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Ghandi on Palestine

Posted on January 31, 2009

By Mahatma Ghandi
November 20, 1938

Palestinian women harvest cotton in the village of Kafr Saba in 1937
My sympathies are all with the Jews. I have known them intimately in South Africa. Some of them became life-long companions. Through these friends I came to learn much of their age-long persecution. They have been the untouchables of Christianity. The parallel between their treatment by Christians and the treatment of untouchables by Hindus is very close. Religious sanction has been invoked in both cases for the justification of the inhuman treatment meted out to them. Apart from the friendships, therefore, there is the more common universal reason for my sympathy for the Jews.

But my sympathy does not blind me to the requirements of justice. The cry for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me. The sanction for it is sought in the Bible and the tenacity with which the Jews have hankered after return to Palestine. Why should they not, like other peoples of the earth, make that country their home where they are born and where they earn their livelihood?

Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and in-human to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home.

The nobler course would be to insist on a just treatment of the Jews wherever they are born and bred. The Jews born in France are French in precisely the same sense that Christians born in France are French. If the Jews have no home but Palestine, will they relish the idea of being forced to leave the other parts of the world in which they are settled? Or do they want a double home where they can remain at will? This cry for the national home affords a colourable justification for the German expulsion of the Jews.

I am not defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had chosen the way of non-violence in resisting what they rightly regarded as an unwarrantable encroachment upon their country. But according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds.

Let the Jews who claim to be the chosen race prove their title by choosing the way of non-violence for vindicating their position on earth. Every country is their home including Palestine not by aggression but by loving service. A Jewish friend has sent me a book called The Jewish Contribution to Civilization by Cecil Roth. It gives a record of what the Jews have done to enrich the world?s literature, art, music, drama, science, medicine, agriculture, etc. Given the will, the Jew can refuse to be treated as the outcaste of the West, to be despised or patronized. He can command the attention and respect of the world by being man, the chosen creation of God, instead of being man who is fast sinking to the brute and forsaken by God. They can add to their many contributions the surpassing contribution of non-violent action.

SEGAON, November 20, 1938
Harijan, 26-11-1938
(Vol. 74, pp. 239-242)


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Gandi attempted to remove the caste system in india, the shiks tried the same thing. Today you can buy the services of an indian mechanical engineer or computer programmer in india for 100$ per month ( thus bill gates infatuation with india ) When he got the legal community to go along with windows, a system whose math platform he plaugarizes, and his hirelings write the code, using languages designed by others, for exclusive use on a computer designed by IBM, he makes more $ every three months than IBM's net worth. His math platform given to cornell in 1971 without prejudice. Gandi and gates make about as much sense as each other, gandi because he existed in a different world and gates because he is a crook---the children of the india business owner class have somewhat moved on to corner convience stores selling out of date food and lottery tickets where they win 80% of the winnings ( They have spectrometers ) and the crack motels along the interstate autoroutes, lice ridden, fleabitten affairs, where they all charge 10 to 30 dollars less per night for a dirty room, than a good motel. The male, the head of the pack works his family to run the stores and motels. They are smart enough to hire jewish immigration lawyers who sell them asylum statuses and landed immigrant statuses, charging by the headcount. the caste system remains, the business class owns the productive assets and pay survival wages to the lower castes, they run the political system as well, the shiks have joined forces with them, allowed for fear of being stabbed. a child can be purchased in india for 35$ unless your upper class, then your life is like the cows who roam the streets, your free
What Mahatma Ghandi wrote in 1938 is what my heart yearns for and breaks for today in 2009.

For Jews in Palestine.
For Christians in North America.

"We can command the attention and respect of the world by being man, the chosen creation of God, instead of being man who is fast sinking to the brute and forsaken by God".

It's not too late, each in our own way, by "choosing the way of non-violence for vindicating our position on earth".
I cannot say I was happy about this article. Gandhi out and out speaks of his love for the Jewish people and almost condemns the Arab. I got the feeling he was only granting them their rights due to justice, not any particular sense of camaraderie with the Arab race.

Yet, in truth, most of the quotes I love most come from this man. His statement of what the Jews should be like, what they should be doing is true. But I am thinking he was more familiar with Torah Jews than Zionists. They are a political race founded on terrorism, greed and elitism. His words come across as being a tad unworldly an unrealistic.