Kerala’s Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, who is a member of the communist party, has criticized Israel, referring to it as a major perpetrator of terrorism. He has urged India’s BJP-led government to cease its arms purchases from the Middle Eastern nation. Vijayan expressed concern over India’s status as the largest buyer of Israeli weapons, stating that the Indian government’s expenditure on these arms indirectly contributes to the conflict in Palestine.
The Chief Minister voiced his concerns at the Palestine Solidarity Rally, an event organized by the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kozhikode. This event coincided with the 19th death anniversary of Yasser Arafat, the former Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Vijayan emphasized that Indian funds should not be used to harm the women and children of Palestine. He called on the Indian government to terminate all military agreements with Israel to prevent this. Data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute indicates that between 2018 and 2022, Israel exported $3.2 billion worth of weapons to 35 countries. India was the largest importer, purchasing $1.2 billion worth of arms.
Vijayan also criticized the Indian government’s decision to abstain from voting on a UN resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. He stated that this decision contradicted India’s long-standing policy on Palestine and tarnished the country’s international reputation. The Chief Minister argued that India, once lauded for its anti-imperialist stance, should have supported the resolution, which aimed to secure the release of hostages, ensure their safety, and facilitate the delivery of essential medicines to Gaza.