How Modi will rectify India's six decades of neglect towards Israel

Balbir Punj
Balbir PunjApr 04, 2017 | 12:57

How Modi will rectify India's six decades of neglect towards Israel

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Tel Aviv later this year, he will correct a long tale of neglect and even diplomatic rejection of a friendship on offer for six long decades merely to please the Arabs abroad and cater to the appeasement of the Islamic lobby at home.

This is no party rhetoric. Take a look at the relationship between India and Jews over the millennia. India was the land of refuge for Jews as well as a trading centre for international trade for the children of Abraham (as per Yahowite belief) centuries before disaster struck them in AD 70.


Roman Emperor Titus, in an overreaction to the Jewish rebellion against the Roman colonialism, reduced their prestigious temple built by their emperor Solomon to rubble, killed some 70,000 Jews — men, women and children — and banished the entire ethnic group out of their ancestral home in Palestine.


Since then, the Jews have been wandering like nomads from place to place, mostly in Europe where Christian forces — in power and outside it — made it a pastime to abuse them, rob them and ill-treat them with periodic pogroms.

Under Adolf Hitler this horrific ethnic brutality against them reached its acme. All these centuries when the Jews were targets of mass hatred in Christian lands, they found respect, dignity and freedom in India, more precisely in Hindu kingdoms.

In the port city of Kochi, for instance, stands a Jewish synagogue and the Jewish lane.

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Tel Aviv later this year, he will correct a long tale of neglect and even diplomatic rejection of a friendship on offer for six long decades.

Visitors to this heritage place — there are only a handful of Jews left there out of the thousands who resided there for centuries and are now in Israel — note two things: one the locale and two the copper plates given by the Kochi kings leasing the land to construct the synagogue and right to live in the land around.


That a Hindu ruler should allow these abode seekers place to live freely may be no surprise; but to allow these migrants their temple exactly touching the royal palace-cum-Hindu temple in an age of huge ethnic and political hostilities is a tribute to the Hindu mind and its breadth of universal vision.

Not just in Kochi, in many other places across this country, the Jews flourished while they were being subjected to atrocities in Christian Europe.

Post-Independence, India recognised Israel and diplomatic engagement with the newly independent Israel were beginning to take shape when the Arab hostility to Israel began to enter Jawaharlal Nehru’s policy.

For no reason other than placating Muslims in India, New Delhi declared total hostility to Israel despite the diplomatic recognition of the new nation created by the UN.

Israel became the new international untouchable for India.


For decades the Palestinian Muslims practised terrorism like abduction, assassination, sabotage of public buildings, bombings and hijacking of passenger aircraft beside ground-level hostility against Israel in general and Jews in particular.

The 13 Arab nations not only cut off diplomatic relations with Israel but also sought to surround the tiny Jewish state (compared to the large Muslim ones around it).


We rightly oppose terrorism. But history sitting in judgement will ask us why our government in the 1970s and 1980s did not seek to gather international opinion against terrorism regularly practised by the Palestinian militants against Israel when planes with Israeli passengers among others were hijacked and held to ransom.

However, when it came to Pakistan’s attack on India in 1965 and China’s in 1962 these same non-aligned humbugs did not side with India; they were more eager to ignore the Indian complaint about Chinese aggression.

Only Israel did. Despite being treated by New Delhi as a pariah, Tel Aviv through back-channels helped us with vital intelligence inputs and also critical equipment.


The admiration for Israel facing total hostility from 13 Arab nations around it has been worldwide. Egypt itself, after leading three wars against Israel and getting disastrously defeated, had the courage to sign a peace treaty under American prodding.

Over 161 out of 192 UN member nations are now friends with Israel. With India continuing to face terrorism and China seeking to establish the Beijing hegemony over much of the Asian continent, relationship with Israel is of immense importance in pursuing India as a fully defended country.

The prime minister, who is visiting Israel, had earlier separately visited Palestine state, clearly delineating that he does not hyphenate Israel with Palestine regimes.

The proposed visit thus will put India back into the developing number one global conflict area in seeking peace through negotiations for lasting accommodation and abandoning the idea of exclusivity.

Israel too needs an ancient friend to tell its exclusivists that there cannot be a return to historic borders of the time of Solomon.

(Courtesy: Mail Today)

Last updated: April 04, 2017 | 12:57
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