Wednesday, May 08, 2002

The Kashmir-Palestine, Israel-India Analogy, how wrong it is

Andrew Sullivan, as I must use his phraseology, doesn't get it. In his attempts to equate the Kashmir dispute and European criticims of Israel and not India, he misses the point completely. Even though he used a readers opinion, he shows his own ignorance by not making corrections to the readers incorrect assertions.

from the Sullivan's daily dish 5/8/02

The Euro-elites, represented by the insufferable Chris Patten, are appalled that their visceral hostility to Israel might be deemed by Americans to be linked to anti-Semitism. A reader sends the following analogy along to add perspective:

One comparison I sometimes suggest to Europeans is this. The situation in Kashmir has some parallels to the Middle East. A minority is having its hopes for self-determination postponed. In fact, India goes even further than Israel, by ruling out Kashmiri statehood a priori. India claims to be under periodic terrorist attack, and responds with massive force. Lightly armed men from Kashmir and beyond go up against heavily armed and highly trained Indian troops, not to mention Indian tanks, artillery and aircraft.
It's certainly a mess, and far too many civilians have been killed, either accidentally or through criminal negligence. But where are the protests against India in Europe? Where are the daily editorials? Where are the organized letter-writing campaigns by European liberals? Where are the demonstrations against Indian representative offices? Where are the calls by the EU to boycott Indian trade?
Even-handed criticism is fine, but when Europeans and their media reserve their ire for one country and one race - perhaps especially given their own history - then they run the risk of the accusations of anti-semitism that they are earning.

Couldn't put it better myself."

The reason people don't make the comparison is because the facts do not match up. While I will be the first to agree, as a result of Indian heavy handedness in Kashmir there was at one time a legitimate indigenous Kashmiri movement for separatism. This movement has been completely hijacked by militant Islam, support of which is very credibly linked to Pakistan, who by the way also does not wish for the Kashmiri's to have their own independent state. (this fact was overlooked by his reader). The lightly armed men that the reader refers to, as acknowledged by Pakistan President Musharraf were indeed directed by him in 1999 during the summer's Kargil crisis, and were not so lightly armed. One could make the assertion of a "David vs. Goliath" but that would be misleading it it was done to invoke sympathy.

Newsweek in a story about President Musharraf ("Pakistan's Striving Son."Newsweek (1/28/02 ) has him virtually admitting to supporting the insurgents. "Then came his [Musharraf's] decision to invade Indian-held Kashmiri territory in Kargil. It was, says a fellow general and friend, "tactically brilliant," but strategically it was "poorly thought out." If one also looks as far back as the cause of the India-Pakistan war in 1965, it too began as a result of Pakistani supported insurgents.

While Indian forces and militants are consistently engaging in violent clashes, it is not a result of Indian forces going into refugee camps, but rather because Indian controlled Kashmir is constantly under attack. The Kashmir cause is no longer an indigenous based movement, and as such Kashmir and Palestine, while there are similarities, are indeed quite different. Two states are fighting over Kashmir, whereas Palestinians, with no true state backing (although much of the Arab world does give it financial support) is fighting Israel for its own land.


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