Mahatma Gandhi about Jews and Jewish question

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Leading Researcher, Centre for Indian Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Affiliation: Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 7

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the leader of Indian liberation struggle and nonviolence adept, paid a lot of attention to the status of the Jews and the Jewish Question. According to the author, Gandhi considered the Jews to be a part of the Indian nation, and their participation in civil disobedience campaigns together with the Hindus and the Muslims to lead to the achievement of Home Rule.

Gandhi condemned the idea of making the Jewish National Home in Palestine as well as the idea of making the state of Israel due to the fact that Palestine belonged to the Arabs like England belonged to the English and France belonged to the French. Therefore, Gandhi thought that the migration of the Jews to their historical motherland depends on the Arabs’ good will.

Gandhi offered his own way of solving the Jewish Question. He thought the Jews should stay in the countries they were born in and lived in and oppose to the discrimination and pursuit with nonviolence actions following the example of the Indians in South Africa. M.K. Gandhi tried to persuade the Jews that nonviolence was in their interests and it was able to lead to the realization of the Jews’ ambitions even in the Nazi Germany. The author concludes that the reasonable criticism of Gandhi’s naïve beliefs did not affect his trust in universal abilities of nonviolence.

Gandhi’s position of condemning the partition of Palestine and the making of the Jewish State had a tremendous impact on the external policy of India in the Middle East. This position made the dialogue between India and Israel rather complicated. As a result India was the latest country among the leading non-Arab and non-Muslim ones to send its ambassador to Israel in 1992.

KeywordsMahatma Gandhi, nonviolence, Jewish question, Zionism, Israel
Publication date13.07.2022
Number of characters31113
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