India- so. PM Modi’s visit last year to Israel

India- Israel Relationship

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited India during 14 Jan to
19 Jan. It was a 6-day visit. During this PM Netanyahu visited Delhi, Agra,
Ahmedabad and Mumbai. It is remarkable in the sense that its 2nd
visit by any Israeli PM (Fist was by Ariel Sharon who visited India in 2003). The
visit has further importance as it commemorates the completion of 25 years
since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

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Relationship in the past

India formally
recognised Israel post-independence in September 1950. India valued its
relationship with Israel, but not at the expense of its friendships with Arab
and other Muslim states.

Indian President Pranab
Mukherjee visited Israel in 2015 he was the first head of state from India to
do so.

PM Modi’s visit
last year to Israel was the first such visit of any Indian PM to Israel.

Prospects for India- Israel Relationship

·      
Previous two decades have witnessed a steady
strengthening of the India–Israel Relationship, especially in the defence and
security areas where the two countries’ shared concerns about Islamic extremism,
have offered common ground for cooperation.

·      
Government of various states in India have sent
agricultural delegations to Israel, and India can learn from Israel’s ability
to make its deserts bloom through water management and conservation techniques.

·      
Both India and Israel are pledged to further
deepening and diversifying the relation in space, science and technology.

·      
Israeli tourism to India has increased remarkably
in the last two decades, Israeli vacationers are frequently visiting places
like the Kullu valley and Dharamsala, Goa (whose beaches have become favourite
of Israeli tourists).

·      
The migration of members of a ‘lost tribe’ from
India’s North-East, the Beni Menashe, (identified as a Jewish group), has strengthened
the relationship.

·      
Public opinion polls project high regard in each
nation for the other, with India often seen as the world’s most pro-Israeli
country after the United States.

·      
Recent findings of huge oil and gas deposits in
the Mediterranean Sea can make Israel a potential exporter and India being a
major importer can get the benefits out of it.

MoUs/Agreements signed during the visit of Prime Minister of Israel to
India (Jan 2018)

1.     
MoU on Cyber Security Cooperation.

2.     
MoU on Cooperation in Oil
and Gas Sector.

3.     
Protocol on Amendments to the Air
Transport Agreement.

4.     
Agreement on Film-co-production.

5.     
MoU on Cooperation in the field of Research
in Homeopathic Medicine.

6.     
MoU for cooperation in the field of space.

7.     
Memorandum of Intent between Invest
India and Invest in Israel.

8.     
Letter of Intent for cooperation in metal-air
batteries.

9.     
Letter of Intent for cooperation in concentrated
solar thermal technologies.

To promote Innovation and entrepreneurship “International
Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology” (iCreate), was inaugurated in
Ahmedabad, by Indian PM Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin
Netanyahu.

 

Challenges in India Israel Relationship

·      
Delinking Israel and Palestine in India’s
foreign policy is not that easy. India has continued political, diplomatic and
developmental support to Palestine. Although there is an increased focus on
closer ties with Israel, but India must create a balance between traditional
support to Palestine and new emerging geopolitical situations.

·      
Indian maintains its position that strengthening
the relationship with Israel will further strengthen the Palestinian Cause not
weaken it. India is firm on its stand over Independent Palestinian state through
peaceful and diplomatic means.

·      
India abstained on a UNHRC resolution in 2015,
and criticized Israel for aerial Bombing on Gaza.

·      
Increasing defence ties with other defence
partner and balancing it vis-à-vis Israel is a cumbersome task.

Way Forward

Despite having India voted against Israel at the United
Nations, (Dec 2017) (on the issue of making Jerusalem as new capital of Israel),
the Indian Government is focussing to set a precedent in its policy towards the
Israel-Palestine issue as Israel’s contribution to India’s civil and defence
requirement is immense. And a shift in stance in future may be seen.

 

 

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