India's Relationship With Israel

In 1992, India established a full diplomatic relationship with Israel, and since then, the two countries have signed several defense deals. ...While there seems to be no immediate danger of things taking a turn for the worse, it is a cause for concern that a member of the Nehru family is once again the de facto head of the government in India.

Contact Editor
Arvind Kumar,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
With the present government in India consisting of a coalition between Marxists and the Congress Party (which was responsible for anti-Semitic policies in the past), the nature of the relationship between India and Israel has once again come into focus. The reason for the historically unfriendly behavior towards Israel by various past Indian governments becomes easy to understand if one views India's foreign policy as a projection onto the international arena of its questionable domestic policies.

India's Muslim population is the world's second largest - some say third, but many believe that the official census tends to underplay the true numbers of Muslims - and holds the country for ransom. Those who appease Muslims in order to garner their vote dominate Indian politics.

Indian laws are heavily skewed to favor Muslims. The Indian government allows Muslims to control their religious institutions, and even subsidizes Haj pilgrimages and madrasas; yet, the government appropriates revenues from many Hindu temples and imposes restraints on Hindus who wish to open schools and colleges. Even though the country was split once to placate Muslims - thus forming Pakistan, an Islamic theocracy - Muslims continue to make ever-increasing demands and refuse to live in harmony with others. In Jammu and Kashmir, the only Muslim majority state in India, Hindus have faced ethnic cleansing and nearly four hundred thousand survivors live in refugee camps in squalid conditions.

This is a case of people living in refugee camps under their own government.

The eagerness of ambitious politicians to woo the favor of Muslims resulted in India becoming the first country to ban the book The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie, following the call of fundamentalist clerics who felt the book offended Islam. When the Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini died, India declared a three-day official period of mourning.

This placating attitude of Indian leaders found expression on the international front, too. India helped found the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), an irrelevant entity that did little else of note apart from serving the purpose of dictators and terrorists seeking acceptance from leaders of other countries. Yasser Arafat and Libya's Muammar Kaddafi used NAM to gain acceptability, while Iraq's Saddam Hussein was keen to host the NAM summit in order to be seen as a leader on the global stage.

The need for leaders such as Saddam Hussein and Muammar Kaddafi to associate themselves with NAM in order to gain credibility finds correspondence in Indian politics. Despite their hatred for Hindus, branding their opponents "Hindu fundamentalists", Communists and others who pander to the demands of Muslims gain respect by associating themselves with Hindus. They understand that their reputation, as well as that of NAM, would have been in tatters if India had been a Communist or Islamic state. Even India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who was an admirer of Josef Stalin and mimicked the Soviet economic model in India, chose not to declare India to be an overtly Communist state.

NAM was founded by Nehru and the strongmen of Communist Yugoslavia, Islamic Egypt, Islamic Indonesia, et al., and gave Indian prime ministers who belonged to the Nehru family the illusion that they were world leaders, even though their focus was limited to Islamic and Communist regimes. Nehru, supposedly described by the Chinese Premier Chou En Lai as a "useful idiot", turned down the offer of permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council for India and argued that Communist China should get the seat instead.

The misguided narrow focus on the welfare of Muslims and Communists, while only half-heartedly trying to keep the majority of the population contented, resulted in India treating Israel in a shameful manner, as well. Despite officially recognizing Israel, India did not maintain any diplomatic relationship with it for over four decades. It entered into a diplomatic relationship with the Palestinians before it did so with Israel, and India boycotted Israel in sports meets. This kind of treatment by the government is dictated by the hatred for Jews among Muslims in India. The hatred among Muslims in India is an Arab import, and a curious phenomenon, because many Muslims in India have never even interacted with a Jew.

Complaints of appeasement of Muslims by Indian politicians go back to the time of Mohandas Gandhi, who led the non-violent civil disobedience movement against British rule in India. When the Ottoman Empire was dismantled and Turkey was formed, Gandhi took the side of those calling for a pan-Islamic Caliphate, even though the Turks were guilty of the genocide of Armenians; it was one of many such acts that might have disqualified Gandhi from getting the Nobel Peace Prize. In addition, Gandhi - who said that the cry for a national home for Jews did not appeal to him - is blamed by his detractors for helping Indian Muslims partition India and form the Islamic country of Pakistan.

In the recent past, with the Nehru family out of power, the relationship between India and Israel has bloomed. In 1992, India established a full diplomatic relationship with Israel, and since then, the two countries have signed several defense deals. Many Israelis who have visited India as tourists during this period have had pleasant experiences. While there seems to be no immediate danger of things taking a turn for the worse, it is a cause for concern that a member of the Nehru family is once again the de facto head of the government in India. Hopefully, the shortsighted foreign policy of ostracizing Israel will not become reality again, leading to the souring of relations between India and Israel.