Holocaust unleashed in Palestine

Tushar Gandhi

October 25, 2023

“When tyranny is rampant, much rage is generated amongst the victims. It remains latent because of their weakness, and bursts in all its fury on the slightest pretext. Civil Disobedience is a sovereign method of transmuting this undisciplined life, destroying latent energy into disciplined life saving energy whose use ensures absolute success.”

MK Gandhi, Young India, March, 27, 1930

Once again Palestine and Israel are being consumed by an inferno of hate and mindless violence.

This time the hostilities started when Hamas bombed Israel and then with surprising ease “invaded” it. There was a massacre. Unfortunately, when hostilities break out, it is the innocent who lose their homes and lives. The victims of conflict must not be counted by their religion or nationality but unfortunately humanity has gotten addicted to keeping score in this manner. Even in a tragic conflict, instead of counting casualties as human beings, we count them by religion, nationality and ethnicity, and as ours and theirs. So it is with the ongoing conflict in Palestine.

In the initial “aggression” by Hamas, the casualties were counted as Israelis or Jews. When the Zionist Apartheid-practising regime of Israel retaliated, the casualties were counted as Arabs or Gazans. Neither were those butchered in the initial “attacks”, what the world hastily condemned as an “act of terror”, a part of the machinery that subjugates and oppresses Palestinians and nor did those butchered in retaliation play a part in Hamas’ act. The victims were all, as usual, innocent non-military, non-militant human beings.

The occupier state of Zionist Israel has adopted the practices of the Nazi. There is a brutality with which it oppresses and disenfranchises Palestinians. They, to begin with, were displaced from their homeland by an illegal act of Britain which sought to get rid of unwanted Jews from Europe. The Arabs in Palestine had not driven Jews out of what the Zionists claimed to be their “Promised Land”. But For Britain and its allies, it was a good enough way to get rid of Jews from Europe.

Christianity never forgave Jews for being “Christ killers”, despising and mercilessly persecuting them across Europe for centuries. Hitler was only the most evil face of this persecution. But while seemingly atoning for their sin, the western powers committed another crime – this time against Arabs living peacefully in Palestine. Britain has a history of creating problems in its colonies from where it is driven out. They divided Ireland along sectarian lines. In Africa, they left behind a legacy of tribal feuds. As India won its freedom, they divided the subcontinent along religious lines and left behind an eternally festering dispute between neighbours who were once an undivided family. They did the same in the Middle East.

Gandhi’s warning

Bapu observed what was being done in the Levant and understood its consequences from the moment Israel was first talked about. He warned of a festering conflict that would not only destabilise the region but put all of humanity in jeopardy. His words are proving to be real, both for Palestine-Israel and for India-Pakistan. Their conflicts threaten world peace and all of humanity.

Here are excerpts of an article Bapu wrote:

“Several letters have been received by me asking me to declare my views about the Arab-Jew question in Palestine and the persecution of the Jews in Germany. It is not without hesitation that I venture to offer my views on this very difficult question.

“My sympathies are all with the Jews. I have known them intimately in South Africa. Some of them became lifelong 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 inhuman 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…

“…And now a word to the Jews in Palestine. I have no doubt that they are going about it the wrong way. The Palestine of the Biblical conception is not a geographical tract. It is in their hearts. But if they must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs. They should seek to convert the Arab heart. The same God rules the Arab heart who rules the Jewish heart. They can offer satyagraha in front of the Arabs and offer themselves to be shot or thrown into the Dead Sea without raising a little finger against them. They will find the world opinion in their favour in their religious aspiration. There are hundreds of ways of reasoning with the Arabs, if they will only discard the help of the British bayonet. As it is, they are co-sharers with the British in despoiling a people who have done no wrong to them.

“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… Given the will, the Jew can refuse to be treated as the outcast of the West, to be despised or patronised. 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…”

MK Gandhi, Segaon, Harijan, November 26, 1938

The backlash

Bapu has been severely criticised by the Zionists who have branded him an anti-Semite, just like anyone who criticises the unacceptable brutality and illegal actions of the Zionist regime of Israel is. What Bapu warned of then is coming true today.

My late father, Arun Gandhi, voiced genuine concern regarding the increasingly brutal tendencies of the Zionist regime of Israel; he condemned it as an Apartheid state. In his childhood, my father was a victim of the Apartheid state of South Africa. He experienced atrocities and persecution. He had to leave and live in exile in India. He knew how dehumanising both situations were, so no wonder he empathised with the suffering of Palestine. For voicing his honest opinion, my father was subjected to severe backlash by the Zionists in the US. He was forced to quit the MK Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence, which he and my late mother Sunanda founded and established in Memphis (Tennessee) and which my father moved to Rochester (New York) after my mother passed away.

He was deeply wounded when he was forced to dissociate with it. He faced an economic boycott. He used to be constantly engaged on the speaking circuit in US and Europe. All invitations dried up under pressure from Zionists. By no stretch of imagination were either my great grandfather or my father anti-Semitic. They only honestly voiced their opinion and concern.


I am a vocal and active supporter of the Palestinian cause and their right to their homeland. But I will not endorse the violent means employed by Hamas. Its actions do not benefit Palestinians or their cause. As a matter of fact, Hamas’ latest act has caused and will continue to cause great harm to Palestinians and subject them to further untold suffering. Neither will the brutal retaliation by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu make Israel any more secure or Israelis any safer.

Hamas’ action stems from the brutal tactics unleashed by the Zionist regime. Unfortunately, it has won sympathy for the Zionist Apartheid regime. For the past few months, Nethanyahu was facing mass protests within Israel. Hamas’ act has taken the wind out of the anti-Nethanyahu uprising.

The West predictably has come out in support of the illegal regime. They would for it is they who have created this mess in the first place and the military-industry axis would cherish conflict as it profits from it.

This time, Hamas is guilty of adding to the misery of the severely prosecuted people of Palestine – as guilty as the tyrannical Zionist state of Israel. Now Hamas can no longer be considered a champion of the Palestinians. Netanyahu isn’t justified either in unleashing Holocaust in Gaza under the pretext of exterminating Hamas. Everybody justifying and supporting this draconian action is also guilty of crimes against humanity. They too will have to pay the price of siding with evil.

Too much time has passed; neither will the Palestinians be able to drive out or kill all the Jews of Israel and regain the land stolen from them, nor will the Zionist occupiers ever be able to completely extradite or exterminate Palestinians from the land that they in partnership with Britain stole from its rightful residents. Neither has any place to go. It is high time both accept that they share one piece of land on which they must coexist in peace or perish in violence. They have to accept one another and learn to live on equal terms on the land that is rightfully of the Palestinians and where Europe banished its Jews.

A continuing war in the Levant will place all of humanity in peril. The rest of the world must keep equidistant from both because it was outsiders who caused the problem and their self-fulfilling interference keeps the conflict alive. Unfortunately, the people of Palestine and Israel pay the price with their blood and life.

India’s response to the conflict is predictable too. Its government and a majority of its citizenry are consumed by extreme Islamophobia. For both, it is not about Palestinians or Israelis; they are blinded by their hate for Muslims.

The world must realise this is no longer Gandhi’s India.

Tushar Gandhi, great grandson of the Mahatma, is an activist, author and president of the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation. Reach him here: gandhitushar.a@gmail.com.