Muslim outfits are miffed with the government for its failure to invite no prominent leader from their community during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Mumbai. After arriving in the city, Netanyahu had a power breakfast with industrialists Anand Mahindra, Adi Godrej, Ajay Piramal and Chanda Kochhar. Later he also attended Shalom Bollywood event which was attended by stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Vivek Oberoi, Karan Johar but no Muslim celebrity was visible in the function. Many Muslims took to social media to voice their protest against Netanyahu’s visit and asked why no Muslim celebrities were invited to grace the function?
They asked whether it was a deliberate attempt of the Indian government to sideline Muslims? Some of them also criticised actor Amitabh Bachchan for clicking selfie with Netanyahu. The All Bengal Minority Youth Federation too held protest against the Israeli Prime Minister’s visit to India. Protesters chanted slogans against Netanyahu and Modi, sprinkled ink on posters of Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump and later burned their posters. They asked how can India welcome Israeli Prime Minister when the Israeli government is terrorising Muslims? Muhammad Kamruzzaman, President of All Bengal Minority Youth Federation condemned Netanyahu’s visit to Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram at Sabarmati in Ahmedabad. He asked why Netanyahu was invited to Sabarmati when Gandhiji never approved of Israel’s policies!
Sheikh Abdur Rahim, Howrah District Secretary of All Bengal Minority Youth Federation said that India always supported Palestine’s freedom but since Modi government came to power the nation’s stand has weakened over this cause. “Everyone is aware that Palestinians are getting tortured daily. What is the objective behind giving a red carpet welcome to Benjamin Netanyahu under whose leadership injustice is meted against Palestinians and we believe it is against humanity. It’s an international issue and Muslims from India and Arab countries will always raise their voice against it. I am not aware about the reason behind why Muslim celebrities had not attended Shalom Bollywood event, but if they are supporting for the cause of Palestine then our organisation welcomes that.”
Muhammad Kamruzzaman, President of All Bengal Minority Youth Federation said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has tarnished India’s foreign policy by offering grand red carpet welcome to Netanyahu. He said, “Nobody with humanity will support Israel which is mercilessly killing children and women in Palestine to forcibly take control of that Muslim territory. Islam doesn’t teach about welcoming a criminal like Benjamin Netanyahu and I appreciate those Bollywood stars who didn’t attend the event.”
“India’s foreign policy never supported Israel and was always in favour of Palestine. Modi has divided India’s foreign policy into two parts viz one for Muslims and other for non-Muslims. It is not expected for a country like India, which is famous for its secularism, to follow two different kinds of policies,” he added.
The All Bengal Minority Youth Federation urged the government to snap ties with Israel and raised objections against the grand welcome offered to Netanyahu by India.
Journalist Najmul Hassan Rizvi said, “World knows that Netanyahu is an illegal occupier of Palestinian land. Even, Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi has never recognised Israel as a state. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is an open enemy of Muslim community. I think to abstain from the unwanted ire, Muslim Bollywood celebrities avoided to meet him.”
Feroze Mithiborwala, Founder and General Secretary, India-Palestine Solidarity Forum said, “The reason why we are opposing Israel is that it is trying to occupy Palestine in infringement of the United Nation’s international law. If tomorrow Israel ends the illegal occupation of Palestine then this issue will be resolved. Israel is already facing opposition from Hollywood artists. There are 25 leading Oscar nominees who had already refused to visit Israel on paid visit there, hence they are now focussing on Bollywood which is a soft target as here people are unaware about how the Israel lobby operates. There are political leaders in that country who wants to support ISIS and Al Qaeda to defeat secular forces. Israel is growing isolated in the world stage.”