Sharon not welcome in India
Left and progressive organisations in India, including the CPI and CPI (Marxist), have declared the invitation to visit India extended by the Vajpayee Government to the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as an "unfortunate decision". The organisations are strongly opposing Sharon's visit and have called upon all Indian democratic organisations and citizens to protest against it. They point out that Ariel Sharon has earned notoriety for his brutal repression of the Palestinian people. As Defence Minister of Israel in 1982, he was directly responsible for the massacre of over 3000 Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon and was forced to resign as Defence Minister after this massacre. Efforts are still being made to bring him to justice for this crime. Sharon represents the most extreme section in Israeli politics which justify the occupation of the Palestinian and Arab territories. The armed forces of Israel are in occupation of Palestinian towns in the West Bank. There are daily military attacks and targeted assassinations of Palestinian leaders and activists. The wrecking of the Oslo Accord and the recent peace initiatives are primarily due to the policies of the Sharon government. To have such a person as an honoured guest is an insult to India's longstanding tradition of unequivocal support to the struggle of the Palestinian people for national liberation and an independent state, say the left and progressive organisations.