Hafta letters: Understanding Palestine, rise of fascism, reporting on Andhra Pradesh

NL subscribers get back with bouquets and brickbats!

WrittenBy:NL Team
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Hi NL,

I want to remind you about a state called Andhra Pradesh. At this point I can say it might be most misgoverned state in our country, But I don’t see any news, report and even some discussions in NL or in any of the national media. People are jailed just for speaking in favour of opposition leader in our state. In some ways, I wonder – do you not care about our state especially when an opposition leader was jailed on false cases?

Almost four weeks ago in Hafta, you promised a story on this. You have not delivered it until now. I’ve done a search on NL and you do not have any story on AP or Jagan for the last four years. This story was done long ago – “Is Chandrababu Naidu pushing Andhra Pradesh into a debt trap – but do you know the deby trap AP is under Jagan?”

KP

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Hi, I have read a little and heard some podcasts (including Charcha and Hafta) to understand the Israel-Palestine situation. We all call it complex to understand because of some history and I am not denying the same.

But post my little research, I find the attack quite close to our situation with Pakistan. The terrorist groups residing in Pakistan keep attacking, as action against it we use our intel, get locations of terrorist groups, and then take violent decisions. We do not go around bombing the whole of Pakistan.

Same is the approach if there is any disagreement/violence with China over our borders. If my understanding is correct, we have a clear side to pick. But on Hafta as well, the Israeli army’s actions were defended since it’s a state legit army, but in my view, pulling off actions like a terrorist group. Please weight in or correct my understanding

Jyotsna

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This is a commendation post for Jayashree and her insightful perspectives on the Western media's narrative during the Israel-Palestine conflict, or rather, “the Israeli occupation of Palestine“. It’s noteworthy that while some liberals criticise Hamas attacks, there’s a conspicuous silence when it comes to Israel’s continuous loss of innocent lives, especially children.

Furthermore, it’s important to acknowledge that Barkha Dutt, regrettably, displayed Islamophobic tendencies during the Tablighi Jamaat episode, which raises questions about her journalistic integrity. Her current involvement in disseminating reports of ‘40 children beheaded’ appears to contribute to a specific narrative that warrants critical scrutiny.

Khan

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To the fellow letter writer who claimed all Israelis were ‘colonisers’, I suggest this article in The Atlantic. Here‘s an excerpt:

“Most migrants to, say, the United Kingdom or the United States are regarded as British or American within a lifetime. Politics in both countries is filled with prominent leaders – Suella Braverman and David Lammy, Kamala Harris and Nikki Haley – whose parents or grandparents migrated from India, West Africa, or South America. No one would describe them as ‘settlers’. Yet Israeli families resident in Israel for a century are designated as ‘settler-colonists’ ripe for murder and mutilation. And contrary to Hamas apologists, the ethnicity of perpetrators or victims never justifies atrocities. They would be atrocious anywhere, committed by anyone with any history. It is dismaying that it is often self-declared ‘anti-racists’ who are now advocating exactly this murder by ethnicity.”

Anonymous

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My new hero is Jayashree. Kudos to her for cutting through the BS and calling the Israel Palestine conflict for what it is. This is not a “complex” issue and neither are there a lot of nuances to it.

All it takes is the courage to call a spade a spade. The creation of Israel is a colonial project, which included stealing Palestinian land. And what Israel is doing to the Palestinians is apartheid. I used to be an Israeli fan, until I happened on a DVD, explaining this issue and I read a lot more of it. In India nothing is taught about this, so people have to go by is what our “media” and WhatsApp groups spread.

Also completely disagree with Abhinandan’s comments that Palestinians where unreasonable in 1948. How reasonable would we be, had the UN created Israel in India, after all we are much larger than Palestine?

Lastly please fix your app. I clicked Charcha and the last episode of Hafta started playing. I cannot afford to take a hammer to my iPhone as another reader suggested. I would much rather spend that money on an NL subscription.

Thanks for the great work you all do.

Murli

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Barkha Dutt’s coverage and her stand has been very surprising. I understand a stance being ‘anti-Hamas/terror’ but her primary focus on what Hamas does/did while a lack of cognisance of genocidal talks by Israeli politicians and what they’ve been doing in Palestine is strange.

We’ve reached a point where Israel is on the verge of committing a genocide while Barkha continues to be fixated on Hamas.

​Her constant “shock” about Indians defending Hamas is just weird because while there is a small minority that does it, there is an overwhelming majority that is cheering Israel (In Hindi btw) on any post made by the Israeli X account. All of this while Israelis have been calling for BB Netanyahu’s resignation.

Her coverage has been poor, one-sided and honestly shallow if you compare to Breaking Points who are actually providing some inputs over what's going on.

What’s sad is that she might be the best that India has to offer right now compared to the street performers in Godi media

Charanjot Singh

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This is a companion letter, mostly for Abhinandan.

I was very pleased to see you recommend RIHC (on British fascism), but was amused by the contrast in our takes. I listened with reassurance that India was never going down this path. so for the sake of argument:

1) British fascism arose in an age when democratic governments were not the norm; empires, dictatorships were perfectly fine in Europe.

2) As Tom/Dominic keep saying, one reason why fascism does not have the appeal that it does in Germany is because the different experiences of the First World War. Without that kind of collective sense of grievance, I don’t know how a fascist movement would take over.

3) The British fascists do make use of the nationalist tropes and hatred of the outsider that you dislike about the BJP/RSS. But the sensible opposition does not throw out nationalism. Instead the figure who is able to hold them off is a dyed-in-the-wool imperialist like Churchill.  

Thoughts?

Vijay

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