In 1947, having been the victim of Partition and going through its horrific scenes, India voted against the partition of Palestine at the United Nations General Assembly.
India notably stood alone among non-Arab and non-Muslim countries in its opposition to the partition.
In 1974, India also became the first non-Arab state to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). As the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
In 1988, India became the first non-Arab country to recognize Palestinian statehood.
Now the allies have changed. India and Israel have established bilateral consultation mechanisms in all sectors of collaboration, including water, agriculture, counter terrorism, and defence. May 29, 2023 saw the second Policy Planning Dialogue taking place in Israel.
There was a time when India supported the Palestinian’s right to return to their lands occupied by Israel. One illustration of the solidarity between the two countries is this first day cover from the Indian Postal Department. In 1981, the Indian Government issued this poignant postage stamp as a powerful symbol of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Dr Jauhar Siddiqui shared this on Social.
The first day cover and a brochure issued by the Indian Post & Telegraphs on November 29, 1981. It stated ‘India supports inalienable rights of the Palestinian people’. The text details were courtesy of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. I hope the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi adheres to the commitment of supporting the Palestinian people as the former Prime Ministers of India did.
The following is the text from the brochure in English.
“The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is organised each year on November 29 recognising the need for the greatest possible dissemination of information on the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and on the efforts of the international community to promote attainment of these rights.
The celebration attracts and focuses world attention on the struggle of the Palestinian people and demonstrates international solidarity with their cause. The Palestinian people are inheritors of one of the world’s oldest civilisations. The name Palestine derives from ‘Philistines’—one of the three peoples that inhabited the ancient land of Canaan more than 4,000 years ago. However, beginning in the last quarter of the 19th century, due to the direct collusion between the forces of imperialism and zionism, a concerted attempt was made to carve out a Jewish State from Palestinian territory.
This culminated in the formation of Israel on May 15, 1948. Since the days of our freedom struggle, India has had strong emotional ties with the Palestinian people. After independence, India has, on innumerable occasions, denounced the denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in many forums, including the United Nations and campaigned for their cause.
India accorded diplomatic status to the Palestine Liberation Organisation which is the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people in 1980. In 1980 also, the Chairman of the PLO, Mr. Yaser Arafat, visited India. In supporting the Palestinian struggle, India stands tied to the principles and ideals which have been a vital part of our own ethos.
The Palestinians are now a people in exile. But they are by no means bereft of hope. Under the leadership of the PLO, they are firm in their resolve to recover their legitimate and inalienable rights. The fulfilment of their aspirations is only a matter of time.
Indian P & T Department is privileged to issue a special stamp on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.”