Sunday, July 9, 2017

India's shift toward Israel a snub to Plestinians

By Gulamhusein A Abba

How things have changed even in my lifetime! Gone are the days when India was an important part of the Non Aligned Movement. For a time it was even perceived as leaning to the left. Now, under Modi, India has swung to the extreme right.

Nehru’s sympathies lay with the Palestinians and those suffering in Gaza.

In 1956 when the UN Emergency force came to guard the Armistice Demarcation Lines drawn in the battle between Israel and Egypt, it included a detachment of Indian troops which remained there till the 1967 Six Day war between Jordan, Egypt and Syria.

Modi next to Netanyahu doing Namaste
Indian military presence is still there. Recently three Indian warships landed in Haifa, no, not to guard aid ships coming from various parts of the world with supplies for Gaza but to take part in joint exercises with the Israeli navy

Add to this fact that when Modi visited Israel in July for a three day visit, he did not schedule a single meeting with Palestinian leadership. It was all about signing a series of economic agreements and expanding defense ties into a broader trade and technology relationship in areas such as water conservation, space and agriculture. The deals included purchase of $2 billion worth of weapons technology from them.

“We expected him to visit both Israel and Palestine,” Palestinian Deputy Foreign Minister Tasir Jaradat told Al Jazeera, adding that to “play an important role between the two sides and to be able to spread the message of peace, one should visit both.”

Modi giving a warm hug to Netanyahu
The Palestinians wanted Modi to be more like Gandhi who was strongly against the occupation of Israeli territories by Israel.

Not only Palestinians but some Indians back home were critical. They felt that Prime Minister Modi is developing a closer ideological relationship with his Israeli counterpart.

The far-left Communist Party of India (Marxist) was blunt.

“The visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel marks a rupture in the long-held position of India which has viewed Israel as an occupying power of Palestinian territories,” the party said in a statement.

It branded India’s “strategic partnership” with Israel “a virtual abandonment of the Palestinian cause” that was “reinforced by Modi not visiting Ramallah and the Palestinian Authority.

Particularly disturbing were pictures of Modi giving a warm hug to Benjamin Netanyahu and both of them frolicking in the waves on visit to mobile desalination unit