The chemistry between Modi and Netanyahu matters a lot for India
The game is changing and this path-breaking journey of engagement marks a special collaboration much beyond guns and home security co-operation
‘Swagat hai aapka’ were the most comforting and overwhelming words by Israel Premier Benjamin Netanyahu for his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi when the latter was landing on the Jewish homeland after 70 years. Much awaited visit, in all its sense.
That was the first ever historic visit by a sitting Indian Prime Minister at the Ben Gurian International Airport. When PM Narendra Modi landed on Israeli land for a three-day-visit, it was truly a big celebrating moment for both the countries. Israel PM Netanyahu along with his whole cabinet gave an overwhelming welcome to Modi which was afresh in all ways and was not given to anyone before.
In a most special gesture to mark the ever first visit of an Indian PM to the Jewish nation, a flower gets Modi’s name is the symbol of blooming relationship ever since Independence.
From shaking hands to bear hugs to using Hebrew by Indian PM and Netanyahu using Hindi to welcome each other on social media were some of the great gestures displayed.
The three-day tour created a big wave on social media especially when two Prime Ministers seen wading barefoot into the surf at the beach in Israel. From exchanging gifts to having food to leisurely walk at a beach in Israel by PM Modi and his counterpart Netanyahu shown a real chemistry of a true old friendship.
The two beautiful democracies have seen strengthening the bilateral ties after seven long decades. This path-breaking journey of engagement marks a special collaboration much beyond guns and home security co operation.
‘I for I’ meaning India for Israel echoed well on the Jewish land giving a strong message by India, obviously, help Israel to break its isolation on the world stage. The reflection of the pro-Israel sentiments by PM Modi was perhaps a bold step of making Israel the most trusted ally in West Asia which Congress or the Left would have never allowed happening because of their historical consensus.
Breaking the Gordian knot, this visit has not just broken the secret friendship of the two countries but marks a turning point in bilateral ties after 25 years of diplomatic relation. It reflects the full fledged bilateral ties between both the countries which will promote the economic and strategic interests among others in days to come.
Budding friendship breaks Nehruvian consensus
In building friendship with Israel ,Modi breaks Nehruvian consensus. The three- day tour of Modi to Israel has bridged a huge gap formed by the first Indian Prime Minister Pandit Nehru since 1947.
Taking history into account India’s stand on the establishment of the state of Israel was affected by many factors. Leader of non-aligned movement, Nehru took a position against Israel’s admission to the United Nations and voted against the partitioning of Palestine plan in 1947. Nehru along with other Indian Independence leaders believed not to keep full fledged diplomatic ties with Israel at the cost of antagonising its relation with the friends seated in Arab nations.
Nehru government did not want to openly pursue the bilateral ties with the Jewish land so they supported the Palestine cause while not permitting Israel to open its embassy in New Delhi.
PM Modi’s visit is a significant step towards a confident India and a full stop to a dilemma which was created long back. One can say now there is no inhibition of past leaders who were ambivalent towards Israel state, making its strategic partner. The best thing one could see there were no sign of protest from Muslim community from India which was an excuse given the previous governments in power to avoid on going full throttle with Israel.
Without abandoning the Palestinians cause, India has improved the bonding with Israel, that’s truly a diplomatic masterstroke by Narendra Modi. In a joint statement released in Jerusalem, terrorism was much prioritised. Recognising the grave threat to global peace and stability the two Prime Ministers strongly condemned terrorism in all forms and manifestations.
Modi also signed seven Memorandum of understandings ( MoUs) for increased cooperation in key sectors like space technology, agriculture and water conservation. They together have noted the importance of going hand in hand for implementing mutually beneficial solution in key issues like fighting with terrorism.
They are giving out strong message to their other counterparts with the joint statement on terrorism; indeed, Pakistan is getting really irritated with this.
They also underscored the importance of bilateral ties in defence cooperation over the years as Israel is the largest supplier of arms and ammunitions to India after the US. Assuming the future development should focus on a joint development of defence products they together have signed deals on defence including the transfer of technology from Israel for enhancing initiatives like ‘Make in India’ by Indian government.
Expressing a convergence of will between the two parties , indicating an intended common line of action , the two civilisation-states also agreed for greater cooperation in innovation and entrepreneurship like start-ups to encourage youths of both the countries unlined their expectations that the granting of visa to business people up to five years would encourage the commercial and economic exchanges.
Water conservation and its purification and increasing productivity in agriculture were two crucial deals India signed with Israel in deepening the bilateral cooperation. Enhancing the ongoing cooperation between Israel space agency and Indian space organisation, both have nodded the willingness in joint fund of scientific research.
Appreciating the contribution of both the countries, Modi announced opening of cultural centre in Israel. In a move to enhance the bilateral ties they agreed to facilitate the promotion of travel and tourism by through further enhancements of air link and connectivity.
The game is changing
In improving ties with Israelites Vis a Vis Palestinians, Modi has made a realistic and bold move for dealing with the West Asian countries in future. Time is ripe, this visit concerned with much fanfare.
Israel and India proved many times to be real friends at critical situations when both needed each other’s support. Israel was an excellent source for arms and ammunitions at times of wars, with china in 1962 and with Pakistan. When Kargil war broke out, an Isareli team flew to India to offer help even though the diplomatic ties were not that much good at that time.
India and Israel indeed have much in common as the Jews are victims of same forces, who plundered, enslaved, looted and ravaged India for centuries. It is no secret that the duo Indo- Israel shares a strong and old strategic bond. In undertaking his visit, Modi has busted some myths domestically. Moreover he has exposed the false narrative which insulted the Indians of particular community, doubted their national interest.
The latest nexus definitely has made major shifts in international chessboards that would define a strong multinational equation, with India, Israel and the US as the stake holders. PM Modi’s visit to Jewish homeland is seen as an acknowledgement of the realisation of India’s ties with the US of which Israel is an important factor.
In that context it is one of the most crucial foreign policy steps taken by the Modi Government. It could help the US shaping their Indo-pacific strategy and may contribute to the idea of an Asian NATO to counter China’s assertion in the region.
Some where the Trump government also contributes in the building friendship of India with Israel. Reasons for the delay in the meetings may be the Obama government in the United States. To avoid any kind of political dissonance in Washington as Obama had fraught ties with Netanyahu. So may be because of this reason India took time to give bear hugs to Israel and end its rebuffed relationship.
The power corridors in Pakistan must have buzzed with the news over the true friendship of India and Israel, it would turn out to be a threat to the Islamic state.
Modi does not want to create any rift in ties with the Arab nations. As a leader of the world’s largest democracy Modi visited Saudi Arabia and Iran last year before landing Jewish land. Although Israeli press much appreciated and applauded Modi for not visiting Palestine. They saw it as a significant signal of support for Israel.