The Guardian September 10, 2003


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.

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