Opponents spreading wrong message; always stood for Palestine cause: Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor
Shashi Tharoor at IUML gathering. Photo: X/Shashi Tharoor

Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor on Friday slammed his opponents for spreading the message that he was a supporter of Israel. He added that he has always been with the people of Palestine and that he does not agree with the propagation of just one sentence from his speech, which he made at the IUML rally.

“It is unfortunate that people are trying to interpret a few seconds from a 30-minute speech. I have no words for such people,” he said while speaking to the media.

Facing intense social media attack from pro-Hamas groups and a section of Left activists, Tharoor issued a clarification on social media platform X.

"Somewhat bemused to learn of the attacks on me by those who, out of a 32-minute speech, have chosen to dwell on the 25 seconds in which I denounced the terrorist attacks of October 7 that triggered the current cycle of violence & disproportionate retribution. If that’s all it takes to negate my support for the human rights of the Palestinian people, then I have nothing more to say. My brief remarks in Malayalam to the media at Kozhikode airport," he said.

CPI(M) leader and former MLA M Swaraj alleged that some of Tharoor's remarks were pro-Israel, and the Congress MP failed to admit that it was a "terrorist" nation. Swaraj, a state secretariat member of the CPI(M), said what he had done was an Israel solidarity meeting at the expense of the IUML. Earlier, in a Facebook post, CPI(M) leader Swaraj remarked sarcastically that Tharoor was pretty sure that what had happened from the side of Palestine was a "terrorist strike," even though 90 per cent of that country was lost to Israel.

LDF MLA K T Jaleel also criticised Tharoor and said his speech would give the impression that it was a pro-Israel rally.

The speech
Tharoor had urged Israel to put an end to the war on Gaza by hearkening on a 'message of peace, coexistence and brotherhood' from Kerala, the only land in the world that never discriminated against the Jews.

The Congress MP, a former under-secretary-general of the United Nations, was addressing a massive gathering organised by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) for its Human Rights Rally on the Kozhikode Beach on Thursday.

Tharoor said the ongoing bombardment of Gaza by Israel in response to the October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas was no longer proportionate. Over 6,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli bombings while the Hamas attacks claimed over 1,400 lives. Tharoor reiterated Mahatma Gandhi's maxim that 'an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind'.

While Tharoor referred to Hamas as a 'terror outfit', IUML leaders like MK Muneer stated that the Palestinian resistance could not be termed as a 'terrorist act'.  

IUML leader P K Kunhalikutty, however, criticised the groups that were allegedly trying to create controversy over the rally. He said the huge rally organised by the League has helped generate public opinion in favour of the Palestinian cause and Tharoor has already clarified that he is with the Palestinian cause.

The IUML, a key ally of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala, organised a massive rally in northern Kozhikode on Thursday denouncing the reported indiscriminate killings of civilians, including women and children, in the Israeli attack on the Gaza strip.

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