It does not take long for the world order to change. Countries which keep up to the phenomenon while having a sensible diplomacy stand out. For long since its independence, India ignored Israel and for no good. And it’s no brainer to figure out what exactly influenced India’s foreign policy Vis a Vis Israel. While internal politics does impact relations with other countries, India missed a chance to get on the bus with Israel in time and that kept it aloof from a vast world of technological advancements where the latter despite her geographical diminutiveness, was one of the leaders.
But with Prime Minister Modi at the helm of affairs, things changed – not quite drastically but there’s a wave for sure. We would have been in a situation to use ‘drastically’ but recently India voted for Palestine at the UN General Assembly and joined 127 other in favour of a resolution opposing the decision of US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
While it was certain that most of the countries were going to vote against Trump, India could have just abstained from voting. When dilemma looks you in the face, it does not always have to be answered with a yes or no. One can simply turn away too. Neutrality for long has been India’s forte – using the same principal India, was once the leader of NAM – forum that might have saved us from the horrors of the Cold War but did impact us negatively as well.
However, now that the current government has made its stand clear with Israel and the bonhomie between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PM Narendra Modi is for everyone to see, there’s no point going back.
Days ahead of PM Modi’s Palestine visit, Palestine ambassador to India Adnan Abu Alhaijaa has tried his best to get India to side with his country. The lure is not a direct one but there’s a hint that Palestine now acknowledges the power India is at the global level and does not wide the latter to side with its staunch enemy cum neighbour – Israel.
Speaking to India Today the Palestinian envoys made a weird demand, they said – ‘It could be the quartet with India and other countries to find a real solution for the Palestinian cause. ‘Mr. Modi has good relations with both the countries and I think he could play a very good role in this matter, especially India always knew the history of Palestinian cause.’ He went ahead and said that Prime Minister Modi could play a significant role in bringing normalcy in the region.
It’s imperative for PM Modi to maintain a balance since he is travelling to Palestine and will certainly have goals set out. But India will do well to not irk Israel, whose support to the Indian cause has often been one-sided. Israel’s measures are extreme and it does not shy away from flexing muscles to get enemies in line – something which India needs to learn. That Netanyahu does not shy away from visiting India and openly warning against the dangers of radical Islam must always be borne in mind while any move is made with/in Palestine.
Israel and India share common pains of terrorism. For long India has been vocal against the idea of having a mediator to broker peace with Pakistan. Now that Palestine wants India to play a similar role in its relations with Israel, it will be ludicrous to even think about that.
Friendship in the world of diplomacy is shrewd, you want strong and influencing countries on your side. While it’s important to feel for issues like peace and mutual co-existence, sometimes taking sides is the only way out. Also remember, if it’s not your war, be on the side that is going to win. PM Modi led India has chosen a side and there’s no harm in flaunting its decision at the global level!