Trump can end Israel-PLO impasse using India’s Vedanta Solution
Trump can end Israel-PLO impasse using India’s Vedanta Solution

The first state visit ever to Israel by an Indian prime minister – Narendra Modi – could generate the impetus President Trump needs to end the diplomatic void caused by the breakdown in negotiations between Israel and the PLO since 2014. 

The obvious warmth, mutual admiration and friendship shared by Modi and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was clearly evident – contrasting with the hostility, acrimony and venom shown to Israel that has become the norm at the United Nations, UNESCO and UNHRC.

Israel has historically had a long love affair with India’s Vedanta Movement (also known as the Ramakrishna movement) – a worldwide spiritual movement headquartered near Kolkota in West Bengal. 

Vedanta wishes and prays for the well-being, happiness and enlightenment of all the people of the world. 

Writing on Modi’s visit - Khinvraj Jangid pointed out that Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion:

“… wrote, in September 1957, to Dr. Indra Sen (of the Aurobindo Ashram) praising the distinctive Indian approach to religion:'From Buddhism I have learned much about the history of religion and philosophy in India in general – and after I was enchanted by the Vedanta I began the study of the schools of Sankhya and Yoga.' In his bedroom in the Negev kibbutz of Sde Boker, there was only one leader’s portrait: Gandhi’s.”

Modi himself reportedly attended a comprehensive course studying Vedanta. 

Vedanta’s views on peace in the Middle East (“the Vedanta Solution”) were published in the Times of London on 16 March 1982 by Vedanta’s British Chairman Swami Avyaktananda: 

“It is generally not known that the East Bank [of the Jordan River – ed] was a part of ancient Palestine and when Britain obtained the Mandate for Palestine, the League of Nations included it in Palestine”

Swami Avyaktananda quoted as his sources:
·    Two maps in the 14th edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica (1929)
·    J.F. Horrabin’s map on page 64 of “The Life of Jesus” by Conrad Noel (1937)
·    The map of Palestine on page 18 of “A Short History of the Hebrews” by B.K. Rattey (1931)
·    2 Sam ii 

The Swami continued:

“The major portion of Jordan today is really East Palestine, the country on the other side of the Jordan being West Palestine. The handing-over of the territory east of the Jordan River to the Emir Abdullah was, to all intents and purposes, the first partition of Palestine [in 1946 – ed.]through which a large portion of Palestine [78% - ed.] went to Arab hands. This partition was not considered when the United Nations framed the Plan of partition of Palestine into Jewish Palestine and Arab Palestine [in 1947 – ed.].

"If the Palestine Liberation Organisation accepts the historical facts presented here, considers sympathetically the Jewish aspirations and struggle for the National Home, National Language and National Culture that existed for about 2000 years, and agrees to rethink the problems of the Middle East with goodwill and understanding then the problem of the Middle East will be solved without difficulty. The whole of ancient Palestine will be shared by Jews and Arabs through an amicable settlement if the Palestinian National Home is established in the East Bank of the Jordan. It can be called “New Palestine” and this naming will be quite correct.”

The PLO, Jordan and Israel can cooperatively implement the Vedanta Solution - extended to incorporate the allocation of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria ('West Bank') between Jordan and Israel – or Jordan and Israel can so act jointly if the PLO refuses to participate. 

Embracing the two-State Vedanta Solution – with Modi as a possible interlocutor – could be the Trojan Horse President Trump needs to broker a deal to end the Arab-Jewish conflict.