most brutal ways, during these “training sessions”.
The Israeli police and army persecute Palestinians every single day; Indian police and army persecute Kashmiris every single day.
Researcher Nehal Aljua’aidi states that “We both live under occupation that overtly commits war crimes. And it is cheered by bloodthirsty majoritarian citizens, who literally gets away with murder of innocents.”
Common Face of Occupation
She added that the occupation had a common face: both detained minors, invaded towns at night. It includes terrorizing people, and at the end, the news of such aggressions never gets mentioned in the mainstream media. Furthermore, both oppressed peoples are accused of being terrorists.
Torture, rape, sexual assaults, kidnappings, extra-judicial killings and other terrifying crimes are widespread in Kashmir.
These human rights violations are intricately linked to the policy of denial of any political sovereignty of the Kashmiris. And just like the Palestinians, the Kashmiris are only asking for their rights. It is to live in peace in their own countries, and the right to self determination.
The international community and Human Rights organizations seem toothless in the face of of the brutality, ethnic cleansing and discrimination that both people of Palestine and Kashmir face.
India is a fascist country that aims at eliminating any existence of Kashmiris, much like Israel. Israel became a state after mass murdering and forcibly expelling indigenous Palestinians out of their land. And then established itself on Palestinian corpses and stolen Palestinian land. Israel was created in 1948, and Kashmir became militarily occupied in 1948 as well.
Both Kashmir and Palestine were promised self determination by the UN. In 1948, Palestine was meant to get a state of their own and Kashmiris were meant to have a referendum to decide whether they wanted to be part of Pakistan or India. But neither happened and both Palestinians and Kashmiris have been struggling for independence ever since.
More than 60 % of the West Bank is under Israel military control and more than 600,000 Israelis have also settled in the West Bank on Palestinian land which is illegal according to the UN . Their settlements are highly guarded and led to big problems to Palestinians. Many have been cut off from their families, own agricultural lands and lost their jobs. And above all, the water crisis that these settlements caused to Palestinians are worst.
Israel has seized even more land to build ‘settler-only roads’. The West Bank is very different than India-administered Kashmir because it’s considered an ‘occupied territory’. And while it’s under Israeli control, it isn’t technically be a part of Israel.
Kashmir has been forcibly a part of India since 1948. However, there were property laws that would protect Kashmir’s demography. But, India just revoked this Article 370 being tossed means that Indians from anywhere in India can now buy property and settle in Kashmir. And it is just like the case of Israel encouraging Israelis to ‘settle’.
Military Checkpoints for both populations
Both populations have to endure the daily burden of military checkpoints. And while Palestinians face extreme restrictions to their movement and blocks the internet. Both the Israeli Army and Indian Armed Forces are notorious for using excessive force to crush any type of dissent.
Palestinians sympathize with Kashmiris as they have common tragic stories. The Palestinian Nakba survivor, Abu Awad, 77 said in sorrow ” whenever I watch the news of Kashmiris, all I feel is I am watching Palestinians.” I feel so sorry because I am unable to help them, then sometimes i cried over our cases. He also hoped that the oppression and the occupation will last forever and one day they will be free and they will keep resisting and refusing the occupation on their lands.
Contemporary histories of both Kashmiri and Palestinian struggles since 1947 to the present show a pattern of gendered resistance, armed and unarmed rebellions, regular street protests, strikes, stone-pelting, art forms and scholarship are part of this repertoire of resistance. Let’s hope both our lands are free from occupation soon.