United Nations, Sep 24: In a failed attempt to counter India at the UN General Assembly, Pakistan’s Representative Maleeha Lodhi tried to pass off a distorted fact. She displayed a disturbing picture of Gaza and labelled it as the “face of Indian democracy”.
Lodhi was responding to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s description of Pakistan as a “pre-eminent export factory for terror” at UN General Assembly 2017.
The photo, Lodhi displayed at the UN General Assembly to show Indian “atrocities” in Jammu and Kashmir was of 17-year-old Rawya Abu Jom. In reality, the picture is of 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, where two Israeli airstrikes hit Rawya Abu Jom, family’s apartment in Gaza.
Exercising the Right of Reply, Maleeha Lodhi accused India of “crimes against humanity” and of carrying out a “campaign of brutality” in the Kashmir Valley. To prove her point, she held the photo of the girl whose face was riddled with wounds.
The photo has been featured in many photo galleries online, including by the New York Times and the Guardian.(IANS)
New Delhi, September 18, 2017 : Although I had always wanted to visit Israel but for security reasons my wife and I decided against it but that was a few years ago.However after prime minister Modi’s highly successful visit to Israel I decided to follow suit and go to Israel. I asked my travel agent in Mumbai to arrange a tailor made itinerary for my trip to Israel and he did not let me down. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my time in Israel.
Long Established Indo-Israel Relations
As you know that Jews and Hindus have had a very long and fruitful relationship. Baghdadi Jews came to India over a thousand years ago and settled happily in various cities and became a part of society. Antisemitism or dislike of Jews has existed in many parts of the worldand still does e.g in Arab countries and most of Europe but in India this word is unheard of and of course this fact is well known to all Israelis.
If you were to compare India and Israel then you will find there are some startling similarities between the two countries.Both countries are democracies,India being the largest democracy in the world , both became independent at the same time i.e in the year 1947. Israel is a Jewish state with a Muslim minority and India is a mainly Hindu country with a Muslim minority. These two countries have not brokenlink with their past cultural traditions ,religious history etc. In other words these two countries have continued to follow the ancient customs and the way of life like their forefathers. But the course of events in the rest of the world has been very different and as a result of that we find that the population of the world today is just under half Christians and a similar proportion Islamic.
Are Jews and Hindus At Risk From Dominant Religions?
My concern is that taking all the above factors that I have mentioned India and Israel have to work very closely together or else the Jews and Hindus run the risk of being squeezed out of existence by the two large group of countries i.e Christian and Islamic. Although it may sound rather a startling suggestion but the probability of such a situation occurring is worth bearing in mind.
The author is a London-based NRI and a political activist, most notably known for his efforts in support of the Chanda Bandh Satyagraha against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)
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An ancient game turning out to be a peace maker between Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem
Backgammon is a deeply rooted game in the Middle-East, which is uniting segregated neighbors
Backgammon is one of the oldest board games in the world
Jerusalem, September 11, 2017: No one had ever imagined the power of Backgammon. And about how this ancient game could act as a game changer in the Middle-East.
Backgammon is one of the world’s oldest board games that is currently being used to bring back peace in the Middle-East.
Jerusalem Double project is a series of Backgammon tournament that takes place in Jerusalem. It is an inter cultural initiative by Jerusalem Foundation to create more interaction between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Israel is the only Jewish state in the world which is located just at the east of Mediterranean Sea. Jew is a word used for those people who profess Judaism irrespective of the place they live in.
Palestinians consist of the Arab population that hails from the land which is now controlled by Israel. They want to establish a state by the name “Palestine” on all or part of the land, which is currently controlled by Israel.
“We wanted to bring Jews and Arabs together beyond the daily grind. We wanted to create a joint cultural event in which everyone can share and we wanted to create cross over between neighborhoods that for generations have been completely segregated”, believes Zaki Djemal from Jerusalem Foundation.
Jerusalem Double chose Backgammon as a medium to break the walls between the Jews and Arabs because Backgammon is deeply rooted in the Middle-east. It is highly accessible and inclusive.
Initially, the project Jerusalem Double had faced a lot of resistance from both the communities. But, they went against the wind and left no stone unturned to make this project work. As a result, the Backgammon proved to be a catalyst towards a positive change.
In 2106, when the first Backgammon championship had happened, only 150 people showed up. But this time, 250 people participated in the tournament and competed for a cash prize of 6,000 USD.
Play can create empathy between strangers and apparent enemies and it can give us the confidence that we need to trust in each other and in the world we have been slighted, even after we have experienced pain, suffering, and fear said Zaik Djemal.
Backgammon is an outstanding initiative towards a peaceful morning in the Middle-East.
-prepared by Shivani Chowdhary of NewsGram. Twitter handle: @cshivani31