Jammu: Kavinder Gupta, Speaker of the J&K Legislative Assembly, on Friday hailed the “courage of Indian soldiers” who fought for the British Army in 1918 to liberate the Palestinian port of Haifa (now in Israel) from the Turkish Ottoman army, a battle that came after Great Britain declared support for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
“The youth must follow the message of nationalism and brotherhood given by these brave sons of soil, who sacrificed their lives for attaining freedom for people of foreign nation (Israel),” Gupta said at an event organised by Forum for Awareness of National Security (FANS) in Jammu.
An official spokesman said that Speaker Gupta paid homage to the 900 Indian soldiers who died fighting for the British Army. Gupta praised the “bravery of Jodhpur and Mysore lancers who made the supreme sacrifice and liberated Haifa from the clutches of tyranny and oppression.”
He said people must take inspiration from the sacrifices and exemplary courage of brave soldiers who have always stood firm in upholding the sovereignty and integrity of India.
A statement issued by FANS said that Gupta said at the event that though Israel and Arab nations were fighting against each other, the Indian soldiers “irrespective of their caste, creed and religion remained disciplined and fought together against tyranny and oppression.”
Conservator of Forests Naveen K Shah also spoke at the event. He asked citizens to come forward in helping the security agencies to fight the “nefarious designs of anti-national elements.”
“A normal citizen cannot go to the borders for taking on the enemy directly but can ensure that the economic security, social security and ecological security of India is safeguarded,” Shah said.
MLC Ramesh Arora, President of the J&K High Court Bar Association in Jammu, Abhinav Sharma, and Vice President of FANS Vijay Singh were present at the programme.
Gupta’s praising of the role of Indian soldiers in the creation of Israel came a day after
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas demanded at the United Nations General Assembly that Britain apologize for its 1917 declaration endorsing the founding of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly’s 71st session in New York, Abbas said that the Palestinian people had suffered greatly because of the 1917 Balfour Declaration in which Britain said it favoured the establishment of a home for the Jewish people in Palestine, Reuters reported.
“We ask Great Britain, as we approach 100 years since this infamous declaration, to draw the necessary lessons and to bear its historic, legal, political, material and moral responsibility for the consequences of this declaration, including an apology to the Palestinian people for the catastrophes, misery and injustice this declaration created and to act to rectify these disasters and remedy its consequences, including by the recognition of the state of Palestine,” Abbas said at the UN headquarters.
“This is the least Great Britain can do”, he added.