Modi Is Coming to Jerusalem

(BESA Center-Bar-Ilan University) Prof. Efraim Inbar - Since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP party came to power in May 2014, his administration has shed its predecessors' reservations about regular public discourse regarding India's ties with Israel. Modi's trip to Israel on July 4 is not planned to be "balanced" with a visit to the Palestinian Authority, indicating that India has freed its relations with Israel from its historical commitment to the Palestinian issue. Indeed, India has modified its voting pattern at international organizations by refraining to join the automatic majority against Israel. India and Israel display high levels of threat perception and share a common strategic agenda. They are both involved in protracted conflicts characterized by complex ethnic and religious components not always well understood by outsiders. Both face weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the hands of their rivals. The two nations share a common threat: radical offshoots of Islam in the greater Middle East. Moreover, India fears the Pakistani nuclear arsenal might ultimately fall into the hands of Islamic radicals. Initially, Russian failure to deliver promised weapons at expected prices and/or schedules led India to turn to Israeli companies to upgrade its aging Soviet platforms, such as its Mig-21s and T-72 tanks. Today, Israel is India's third-largest arms supplier. India and Israel represent two ancient civilizations. They share a British colonial past and were the first to become independent (in 1947 and 1948, respectively) in the post-WWII decolonization wave. Both were born as the result of messy partitions and have maintained democratic regimes under adverse conditions ever since. The writer is professor emeritus of political studies at Bar-Ilan University and founding director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

2017-07-03 00:00:00

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