By M.A. Saki

Indian PM not expected to give credit to Netanyahu

July 11, 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel was something that friends and of lovers of India had not really expected. It was painful.

Modi’s visit to Israel was the first by an Indian prime minister since the two sides established diplomatic relations 25 years ago.

According to CNN, seven agreements were signed, dealing with water, agriculture and space technology during the three-day tour that started on July 6.

It is quite praiseworthy that Prime Minister Modi, a reformer, is seeking to transfer technology to his country. It is also comprehensible that India has security concerns and wants to develop its military deterrence.

But India as a country with over 1.3 billion population and a rising great economic power, whom many countries like to court, has abundant opportunities to advance its goals.

If India and China, as long-time rivals, are not willing to cooperate especially in defense technology, India can choose its industrial partners among many countries such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, Finland who are more than willing to cooperate with New Delhi in areas of water desalination and agriculture. Russia, also a longtime friend of India, is most probably ready to help India to develop its space technology.

In fact India gave credit to Benyamin Netanyahu, a man whose extreme policies have killed any hopes for decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict and ordered many house constructions in the occupied Palestinian territories in violation of international law and the UN Security Council Resolutions.

Still hundreds of millions of people in the world have a high opinion of India and consider India, as one of the chief founders of the Non-Aligned Movement during the Cold War era, as a voice of the suppressed nations. It had been an articulate supporter of Palestinian rights.

In fact India is selling itself cheaply to a regime whose policies have even disappointed Tel Aviv’s old friends in the West and its occupation of Palestinian lands have helped fuel the flames of extremism among the Sunni youth in the Arab world.  

In December 2016 former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Netanyahu’s government has undermined peace in the Middle East and warned that the rapid expansion of settlements in the occupied territories meant that “the status quo is leading toward one state and perpetual occupation”.

It was also due to this strategy that Sweden officially recognized the state of Palestine in October 2014. France, a friend of Israel, also announced in January 2016 that it will recognize a Palestinian state if plans to lead for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians fail.

The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO), representing close to one million workers, endorsed a full boycott of Israel in May 2017 to achieve Palestinian rights under international law.

In regard to these things, Netanyahu, who is standing against the wishes of the international community for a solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, did not deserve to take photos with the prime minister of India. Moreover, the world’s public opinion did not expect the prime minister of India to hug this man.

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