In 1948, Israel was created on Palestinian land. Palestinians lost their homes and villages; huge numbers were expelled; they became refugees elsewhere or in their own land. In 1967, the West Bank and Gaza were also occupied by Israel.
For more than five decades now, Palestinians have suffered the violent and unjust realities of occupation. Not only does India have strong historical ties with the Arab world; but also the Indian freedom movement saw the struggle of the Palestinians for a homeland as a genuine struggle against colonialism. Both Gandhi and Nehru expressed this in no uncertain terms; so, later, did the non-aligned movement. Indian policy towards Palestine shifted radically in the 1990s. Israel has now become a major supplier of arms to India; it is also part of the complicated shift in India's relationship with America, and India's emerging vision of itself in the world.
Fourteen new essays on India and Palestine-Israel by writers, scholars and activists: Aijaz Ahmad | Meena Alexander | Githa Hariharan | Sunaina Maira | Nivedita Menon | Ritu Menon | Sukumar Muralidharan | Seema Mustafa | Aditya Nigam | Prabhat Patnaik | Vijay Prashad | Prabir Purkayastha | A.K. Ramakrishnan | Nayantara Sahgal | Achin Vanaik
Githa Hariharan's work includes novels, short stories, essays, newspaper articles and columns. Her first novel – The Thousand Faces of Night – won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 1993. Since then, she has published the novels The Ghosts of Vasu Master, When Dreams Travel, In Times of Siege, and Fugitive Histories, a collection of short stories, The Art of Dying, and a book of stories for children, The Winning Team. For more on her work, see www.githahariharan.com. Githa Hariharan is a member of the Palestine Solidarity Committee in India, and a convenor of the Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (InCACBI).