Prominent Indian Socialist, Who Once Supported Israel, Does Full Turnabout

A widely respected Indian Socialist leader, who has supported Israel last week lashed out at the creation of a Jewish State in the heart of the Arab world. Jayaprakash Narayan spoke at a symposium on “Palestine.” His remarks were published in full in the influential Hindustan Times. He scored the Christian peoples and powers of the West for trying to “salve their conscience” toward the Jews at the expense of the Arabs. “The central fact is that an undisputed piece of Arab territory–Palestine–has been forcibly occupied by foreign people with the active and interested military and political help of great powers,” Mr. Narayan said. “The establishment of Israel was a serious affront to the renascent nationalism of Asia and a dagger thrust into its side.”

He added that “in spite of their modernism and Socialism, Israelis, in their narrow and tenacious sectarianism are utterly reactionary and backward. Their attempt in this age of secularism–that is of separation of state from religion–to establish a Jewish State cannot be considered by any standard to be progressive or a forward- looking operation.” Mr. Narayan said that “to accept the fact of Israel is high international immorality.” He advocated as a solution of the “Palestine problem,” a “reconciliation between Israel and the Palestinians on the basis of a bi-national state of Palestine in which Jews and Arabs will be equal citizens.”

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