India de-hyphenates Israel from Palestine

Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel will see a new phase in New Delhi’s West Asia engagement

shankar

Shankar Kumar | July 3, 2017 | New Delhi


#US   #West Asia   #Palestine   #Narendra Modi   #Israel   #Mahmoud Abbas  
Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, meeting Narendra Modi, in New York in 2014
Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, meeting Narendra Modi, in New York in 2014

Narendra Modi is all set to become the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel where he lands on July 4 and leaves for home on July 6. It will also be the first time that an Indian leader visiting the West Asian nation will not visit Palestine, a departure from the past that has been tweaked under the new dispensation at the Centre.

In October 2015, when president Pranab Mukherjee undertook his West Asia visit, it was ensured that he moved towards Palestine too. This was done in accordance with India’s policy of maintaining balance in relationship with both Israel and Palestine.
 
External affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj too had followed the same script. Like president Mukherjee, she landed first in Palestine on January 17, 2016 and then took land route to reach Israel the next day. A glimpse of de-hyphenation in India’s engagement with these two important West Asian countries was before the world when National Security Adviser Ajit Doval visited Israel in March without touching Palestinian soil.
 
Obviously, foreign policy and strategy never trek along stagnant, isolated and moribund route. It takes a move, sometime drastic one, in pursuance of a nation’s objective. It was seen in April 2016. India had joined 32 countries in condemning Israel for its excavation and exclusion policies around the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. But when it came for voting on a resolution against Israel on the similar issue on October 18, 2016, India absented from the move.
 
No plausible reason was given for this U-turn, but it was clear that New Delhi’s diplomatic priority changed under the Modi administration which looks at Israel for ‘Make in India’ initiative, for its quest for innovations and technology, for  defence purchase, cyber security,  ‘Namami Gange’ project and others. 
 
Moreover, Israel matters to India to keep the US on its side on all major international issues. And then in consonance with rising global profile of India, decision makers concentrate more on national interest than ideologies and symbols. Perhaps, Palestine doesn’t fit in to that bracket. But that doesn’t mean leaving Palestinians to their own fate.
 
India’s stand is that comprehensive resolution of decades long Israel-Palestine conflict could be addressed only through sustained political dialogue and peaceful means only. India is for the early resumption of dialogue between Israel and Palestine. In terms of assistance, India is among a few non-Muslim countries which works to uplift and progress of Palestine and its people. Under South-South cooperation, India has set up centre of excellence in IT and innovation in Ramallah and several vocational training centres across Palestine. India is also involved in establishing a techno park in Ramallah and institute of diplomacy, and India-Palestine Centre of Excellence in ICT in Gaza.  Despite this, the Indian prime minister will not undertake a visit to Palestine.
 
However, in order to keep Islamic countries of the Middle-East in good humour and save the country’s neutral image from any damage, India invited Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on May 16 to New Delhi for summit level meeting. It is unclear when Modi will himself go to Palestine. Nevertheless, India under Modi is doing what the country couldn’t do under previous governments. It has embraced Israel as the latter is known for its technology and expertise to deal with terrorism.
 

Comments

 

Other News

Thus ends the Chidamba-Run!

The arrest of Palaniappan Chidambaram, former union minister of home & finance, by the CBI, albeit after his much dramatic disappearance and reappearance, has brought an end to his long run from the arms of law. As a finance minister, being at the other end of the law, the former ministe

What Imran’s rant against RSS tells us about Modi’s Kashmir policy

An unintended consequence of the inversion of Article 370 and the division of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories is the curious revival of Pakistan’s interest in Indian history and sociology. For the first time in decades, a Pakistan prime minister made the Rasht

On a Personal note with actor Neeraj Kabi

Neeraj Kabi, a critically acclaimed self-taught actor, theatre director, and acting teacher, has worked in Odiya, Hindi and international cinema, theatre, television and web series. In 2014 he was honoured with the best actor award at the 4th Sakhalin International Film Festival for his role in the fil

Talking to Trump, Modi hits out at Imran’s anti-India rhetoric

Prime minister Narendra Modi has told US president Donald Trump that Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan’s “incitement to anti-India violence” was not good for peace in south Asia. Modi and Trump had a telephonic conversation – their first since the Aug 5 move to chang

Paediatricians call for junking unhealthy food

As children are consuming more and more fast foods and sweetened beverages are becoming, leading to obesity and related non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) has come out with guidelines on such substances. The dietary guidelines under its nutrition chapter

Modi’s forward-looking I-Day speech lays down 5-year agenda

Contrast prime minister Narendra Modi’s first Independence Day speech in 2014 with his latest, the first in the second term, and you know the difference. His first speech was less about future and much about the basic needs like Swachch Bharat (clean India). His speech on Thursday, on the other hand,



Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter