Photo Credit:
Richard Cravatts

Transfers of populations and changes in demographics involving minority groups have occurred during the creation of other modern states, of course, often with unintended negative consequences. When British India was partitioned in 1947, for example, Hindus comprised some 20 percent of the population of what became Pakistan. Hindus currently comprise a mere one percent of Pakistan’s population, the result of ethnic cleansing during which millions of Hindus were forcibly expelled from their homeland and hundreds of thousands killed.

And when Bengal was partitioned in 1950 between India and E. Pakistan (Western and Eastern Bengal), as many as 500,000 Hindus were massacred by Muslims and up to 4.5 million Hindu refugees were created from Bengal alone.

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Given that the Palestinian refugee issue appeared shortly after the partition of India, and that Palestinians and their academic supporters in the West continue to assert an “enshrined” and “sacred” right of return to what is considered to be their country –including much of what now comprises Israel itself – could not a similar right of return be asserted, and demanded, by millions of Hindus who lost property, civil and human rights, and historic and cultural connections to their ancestral homes as a result of the desire to create the exclusively Islamic state of Pakistan?

This conference would not only have been defined by an obsessive, pathological inclination to demonize Israel, it would also have revealed a breathtaking double standard by applying a moral yardstick to Israel not used to measure the political or social behavior of any other country – including those with far more dismal records of human rights abuses, racism, genocide, terrorism, totalitarianism, and gender apartheid, among many other national pathologies.

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Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D., is president emeritus of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, and the author of “Dispatches From the Campus War Against Israel and Jews.”