‘Israel will have to vacate occupied land’: Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s 1977 speech in support of Palestine

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister of India and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, stood in support of Palestine at a rally almost forty-six years ago and demanded Israel to ‘vacate the land’.

The video has resurfaced amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas fighters from Gaza. After Hamas fighters launched a multi-pronged surprise attack on Israel on Saturday, the Benjamin Netanyahu government retaliated by ordering a total blockade and occupation of Gaza. The Israeli Defense Minister ordered the disconnection of electricity, food, water and gas connections to Gaza.

In a 1977 video by Prasar Bharti that has resurfaced, the late Prime Minister Vajpayee is seen saying that “Israel must vacate Arab-occupied land.”

Vajpayee is heard giving a speech in Hindi, when he says: ‘Akramankari, eat the fruit of the Akarman, you are not a savior in your relationship. So the niam applied to us, will also apply to Wu Oru. Arbo’s land should be open. Those who are Palestinians, should be worshiped by their superiors. Israel’s identity has been betrayed by Soviet Russia, the United States, and we have also betrayed it.”

Atal Bihari Vajpayee says, “It is being said that the Janata Party has formed the government. It will not support Arabs, it will support Israel. Honorable Mararjibhai has made the situation clear. To remove the misunderstanding. So, I would like to say that I want us to look at each question on its merits and demerits, but the situation in the Middle East is clear that the Arab land occupied by Israel will have to be vacated.

He added, “We do not believe that the aggressor should enjoy the fruits of aggression, so the principles that apply to us will apply to others as well. The land of the Arabs must be vacated.”

Late Prime Minister Vajpayee also advocated for peace in the land, which has been plagued by decades of violence. A solution to the Middle East must be found that would end aggression and lay the foundation for lasting peace. They said.

The video has surfaced online amid divided views where Prime Minister Narendra Modi, later a prime minister from Vajpayee’s party, has spoken out in support of the loss of life in Israel. The world is torn in support of Israel and Gaza, where more than 1,300 people have been killed in vicious attacks on both sides.

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