India Considering Changing Pro-PA Stance at UN

India, which enjoys ties with Israel, reportedly considering starting to abstain in UN votes related to the Palestinian Authority.

Ben Ariel ,

Binyamin Netanyahu, Narendra Modi
Binyamin Netanyahu, Narendra Modi
Avi Ohayon/Flash 90

India is considering changing its traditional pro-Palestinian Arab stance and abstain in United Nations votes related to the Palestinian Authority, The Hindu news website reported on Sunday.

The move could amount to a tectonic shift in the country’s foreign policy.

Two sources within the government confirmed to The Hindu that the change, which will be a fundamental departure from India’s support to the cause of a Palestinian state, was under consideration.

“Like other foreign policy issues, the [Narendra] Modi government is looking at India’s voting record at the United Nations on the Palestinian issue,” a government source told the website. The change only needs an administrative nod, the second source said.

Modi has been touted as a staunch ally of Israel. He and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met in New York several months ago, where Netanyahu told Modi, "We are excited about the possibilities of stronger ties with India, and the sky is the limit."

India’s Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh visited Israel in November, becoming the first Indian Home Minister to visit Israel since a 2000 trip that began resurgent bilateral ties.

India is currently the largest buyer of Israeli defense hardware, and Israel's military delegation to India is second only in size to its delegation to America. The two countries also have a Joint Working group on counter-terrorism.

Modi recently approved the purchase of 262 Israeli-made Barak 1 surface-to-air missiles, in a $144 million deal that will arm India's 14 battleships over the course of five years.

India has been actively buying Israeli weapons; last year it approved the purchase of 15 Heron drones.

Until now, and despite the growing defense and diplomatic ties with Israel, India’s government had baulked at making any change in India’s support to the Palestinian Authority.

Even former Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee’s government, which invited Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to India in 2003, did not amend India’s voting record at the UN, notes The Hindu.