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Israel & India Alignment

Mon Jan 28, 2002 2:59 am

The following article appeared in Canada's national newspaper this weekend (National Post) about the strategic alignment between India & Israel and the remarkable parallels between these 2 countries. Interesting reading.
India, Israel 'made for each other'

Alexander Rose
National Post
WASHINGTON - It is coming up to a decade now -- Jan. 29, to be precise -- since India and Israel established formal diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level.

Since then, Israel has become India's No. 2 arms supplier (after Russia) and now Jerusalem is planning to sell it Phalcon airborne early-warning systems worth US$1-billion.

The news follows reports India has taken delivery of Green Pine radar of the Arrow system, upgraded cannons and unmanned aerial vehicles -- all useful weapons for guarding the line of control in Kashmir. In future, India and Israel will work together on developing drones and defence computers, as well as the military's bread-and-butter weaponry, such as advanced tanks, anti-ship missiles and attack-helicopters.

In the past 10 years, trade between the two has quintupled to US$1-billion a year, mostly in the high-tech agricultural sector where Israeli advances in sprinkler and drip irrigation, dryland farming and hybrid seeds are unsurpassed. Indeed, given the dozens of visits exchanged in recent years, there sometimes seems to be some sort of Hindu-Jewish mutual-appreciation society of ministers, soldiers and businessmen.

The Indo-Israel relationship is rather like the film, When Harry Met Sally, in that it took years for two diverse countries, who have so much in common, to realize they are "made for each other."

Both were established in 1947-48; both are surrounded by enemies, externally and internally; both are democracies; both are first-rate technological and intellectual powers; both are nuclear states, both possess English-speaking, educated middle classes (in India, no fewer than 100 million people); both are young states with ancient civilizations and both have British-based political structures. And both are members of a coalescing, Washington-centred, global anti-terrorist network.

India's long alienation from Israel never really made much sense.

Politics, of course, played a role: The old-time Congress party, which ruled India from 1947 to 1978, was permeated with Fabianist socialism, which, when combined with the corrosive acid of 1960s radicalism, eventually drove New Delhi into Third Worldism, that pro-Soviet front, the Non-Aligned Movement, and backing for the "anti-colonialist" revolutionary struggle, especially in Asia and the Middle East. Israel, the "Zionist, racist, imperialist" entity, topped the hate list.

Its geographic and economic position also obliged India to try to keep on the Arab/Muslim world's good side in order to counter-balance Pakistan's sway.

But, time and time again, Delhi's hopes were disappointed.

In the 1962 Indo-Chinese war, the Arab/Muslim world offered no backing to its friend, and that year went so far as to endorse a UN resolution backing Pakistan's position on Kashmir.

In the 1967 Six-Day War, India obediently denounced Jerusalem, only to discover two years later at the Rabat Conference that Delhi, despite being invited, was embarrassingly denied entry after Pakistan objected to its presence.

Economically, the 1973-74 oil crisis forced India to keep toeing the line for fear of falling afoul of the anti-Israel extortion scheme organized by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

In the 1980s, however, under Rajiv Gandhi, visits of Israeli officials travelling on "tourist visas" were frequently arranged. India quietly dropped official pronouncements on the Arab-Israeli conflict, instead confining itself to murmuring Israelis had a right to live in peace.

The outbreak of the Pakistani-backed terrorist insurgency in Kashmir in 1989, and Arab accusations India was "illegally occupying" Muslim lands, no doubt also helped persuade Indian politicians that the anti-colonialist revolutionary struggle was not quite so romantic when it was directed at oneself.

Like Turkey, which is also distrusted by the Arab world and has aligned itself with Israel, India totted up the costs and benefits and decided where its best interests lay.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
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RE: Israel & India Alignment

Mon Jan 28, 2002 3:20 am

India's friendship with Israel has nothing to do with Kashmir or the Palestine struggle. That's another of the wests (mis) perceptions.

The Arabs will not let Israel alone even if the Palestinian cause is addressed. And the Pukis wont leave India alone even if Kashmir *problem* is addressed to their benefit. Because These are not the ACTUAL issues. The REAL issue is a deep rooted hatred that Israels Arab neighbours have for Israel, and the equally deep rooted hatred that Paki generals have for India.

The Western countries *choose* to overlook this fact.

Both India and Israel are drawn together not because of Kashmir or Palestine, but because we see ourselves on the same side in this war between civilisations.
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RE: Israel & India Alignment

Mon Jan 28, 2002 3:25 am

Plus Yahoodis and Hindoos have always had historically good relations. India was probably one of the only places on earth Jews of the Diaspora were able to set themselves up as a community for thousands of years without any real persecution or discrimination.
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RE: Israel & India Alignment

Mon Jan 28, 2002 3:56 am

Jews have been living in India for many centuries without facing persecution from the local people. Cochin, my hometown, has one of the best known Jewish synagogues in that part of the world. The Jews have been part of the lucrative spice trade there for many centuries. An interesting website on the Jews of Cochin is

RE: Israel & India Alignment

Mon Jan 28, 2002 4:17 am

what a fascinating link.

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RE: Israel & India Alignment

Mon Jan 28, 2002 5:36 am

about 10 % of the population of israel is moroccan, jews settled in morocco centuries before the arabs came over, there is even the world congress of the moroccan jews.
i know that morocco is secretly the best arab ally to israel due to the fact that key positions in the moroccan government ( andre azoulay, the king`s prime counselor is of jewish confession ) as well as some ambassadors
lots of moroccan prime ministers in the past 50 years ( since the independance ) were jewish.

so one should not say that all arab countries are against israel.
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RE: Israel & India Alignment

Mon Jan 28, 2002 5:53 am

There is also an element of expediency in this relationship. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend". It's only natural that two democratic nations bordering dictatorial Muslim neighbours would becomes allies.

Akin to the alignment in the 70's/80's between Israel, South Africa & Taiwan...all nations which at the time were Western and isolated.


I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.

RE: Israel & India Alignment

Mon Jan 28, 2002 9:38 am

It doesn't hurt that Pakistani passports contain a paragraph that reads something to the extent of "all travel to Israel is prohibited". I don't recall Israeli passports mentioning Pakistan.

So Pak dosen't like Israel, India doesn't like Pak, reason stands Israel and India like Israel and Turkey should become friendly.

As for Morocco, thats an intersesting point as the late King Hassan of Morocco was a strong advocate for Israel in his country (or as strong as an Arab head of state could be). In fact during Hassan's rule Israel and Morocco shared strategic talks on trade, security, and relationship building and many Moroccon Jews were allowed to make aliya to Israel. At his funeral Israel was represented at the highest level.

Jordan and Qatar are two other countries Israel has a strong possability of becoming partners with once the violence ends as both are led by moderate pro western rulers and have reasonably higher standards of living then the rest of the Muslim world.

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RE: Israel & India Alignment

Mon Jan 28, 2002 9:56 am

i didnt know that some passports stated that all travel to Israel is prohibited". i find that its weird, i mean some people would love to go israel as tourists.
ours doesn't state any restrictions...

what other countries's passports do state the same thing ?
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RE: Israel & India Alignment

Mon Jan 28, 2002 4:34 pm

...que sur son cul! Ha ha c'est tellement vrai, mais "on" a tendance à l'oublier...Merci!!
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Tue Jan 29, 2002 3:06 am

toda, tu peux m expliquer ce qu`il y a de marrant, j ai rien pige la!
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RE: Israel & India Alignment

Tue Jan 29, 2002 3:17 am

ton profile, Max; j'étais nerveux...ça m'a fait éclater de rire tout seul comme un débile, voilà!

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