India and Israel dealt with difficult partition and emerged out as relatively stable democracy in a volatile neighbourhoods.
- India’s Israeli policy can be dated back to 1920’s when leaders of national movement started supporting PALESTNIAN cause against the British rule.
- PM Nehru had discussions with the ARAB national leaders in various anti-imperialist meetings one of which can be dated back to 1927 BRUSSELS conference of Oppressed Nationalities.
- Nehru found similar features between partition of India and Palestinians. He envisaged a single Palestinian state based on federal principles as the solution which was similar to his domestic respond to Muslim league
- Indian nationalist did not supported the Zionist movement. Which they observed as a Neo-colonial movement at the expense of ARAB NATIONALISM.
- Nehru rejected the two nation theory and supported the cause of federal Palestine with autonomous territory for JEWISH population
REASONS FOR SUCH POLICY
- Nehru and his successors did not wanted to antagonize large Muslim population at home and Arab states in the region
- Muslim population has always been the integral part of India’s West Asia policy
- Muslim members of constituent assembly openly advocated against Israel ex MAULANA ABDUL KALAM AZAD
- Muslims had regularly voted for congress and Nehru did not wanted to antagonize this section of population before the 1st general elections
- A strong personal relation b/w the NEHRU and EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT NASSER
- Support from WEST ASIA against PAKISTAN on KASHMIR issue
Example was India’s support for Egypt in SUEZ CRISIS which India termed as NAKED AGGRESSION, however India’s support was never reciprocated by the ARAB countries against the regional conflicts 1962 1965 and 1971 against CHINA and PAKISTAN. In1969 for OIC meeting INDIA was invited but not allowed to speak due to strong opposition from PAKISTAN
INDIRA GANDHI continued on the lines of Nehru i.e. followed a pro-Arab policy due to growing energy needs of the country and remittances earned from the Indian diaspora.
STRUCTURAL FACTORS :
- ISRAEL dependent on financial and diplomatic support from US joined western bloc whereas India took a different path altogether
- India-Soviet peace treaty of 1971 further reduced any opportunity for cooperation with the western bloc
- Although Israel supported India in 1971. War the support was limited in form of small arms and ammunition
SHIFT IN INDIAN FOREIGN POLICY
- With USSR disintegration in 1991, India had to deal with a defence industry that was distributed among 15 countries.
- PLO’s (Palestine liberation organisation) support for IRAQ , KUWAIT crisis of 1991 and internal opposition within ARAB states opened up the Indian prospectus further.
- Madrid conference and OSLO accords further paved the way for normalisation of relations as the relations between PLO and Israel.
- Emergence of USA as the sole superpower in global arena and India’s tilt towards USA after opening up its economy in 1991.
- INDIA’s dependence on Israeli defence imports which started In 1992 and expanded tremendously after 1998 under the BJP GOVERNMENT post POKHRAN 2
- Comparable internal problems with minority ethnographic religious communities
- Tel-Aviv handling of cross border terrorism and its applicability in KASHMIR drew India further closer to Israel which was seem with sale of surveillance equipment to India in form of thermal sensors and night vision goggles etc
- Exchange of information b/w RAW and MOSSAD (intelligence agencies)
- Demise of RAJIV Gandhi and takeover by a compromise leader i.e. P V NARASIMHA RAO led to huge altercation in the relation b/w the two countries
- Disappearance of Cold War , irrelevance of non-alignment and India’s economic crisis led to better relations with US. Thus the correction of RAO foreign policy with the USA led to opening up of relations with the ISRAEL
- ISRAEL became a logical and natural partner for India under BJP since it shared similar concerns about terrorism
- This saw further evolution under BJP with visit of ADVANI in 2000 and the visit of ARIEL SHARON to India in 2003