As World Turns Its Back on Israel, a Surprising Ally Emerges in India

December 23, 2014

2 min read

With the EU moving farther away from its traditional support of Israel, it seems as if the Jewish state is finding a new ally in an uncommon place.

According to The Hindu newspaper, India is considering moving away from supporting the Palestinian cause at the UN, Indian government sources said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is looking to move his foreign policies regarding the Palestinians to a state of abstention, the two sources claimed.

“Like other foreign policy issues, the Modi government is looking at India’s voting record at the United Nations on the Palestinian issue,” one of the sources explained. The second said that only an “administrative nod” would be needed to confirm the new policy.

The report comes on the heels of what many observers are describing as a new age in Israeli-Indian relations. Since coming to power in May, Modi has met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu several times leading to a significant warming in relations.

Last week, in honor of the Hanukkah holiday, Modi published a holiday greeting in Hebrew, surprising Jews, Israelis and Hebrew speakers around the world.

Taking to Twitter, Modi “wished his Jewish friends a happy Hanukkah! Many this Festival of Lights and the festive season ring in peace, hope and well-being for all.”

In September, Netanyahu and Modi met for the first time, marking a historical moment in which any Israeli and Indian premiers met in over a decade.

PM Modi's Hanukkah tweet.
PM Modi’s Hanukkah tweet.

“We are very excited by the prospects of greater and greater ties with India,” Netanyahu told reporters. “We think the sky’s the limit.”

Along with a warming of diplomatic relations, Israel and India are also engaging in new trade, defense, security, technological and cultural relationships. “Israel and India are at the cusp of a new era of increased cooperation in a wide variety of fields,” Netanyahu said while on a trip to Singh on November 6.

Last month, the two countries conducted a joint missile test on an advanced system, which was hailed by an adviser to the Indian defense minister as “an important milestone in the cooperation between India and Israel.”

In October, India agreed to buy 8,000 Israeli-made Spike missiles and more than 300 launchers in a $525 million defense deal. The missiles were widely used by the IDF during Operation Protective Edge.

Military business between Israel and India is estimated at $9-10 billion.

LISTEN: Israel and India: BFF?

VOI israel india bff

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