India's abstention.

ISRAEL'S recent brutal foray into Gaza and its targeting of Palestinians elsewhere in the occupied territories has elicited strong reactions from across the world. While many of Tel Aviv's protectors and friends parroted the line that Israel has a right of 'self-defence' - even as the Jewish state mercilessly murdered children in Gaza - thousands of conscientious people of all faiths and nationalities took to the streets in cities across the world to condemn this butchery. However, some states that had formerly supported the Palestinian cause were conspicuous by their silence, apparently to please Israel. India is among this group; in a recent vote at the UN Human Rights Council calling for a probe into Israel's recent atrocities, India chose to abstain. This led the Palestinian foreign minister to observe in a letter to New Delhi that the abstention 'stifles the important work of the Human Rights Council at advancing human rights for all people'.

India's about-turn where the Palestinian cause is concerned is not new and has been decades in the making. Initially, spurred by a sense of Third World solidarity, India offered...

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