Shalom Life | September 06, 2014

Indian Community Holds 'Biggest' Pro-Israel Rally in Years

Over 20,000 march together in Kolkata to demonstrate solidarity with Israel

By: Daniel Koren

Published: August 18th, 2014 in News » World

Indian Community Holds 'Biggest' Pro-Israel Rally in Years

Where pro-Israeli supporters and Jews may have lacked in numbers since the outset of Operation Protective Edge, we've made up for it strength, perseverance, determination and education.

And while our peaceful rallies haven't been as 'large' as those of pro-Palestinian demonstrations that have taken place around the world from Paris to Chile, there's one Indian community that has demonstrated their sizable support for the people of Israel.

In Kolkata, the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal, on Saturday, roughly 20,000 pro-Israel supporters arrived to show their solidarity with the State of Israel, and to rally against terrorism, and those terrorist organizations like Hamas that continue to threaten the Israeli public's security and well-being.

The Times of Israel notes that organizers have since referred to the demonstration as one of the largest pro-Israel rallies in the past decade.

Demonstrators were waving pro-Israel banners that read “Hindus and Jews have a right to exist” and “Hindus and Jews — united against terrorism,” as they marched through the streets of Kolkata, shouting that Israel and the IDF have the right to defend themselves against Hamas terrorists.

“The destiny of both India and Israel as thriving democracies are intertwined. We both share the same values,” stated rally organizer Tapan Ghosh, head of Hindu nationalist party Hindu Samhati

The party, a known political movement in India, though Ghosh refers to it as 'nonpolitical,' organized the event in honor of Gopal Mukhopadhyay. According to Indian news reports, Mukhopadhyay is “a local hero who saved many innocent lives during the Great Calcutta Killing in 1946.”.

During the Great Calcutta Killing, which prompted a period known as the 'Week of Long Knives,' thousands of people were murdered as tensions between Hindus and Muslims flared.

The two groups remain hostile toward one another today in West Bengal.

In a recent interview with Hindu Human Rights, Ghosh had condemned the government of West Bengal for its "naked and shameless Muslim appeasement."

“The root of Muslim violence is not a handful of rotten elements,” he added.. “…Muslim terrorism is a snake fed by the Americans, but the source is Islam.”

During the rally, Ghosh said that India and Israel are united, through peace, and are both “surrounded by very tough neighbors.” The 20,000 in attendance cheered at his sentiments.

The Hindu-organized rally also saw Sikhs and Buddhists participate as well.

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