Israel and India: Is the Sky the Limit?

editor Monday 14 August 2017 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email Printer friendly

By Jose C. Ciprut.. BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 525, July 11, 2017.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Indian PM Narendra Modi’s first visit to Israel is an affirmation of readiness, beyond mere symbolism, for an unprecedented expansion of collaboration between two democracies and two peoples. There is potential for such expansion on many levels: government-to-government, business-to-business, industry-to-industry, sector-to-sector, and people-to-people. Israel’s technological expertise in critical domains, and India’s good relations with the Gulf nations, including Iran, as well as with the G-77 group of nations (which often votes as a bloc at the UN), should augur well for new synergies that could prove beneficial for the region and for the Israel-Palestine conflict.India and Israel were reborn around the same time, in comparably nasty neighborhoods. They both faced turmoil inside and outside their boundaries as their territories confronted partition on ethno-religious-nationalistic grounds. Yet each is a now a flourishing democracy. [Photo top right: Narendra Modi via Wikimedia Commons].

For far too long, a variety of factors kept India from enjoying fruitful relations with Israel. These include India’s dependence on Arab countries in and around the Gulf for oil and liquid gas imports and remittance-creating cheap labor exports; India’s self-assigned “duties” to “the Palestinian cause” in the framework of its historical leadership role vis-à-vis “non-aligned” third-world “countries”; and its long alliance with the USSR, which brought with it a corresponding distance from all things associated with the US. It has taken 25 years for Indian-Israeli relations to reach fruition. Read the full story.



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