As Modi visit approaches, Israel and India seem closer than ever

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India went on to fight three further wars against Pakistan, in 1965, 1971 and 1999, while Israel has fought 10 more wars.

By Jonathan Adelman, JPOST

As Israel has emerged recently on the world stage, its foreign relationships have blossomed.

US President Donald Trump will be visiting Israel at the end of the month.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has visited Russian President Vladimir Putin five times in less than two years and speaks to him frequently on the phone. Netanyahu recently went on a tour of four African nations. Israel is working closely with Sunni Arab states that share a hatred and fear of Iran.

Yet, while all these are important, there is another event that may be even more important in the long run – the visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel in July. The prime minister is, significantly, visiting only Israel and skipping the West Bank and Gaza Strip. And his visit follows the visit to Israel last January by Indian Foreign Minister Shushma Swaraj.

India and Israel, surprisingly, have much in common. Both became independent of British colonial masters at nearly the same time, India in 1947 and Israel in 1948. Both were initially Third World countries. Their dominant groups – Indian Hindus and Israeli Jews – had to fight bitter wars of independence against Islamic enemies.

India went on to fight three further wars against Pakistan, in 1965, 1971 and 1999, while Israel has fought 10 more wars.

Both countries were founded by English-speaking socialists, Jawaharlal Nehru and David Ben-Gurion. They are the only two of 140 newly independent states since World War II to be democracies from their inception until today. India was the rare country that never practiced antisemitism, and there was no clash between Judaism and Hinduism. Both countries have advanced from a socialist start to greater integration into the world’s global neo-capitalist economy.

Israeli and Indian emigres to the United States do well and often work together. Recent polls show that more Indians (58%) like Israelis than Americans (56%). Both are global minorities that fight to save their homelands in which they have strong majorities (75-85%).

Today they both face threats from their Islamic enemies. India faces Pakistan and its 100 nuclear weapons (and likely more in the future) while Israel faces Iran, which is working on becoming a nuclear power. Both India and Israel have nuclear arsenals. Neither country has ever seen the other as a threat.

The dominant Indian Hindus and Israeli Jews in the two states face significant Muslim minorities at home and practice religions not common in the rest of the world. Their minorities, 150 million Indian Muslims in India and 1.7 million Muslims in Israel, pose major issues for both countries.

Both are creative countries with significant high-tech power (Indian Bangalore and Hyderabad and Israeli Silicon Wadi). Since India recognized Israel in 1992 relations have grown steadily warmer. Today trade between the two is worth $4 billion a year and Israel is a major arms supplier to India.

India’s economy, which is growing over …read more

Source:: Israpundit

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