FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
India, Israel strategic ties coming out of closet after 25 years
Updated:Feb 21, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Israel later this year – a first by an Indian head of the government that comes 25 years after the two countries established full diplomatic ties. The visit, a long awaited, is significant for their growing ties in defense, counterterrorism, science and technology, agriculture, space exploration, and several other areas.
 
The two nations on January 29 celebrated the golden jubilee of their ties with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying that Tel Aviv’s rising diplomatic influence in the world was a resultant of “diplomacy of technology” that has allowed his country to expand its relations with numerous countries, including China and India.
 
Netanyahu also said the "relations with these two major powers…attests to the status of Israel among the nations, a position that is becoming stronger due to our technological, military and intelligence capabilities”.
 
India had always put conditions on better ties with Israel based on progress in the Israel-Palestine dispute. And the first steps toward full diplomatic ties were taken in early 1992 when Congress ruled the country with P V Narasimha Rao as the Prime Minister. Since then bilateral ties have been growing slowly but steadily despite domestic and diplomatic concerns.
 
But ties came fully out of the closet with Modi rising to power in 2014 when he openly expressed his desire to attach greater priority to ties with Israel, a cause that his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had openly espoused for a long time.
 
In contrast to the back-channel security ties that existed before the normalization of bilateral relations, India has been more willing in recent years to carve out a mutually beneficial bilateral relationship with Israel, including deepening military ties and countering the threat terrorism poses to the two countries.
 
Modi is expected to visit Israel in June 2017 though the dates have not been announced as yet. Modi had visited Israel as Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2006. As Indian prime minister, he met his Israeli counterpart, Netanyahu on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s annual in 2014. Pranab Mukherjee became the first Indian President to visit Israel in 2016, even though both the Israeli President and Prime Minister have visited India in the past. 
 
Experts believe that India had its own defence compulsions to move closer to Israel particularly after the US government in 1998 - after India tested nuclear weapons for the second time - stopped selling certain weapons systems to India as part of a sanctions regime. 
 
According to estimates, India buys half of Israel's small arms exports, with annual totalling in the billions of dollars. These figures have remained stable over the years, although with the return of Russian arms, India has begun to diversify its sources.
 
Despite close political ties, India continues to be critical of Israel's occupation of Palestine - whether it be the wars on Gaza or the settlements in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem or indeed Israel's evisceration of the "peace process".
 
Modi has been praising Israel lavishly over its fight against terror. At a public function in Himachal Pradesh last year, Modi compared the Indian Army’s alleged surgical strikes against terror launch pads across the de facto border with Pakistan to the Jewish state’s policy of targeted assassinations and military actions against Islamist militants.
 
 “Our army’s valor is being discussed across the country these days. We used to hear earlier that Israel has done this. The nation has seen that the Indian Army is no less than anybody,” he said.
 
Israeli politicians and diplomats have been often very candid about their country’s close ties with India, but their Indian counterparts have been quite reticent about it.
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image I am honored to be here today for the first U.S. government exchange alumni conference for India and Bhutan.
 
read-more
The European Union and India should work closely to bring peace, stability and development in Afghanistan, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has said.
 
read-more
A pre-dawn  suicide terror attack (fidayeen)  on an army camp in the Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday (April 27)   resulted in the death of three army personnel including an officer,  while two terrorists were neutralized. Combing operations are in progress to ascertain if any of the attackers have
 
read-more
The dreadful violence and low turnout in a by-election in Kashmir has again raised intense debate in New Delhi.
 
read-more
The brief hand-holding took place in the Gulf of Aden. Despite a history of border dispute, diplomatic clashes and rivalry on various issues, India and China joined forces on April 9 to rescue a merchant vessel from pirates.
 
read-more
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sprang a surprise when he registered himself as a candidate in Iran’s presidential election scheduled for May 19. After leaving the office of President in 2013 at the end of two controversial terms, the firebrand populist has been largely inactive in politics. 
 
read-more
Nerves are being frazzled by a rising arc of sabre rattling in northeast Asia. After the US decided to deploy an aircraft carrier strike group to the region to counter North Korea’s nuclear buildup, US President Donald Trump has asserted that a major conflict with Pyongyang was indeed possible.
 
read-more
In last couple of years, India is boasting about its highest economic growth rate in the world, surpassing that of China
 
read-more
The core parts of the controversial Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system have been moved to the site of what had been a golf course in southern South Korea.
 
read-more
Health of the citizens and the economy of the nation they inhabit go hand in hand and every buck spent on former guarantees a manifold increase in the latter,  said noted public health expert K Srikant Reddy. The lecture 'Health and Development: India Must Bridge the Disconnect' was ...
 
read-more
Column-image

Title: Bollywood Boom; Author: Roopa Swaminathan; Publisher: Penguin; Price: Rs 399; Pages: 221

 
Column-image

Title: Defeat is an Orphan: How Pakistan Lost the Great South Asian War; Author: Myra Macdonald; Publisher: Penguin Random House India; Pages: 328; Price: Rs 599

 
Column-image

  The story of Afghanistan -- of the war against the Soviets and of terrorism that has gripped the landlocked country ever since -- is in many ways also the story of diplomat Masood Khalili, who motivated his people and led them...

 
Column-image

Title: The Golden Legend; Author: Nadeem Aslam; Publisher: Penguin Random House; Pages: 376; Price: Rs 599

 
Column-image

Over the Years, a collection of 106 short articles, offers us interesting sidelights on the currents and cross- currents in the public life of India during two distinctive periods: (I) 1987 to 1991 and (II ) 2010 to the present.

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive