Viewpoint : India-Israel ties have much more potential

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India–Israel relations refers to the bilateral ties between the Republic of India and the State of Israel. The two countries enjoy an extensive economic, military, and strategic relationship in the 21st Century.

India’s support for the creation of an Israeli state has always been there due to the partition of India on the basis of communal lines and it’s relationship with other nations in the region along with border disputes with two nation.

India has always wanted to have better ties with Israel due to the fact that India supported the creation for the state of Israel not on the basis of communal lines but because of the fact that the Jewish community was shunned by most Western and European nation because of the fact that Europe was emerging from the havoc and destruction of World War 2 and tension between the Arab nations as Palestine was divided to create space or to create a nation for the Jews.

In 1947 the year India got independence from its colonizers it and the destruction and the aftereffects caused by world war 2 was still visible refrained from voting against the partitioning of Palestine plan to create a Jewish state as Palestine was a British mandate before being divided. And, also India voted against the submission of Israel into the United Nations as at that time India had a huge Muslim minority population as India recently emerged from the shadows of communal riots. Opinions were pretty strong at that time so any wrong step would have led to a disaster.

“India (Vote: Against): Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru spoke with anger and contempt for the way the UN vote had been lined up. He said the Zionists had tried to bribe India with millions and at the same time his sister, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, had received daily warnings that her life was in danger unless “she voted right”. Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, Nehru’s sister, the Indian ambassador to the U.N, occasionally hinted that something might change in favour of the Yishuv. But another Indian delegate said that India would vote for the Arab side, because of their large Moslem minority, although they know that the Jews has a case” As stated in Wikipedia

But there was a twist various Hindu nationalist organisations led by the Sangh Parivar supported the creation of Israel called it as a Joyous occasion, many major Hindu nationalist leaders like Vinayak Damodar Savarkar condemned India’s vote against Israel and called for better relations with the state of Israel.

The Recognition and Friendship

India was one of the four backers of Egypt, along with Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and the USSR. India had opposed the partition of Palestine and the 1956 invasion of the Sinai by Israel, Britain and France, but did not[citation needed] oppose the Chinese direct control over Tibet and the suppression of a pro-democracy movement in Hungary by the Soviet Union. Although Nehru disavowed nuclear ambitions for India, Canada and France aided India in the development of nuclear power stations for electricity. India also negotiated an agreement in 1960 with Pakistan on the just use of the waters of seven rivers shared by the countries. Nehru had visited Pakistan in 1953, but owing to political turmoil in Pakistan, no headway was made on the Kashmir dispute even after all the the government of India under Jawahar Lal Nehru administration decided to recognize the state of Israel on September 17, 1950 but official relations were not established till the year 1991 during the Kargil War.

India may not have had diplomatic ties with Israel but New Delhi quietly sought and got arms from Tel Aviv as it prepared to go to war with Pakistan in 1971, a book has revealed.

“The book, 1971, by scholar Srinath Raghavan offers fresh insights into the 14-day war that led to the creation of Bangladesh.

Raghavan accessed the PN Haksar papers maintained at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi. These papers document startling aspects of a war that is probably India’s finest military moment but has not been documented adequately. A diplomat, Haksar was also an adviser to the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Raghavan’s research reveals that India’s ambassador to France DN Chatterjee began the process to get Israeli arms with a note to the external affairs ministry on July 6, 1971, saying assistance from Israel for “propaganda, finance and even procurement of armament and oil” would be “invaluable”.

Gandhi immediately accepted the proposal and through the country’s external intelligence agency R&AW began the process to get the arms through the tiny principality of Liechtenstein.

India didn’t have diplomatic ties with Israel at that time, having voted against its creation in 1948, and consistently supported the Arabs in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Israel was in middle of an arms shortage but prime minister Golda Meir stepped in to divert arms meant for Iran to India. She sent a note addressed to Gandhi in Hebrew through Shlomo Zabuldowicz, the director of the firm handling the secret transfers, with a request for diplomatic ties in return for arms. The diplomatic ties, however, could only be established in 1992 when Narasimha Rao was the Indian PM.

Another note — from then R&AW chief RN Kao on August 4, 1971 to Haksar — also finds mention in Raghavan’s book. The note detailed how the arms would be airlifted with a batch of Israeli instructors. The arms would eventually land up with the Indian Army and the Mukti Bahini, the guerilla force of Bengalis who would force the Pakistanis to surrender.

Other revelations in the book include a secret agreement between Iran and Pakistan to give air cover to Karachi in case of an Indian attack. But the Shah of Iran reneged on the agreement, fearing retaliation from the Soviet Union.

Interestingly, while Gandhi was worried about Chinese intervention, the then charge de affairs of the Indian embassy, Brajesh Mishra, who would go on to be the national security adviser in the Vajpayee government, sent an authoritative assessment that China would stay out of the war.

Finally, the US move to send in the seventh fleet to “intimidate” India proved counter-productive. As soon as the American ships arrived, India decided to step up the offensive and para-dropped troops in Tangail to make a dash for Dhaka. As the capital fell, India forced a surrender before any international power could intervene.” as stated in an article by Hindustan Times. This shows that even after all that Indian delegation at the United Nations did Israel was still keen on establishing friendly relations with India since India and Israel share quite a similar history and events.

The final thrust for official relations

In the year 1991 when India was preparing for an attack on Pakistan backed heavily armed and well trained militants along with Pakistan Army regulars India was found ill-prepared for the war. This time it also revealed that how weak Indian Photo-recon capabilities were along with critical shortage of Smart bombs and lased guided missiles after USA denied India’s request for LGB’s and spare parts. Whatever LGB’s and smart bombs Indian Air force had were reversed engineered yet there was a critical shortage of Artillery shells, Artillery Radars and recon along with LGBs. But fear not Israel even after pressure from international nations especially the United States supplied the Indian military establishment with UAV’s, 155 mm Artillery shells, LGB kits along with regular ammunition and Artillery locating radars.

This when India understood how vital Israel’s help was during the conflict and even after Israel was under diplomatic pressure choose to supply us with whatever we needed. Finally in 1991 India established official relation with Israel.

Moshe Ya’alon at a defense expo in Bangaluru, India, on February 18
THE BEGINNING OF A NEW ERA

Finally in the year 2000, Jaswant Singh became the first Indian Foreign Minister to visit Israel. Following the visit, the two countries set up a joint anti-terror commission. The foreign ministers of the two countries said intensified co-operation would range from counter-terrorism to information technology. After that again in 2003 Ariel Sharon the first Israeli Prime minister was welcomed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance coalition government of India. In 2003, Ariel Sharon was the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit Sharon expressed satisfaction over his talks with Indian leaders. Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said the visit would increase ties between India and Israel. Sharon invited Vajpayee to visit Israel. Sharon said that Israelis “regard India to be one of the most important countries in the world,” and Vajpayee was sure that Sharon’s visit would bring the two states closer together.

In early 2006 Indian government ministers Sharad Pawar, Kapil Sibal and Kamal Nath visited Israel. Former Gujarat Chief Minister and the current Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi has also visited Israel.

Despite “India’s unwavering support for the Palestinian cause”, Foreign Minister SM Krishna visited Israel, Israel PM called this visit by Indian Foreign Minister a historical step forward in developing the relations between the two nations.

In May 2014 after victory of Narendra Modi in 2014 general election Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu personally congratulated Modi. Also Narendra Modi met his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in New York on the side line of UN General assembly during his US visit in 2014. On the occasion of Hanukkah festival Indian PM Modi greeted his Israeli counterpart in Hebrew Language on Twitter and then Israeli PM replied in Hindi Language. Later in 2014 Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Israel to over view the Border security arrangement of Israel.During his tour he also met Israeli PM Netnyahu. In the same year former Israeli President Shimon Peres visited India. A high level Israeli delegation with Agriculture Minister of Israel Yair Shamir also participated in Vibrant Gujarat summit in 2015.] In December 2014 a news published in The Hindu that India may end support to Palestine.

In February 2015 Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon came to India. During his visit he participated in Aero India 2015. He also met his Indian counterpart as well as Indian PM.

Military and strategic ties

India and Israel have increased co-operation in military and intelligence ventures since the establishment of diplomatic relations. The rise of Islamic extremist terrorism in both nations has generated a strong strategic alliance between the two which is very common problem faced by both the nations.

BARAK-1 SAM – The first weapon deal that happened between India and Israel was the acquisition of Barak-1 SAM which is a vertically launched anti-air missile with capabilities of intercepting Anti-ship missiles like Harpoon used by Pakistan along with various Chinese and Pakistani missiles which can be intercepted. This weapon was a potent addition to the India defense forces inventory .

TAR-21 – In late 2002, India signed an INR 880 million (about USD 17.7 million) deal with Israel Military Industries for 3,070 manufactured Tavor assault rifles to be issued to India’s special forces personnel, where its ergonomics, reliability in heat and sand might give them an edge at close-quarters and employment from inside vehicles. By 2005, IMI had supplied 350–400 Tavors to India’s northern Special Frontier Force (SFF). These were subsequently declared to be “operationally unsatisfactory”. The required changes have since been made, and tests in Israel during 2006 went well, clearing the contracted consignment for delivery. The Tavor has now entered operational service – even as India gears up for a larger competition that could feature a 9 mm MTAR-21 version. Known as the Zittara, the rifle is manufactured in India by the Ordnance Factories Board for Indian service, the new Tavors have a modified single-piece stock and new sights, as well as Turkish-made MKEK T-40 40 mm under-barrel grenade launchers. 5,500 have been recently inducted and more rifles are being ordered. A consignment of over 500 TAR-21 Tavor assault rifles and another 30 Galil sniper rifles worth over INR 150 million (USD 3.3 million) and INR 20 million respectively was delivered to the MARCOS (Marine Commandos) in December 2010.
India’s paramilitary and counter-insurgency Central Reserve Police Force CRPF ordered 12000 Micro Tavor (X-95) rifles (designation X-95), with the rifles entering service in early 2011. Following the use of the weapon by Indian forces fighting the insurgency in Kashmir, CRPF commanders have stated that the X-95 is a more effective assault rifle than the AKM, due to its small size, power, longer range and lighter weight.

Uzi – Uzi variant was used by the SPG until 2008, when it was replaced with the FN P90N . Micro-Uzi variant is used by Indian Army Para Commandos .

Gabriel AsHm – It is an anti ship missile which uses sea skimming to take down ships. In use with the Indian navy.

Spike (missile) – Indian Army has Spike missiles and peripheral equipment in a $1 billion deal. Indian Ministry of Defence officials told the magazine that the order is for 321 launchers, 8,356 missiles, 15 training simulators, and peripheral equipment.In October 2014, India chose to buy the Spike over the U.S. Javelin. The spike missile would be arming all the infantry units and regiments of the Indian army.

Israeli UAVs – The Indian armed forces posses a number of Israeli UAVs like the IAI Heron, Harpy, Searcher and the Harop and recent reports indicate that the Indian armed forces are keen to induct a number of these UAVs.

Derby SAM – In June 2007, India signed a $250 million to purchase SPYDER (Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby) mobile air defense missiles from Israel. The two countries signed an additional $4 billion deal for the joint-development of a medium range surface-to-air missiles. In August 2008, a $2.5 billion deal was signed by India and Israel to develop an advanced version of the SPYDER.

Israeli Radars – EL/W-2090 systems used on the DRDO AEW&CS aircraft, EL/M-2238 3D-STAR It is a 3D multi-beam and multi-mode fully coherent pulse Doppler search radar which functions in the S band (2-4 GHz). It can perform both surface and aerial search simultaneously. It is designed to support anti-air and surface-gunnery systems on the Shivalik, Rajput and the Godavari class ships of the Indian navy.
The EL/M-2248 MF-STAR is a multifunction solid state Active electronically scanned array radar developed for a new generation of naval platforms. The radar system is made up of 4 active arrays operating in the S-band, each of the 4 arrays is positioned in one direction. The radar employs multi-beam and pulse Doppler techniques as-well-as robust Electronic counter-countermeasures techniques to extract low radar cross-section targets from complex clutter and jamming environments. AESA radars provide a low probability of intercept of emitted signals and help the ships remain stealthy. Weighing only seven tons the system can be installed on smaller vessels of Corvette size and above installed on the Kolkata class destroyers, and the newly built Vishakapatnam class destroyers and the INS Vikrant (2013) . Overall, EL/M-2248 performance and appearance is similar to U.S. Navy’s Aegis Combat System and its AN/SPY-1D radar antenna. The EL/M-2221 STGR fire-control radar on the Kamorta class ASW corvettes.

Super Dvora Mk-2 class patrol boat – The Super Dvora Mark II-class patrol boats is a high-speed class of patrol boats meant for a variety of naval missions from typical off-shore coastal patrol mission profiles to high-speed, high-maneuver littoral warfare. Built by Israel Aerospace Industries for the Israeli Sea Corps, the Super Dvora Mark II is the successor to the Dvora-class fast patrol boats. has been employed by the Indian navy

EL/M-2032 – The EL/M-2032 is an advanced pulse Doppler, multimode planar array fire-control radar intended for multi-role fighter aircraft originated from the Lavi project. It is suitable for air-to-air and air-to-surface modes. Used on the HAL Tejas and the Sea harriers of the Indian Navy.

BARAK- 8 SAM – India and Israel agreed to jointly develop a new long range, land-based air defense system to replace the aging Pechora (SA-3 GOA) missiles currently in service with the Indian Air Force. Covering a range of 70 km, the new missile will almost double the range of the 60km vertically launched Barak 8 shipborne missile (also known as Barak NG) currently being developed for the Indian and Israeli Navies under a US$480 million five year program launched in early 2006.

The new missile system will be based on the medium-range naval air defense missile currently under development for the Indian and Israeli Navies. The naval application of the missile will be integrated with the MF-STAR phased array shipborne radar, which Elta claims to be superior to the SPY-1 AEGIS radar. Overall, the MF-STAR / Barak 8 combination is claimed to be superior to the leading US made systems such as AEGIS or Patriot PAC-3 missile systems.

Barak 8 missile utilizes a fully active seeker, the missile is not dependent on the launcher for targeting and guidance, and can perform at much longer ranges, offering effective protection from aerial threats, manned, unmanned as well as guided weapons. Covering both low and high altitudes, the missile is designed for operation on-board ships as well as for terrestrial applications. Barak 8 system is designed to engage multiple targets simultaneously with deadly effectiveness. The missile uses vertical launched missile is designed to offer 360 degrees protection, utilizing an advanced active radar seeker. The missile is equipped with a two-way datalink, supporting mid-course updating and terminal updating and validation. To extend its datalink and C3 coverage over a wide area, the system will integrate surface based radars and communications elements with airborne manned and unmanned elements, maximizing its operability and range over all types of terrain.

MR-SAM is expected to streamline with the original Barak 8 schedule, adding about $300 million to the program development cost. In its decision last week the Indian Government earmarked a total funding of about Rs10,000 crore (about US$2.5 billion) for the medium range surface-to-air missiles (MR-SAM) project. The program will include the deployment of up to nine air defense squadrons. The MR-SAM development will be conducted under the bilateral agreement signed between the two countries, which will guide the scope of collaboration formulating between DRDO and IAI defined in a memorandum of agreement signed in New Delhi, June 2007.

The Indian Air Force plans to re-equip nine air defense squadrons with the new missile, each including two batteries comprising a multi-mission radar system performing target acquisition and guidance, command-and-control element and three container-launchers each mounting eight missiles.

Prime contractor for the program will be the Indian DRDO, with IAI missile and space group acting as leading subcontractor with IAI’s Elta Systems providing the radar and Israel’s RAFAEL producing the interceptor missiles. According to the bilateral agreement, the Indians will be able to locally produce and support the systems.

Barak 8 is expected to be part of a new offensive and defensive system suite under development at IAI’s Missiles and Space division. This new family of weapons will also comprise the latest generation Gabriel 5 anti-ship missile, an integrated combat management system and multi-function EL/M-2248 MF-STAR shipborne phased array radar system.

A-50 Phalcon AWAC – In March 2004, as a part of a tri-partite deal among Israel, Indian and Russia – Israel and India signed a US$1.1 billion deal according to which IAI would deliver the Indian Air Force three AEW&C radar systems, each of which was worth approximately $350 million. India signed a deal withIlyushin of Russia for the supply of three Il-76 A-50 heavy airlifters, which were to be used as platforms for these radar systems, for an additional US $500 million. In 2008, media reports suggested that India and Israel were about to sign a deal for three additional radars. India received its first AWACS on 25 May 2009. It landed in Jamnagar AFB in Gujarat completing its 8 hour long journey from Israel.

Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) developed its Phalcon system for Israeli defence forces and for export. Airborne Early Warning, Command and Control (AEWC&C) systems play a major role on the modern battlefield by providing real-time intelligence and command and control needed to achieve and maintain air superiority over the combat area and to enable surveillance of borders in peacetime. The world’s most advanced AEWC&C system, the PHALCON, was developed and produced by ELTA using Active Phased Array Electronic Scanning Technology rather than a mechanically rotating antenna (rotodome) used by current AWACS systems, giving PHALCON greater operational flexibility and performance by several orders of magnitude. The Phalcon AEW&C aircraft is based on four sensors: phased-array radar, phased-array IFF, ESM/ELINT and CSM/COMINT.

A unique fusion technology continuously cross-relates the data gathered by all sensors. When one of the sensors reports a detection, the system automatically initiates an active search of the complementary sensors.

The AWE&C phased array radar replaces the conventional rotodome radar. It is mounted either on the aircraft fuselage or on top of the aircraft inside a stationary dome, providing full 360� coverage. This electronically steered beam radar delivers a tremendous advantage over mechanical rotating antenna, as it supports the tracking a high maneuvering targets. The radar can detect even low flying objects from distances of hundreds of kilometers, day and night, under all weather conditions. Verification beams sent at specific, individual, newly detected targets eliminate false alarms. Moreover, track initiation is achieved in 2 to 4 seconds as compared to 20 to 40 seconds with a rotodome radar

The IFF system employs solid state phased array technology to perform interrogation, decoding, target detection and tracking. A monopulse technique is used to implement azimuth measurement. The IFF data is automatically correlated with the phased array radar.

The ESM/ELINT system receives, analyzes and locates radar signals, covering 360o. It combines high sensitivity with high probability of intercept, and achieves excellent accuracy in bearing measurement. The system uses narrow-band super-heterodyne receivers and wide-band instantaneous frequency measurement (IFM) techniques to provide very high accuracy and probability of intercept of airborne and surface emitters. Very high bearing accuracy for all received signals is achieved through Differential Time of Arrival (DTOA) measurements. The system also collects and analyzes ELINT data.

The PHALCON’s CSM/COMINT receives in UHF, VHF and HF, rapidly searching for airborne, shipborne or ground communications signals of interest. Selected radio nets can be monitored for signal activity. A DF capability locates targets. Detected signals can be assigned to monitoring receivers instantaneously. The system makes extensive use of computers to reduce the load on operators.

The aircraft communicates, via its data link, with Air Defense HQ. Data from additional air defense sensors are fused to create a complete spatial picture.

These are one of the most important and major defense deals inked with Israel.

Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) developed its Phalcon system for Israeli defence forces and for export. Airborne Early Warning, Command and Control (AEWC&C) systems play a major role on the modern battlefield by providing real-time intelligence and command and control needed to achieve and maintain air superiority over the combat area and to enable surveillance of borders in peacetime. The world’s most advanced AEWC&C system, the PHALCON, was developed and produced by ELTA using Active Phased Array Electronic Scanning Technology rather than a mechanically rotating antenna (rotodome) used by current AWACS systems, giving PHALCON greater operational flexibility and performance by several orders of magnitude. The Phalcon AEW&C aircraft is based on four sensors: phased-array radar, phased-array IFF, ESM/ELINT and CSM/COMINT. A unique fusion technology continuously cross-relates the data gathered by all sensors. When one of the sensors reports a detection, the system automatically initiates an active search of the complementary sensors.

The AWE&C phased array radar replaces the conventional rotodome radar. It is mounted either on the aircraft fuselage or on top of the aircraft inside a stationary dome, providing full 360� coverage. This electronically steered beam radar delivers a tremendous advantage over mechanical rotating antenna, as it supports the tracking a high maneuvering targets. The radar can detect even low flying objects from distances of hundreds of kilometers, day and night, under all weather conditions. Verification beams sent at specific, individual, newly detected targets eliminate false alarms. Moreover, track initiation is achieved in 2 to 4 seconds as compared to 20 to 40 seconds with a rotodome radar
The IFF system employs solid state phased array technology to perform interrogation, decoding, target detection and tracking. A monopulse technique is used to implement azimuth measurement. The IFF data is automatically correlated with the phased array radar.

The ESM/ELINT system receives, analyzes and locates radar signals, covering 360o. It combines high sensitivity with high probability of intercept, and achieves excellent accuracy in bearing measurement. The system uses narrow-band super-heterodyne receivers and wide-band instantaneous frequency measurement (IFM) techniques to provide very high accuracy and probability of intercept of airborne and surface emitters. Very high bearing accuracy for all received signals is achieved through Differential Time of Arrival (DTOA) measurements. The system also collects and analyzes ELINT data.

The PHALCON’s CSM/COMINT receives in UHF, VHF and HF, rapidly searching for airborne, shipborne or ground communications signals of interest. Selected radio nets can be monitored for signal activity. A DF capability locates targets. Detected signals can be assigned to monitoring receivers instantaneously. The system makes extensive use of computers to reduce the load on operators.
The aircraft communicates, via its data link, with Air Defense HQ. Data from additional air defense sensors are fused to create a complete spatial picture.

SPICE and POPEYE missile system – Popeye is the name of a family of air-to-surface missiles developed and in use by Israel, of which several types have been developed for Israeli and export users. A long-range submarine-launched cruise missile variant of the Popeye Turbo has been speculated as being employed in Israel’s submarine-based nuclear forces. The United States operates the Popeye under a different designation according to US naming conventions as the AGM-142 Have Nap.

The “SPICE” (Smart, Precise Impact, Cost-Effective) is an Israeli-developed, EO/GPS-guided guidance kit for converting air-droppable unguided bombs into precision guided bombs.

A derivative of the “Popeye” (AGM-142 Have Nap) air-to-surface missile, the “Spice” is a product of Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. It achieved initial operational capability during 2003, in Israeli Air Force F-16 squadrons. All these systems are being used by the IAF and the IN

RISAT 2 – RISAT-2, or Radar Imaging Satellite 2 is an Indian radar reconnaissance satellite that is part of India’s RISAT programme. It was built by the Israel Aerospace Industries and successfully launched aboard a PSLV-CA rocket at 01:15 GMT on April 20, 2009 from the Second Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. RISAT-2’s main sensor is an X-band synthetic aperture radar from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). It is designed to monitor India’s borders and as part of anti-infiltration and anti-terrorist operations. The satellite has a mass of 300 kilograms (660 lb).

These are the major defense deals inked with Israel along with the sale of Israeli avionics for our fighters, computer systems, cyber warfare systems along with the upgradation of our old artillery systems and the help provided by the Israeli industries during the development of the Arjun Tank Over the past 15 years Israel has made sale of defense equipment worth $15 billion to India. And would continue to do so in foreseeable future.

Along with these weapons sale the Indian special forces conducts regular exercises with Israeli special forces. RAW and Mossad has cultivated their ties over the past many years and increased co-operation as we share some very similar interest. The port call by INS Trikand in the port of Haifa, Israel shows that the relationship between Israel and India is getting warmer day by day

COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET

Although the relationship between Israel and India has come a long way but during the period when UPA-2 was in power India’s relationship with Israel was much like that of a man’s relationship with his mistress. Relationship was kept under wraps wary of the international community .

Even before Narendra Modi became Prime Minister of India in May 2014, many predicted a strengthening of India’s partnership with Israel. Some argued that the origins of a new approach could be traced back to Modi’s visit to Israel as Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2006 when he promised he would come back to Tel Aviv as Prime Minister. Subsequently, Modi was labelled during the electoral campaign as “Israel’s best friend in South Asia.” Sushma Swaraj, who served as chairwoman of the Indo-Israel Parliamentary Friendship Group from 2006 to 2009 and who had called Israel as “reliable partner”in 2009, was also named Minister of External Affairs in the new government.

“The proclaimed shift in India’s Israel policy was then allegedly confirmed by the highly publicized September meeting between Modi and Benjamin Netanyahu which was the first held at the prime ministerial level since Ariel Sharon’s visit to India 2003. Following this symbolical visit, India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Israel in November 2014 and Sushma Swaraj is scheduled to also visit Tel Aviv in June. In addition, many important defense deals were signed following the Bharatiya Janata Party’s electoral victory. The first major development was the announcement in October 2014 that India would acquire 262 Barak-I missiles for India’s Navy. Then, in a surprise move in October 2014, India reportedly favored the purchase of the Israeli Spike anti-tank guided missiles launchers and missiles over its U.S. competitor, the Javelin”. As stated in The Diplomat

“India was one of five countries–the others being Kenya, Ethiopia, Paraguay, and Macedonia–to abstain on a UN Human Rights Council (HRC) vote on July 3 adopting the Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict. The report largely condemns Israel’s actions during last year’s Operation Protective Edge, a seven-week-ling military operation by Israel into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The Indian vote is being seen as emblematic of the ongoing rapprochement between the governments of India and Israel. India’s new government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is partly recalibrating New Delhi’s approach toward Israel, development that will no doubt be welcome by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 41 HRC members voted in favor of the resolution and the sole vote against came from the United States, Israel’s traditional ally and supporter at the United Nations.” an extract taken from an article from here

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to become the first prime minister of India to visit Israel. He will travel there later this year and will discuss strategic and economic cooperation with the Israeli leadership.

The specific date of Modi’s visit remains uncertain, but, according to statements by India’s external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj, the visit will come at some time after July, after preliminary high-level bilateral diplomatic talks with the Israeli government. Swaraj served as the head of the Indo-Israel Parliamentary Friendship Group from 2006 to 2009, and has long seen Israel as a “reliable partner” for India. Ahead of Modi’s visit, Swaraj will visit Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories.

ISRAEL’S NEW FRIEND

Despite its burgeoning trade and economic ties with China, Israel doesn’t look at Beijing as a strategic partner the way it does at India, its number one buyer of arms, according to top Israeli government sources.

As the NDA government under PM Narendra Modi commits itself to taking ties with Israel to an altogether new level, China and Iran remain the proverbial elephants in the room in bilateral relations between the 2 countries. Israeli officials though said here that there was no question of Israel’s relations with China diluting the strategic content of its ties with India.

With an annual trade volume of over $ 10 billion, China is Israel’s largest trading partner in Asia. Beijing is also on the verge of knocking over the US as the top funder of joint ventures in Israel involving foreign companies, including Israel’s famed hi-tech start up companies. India’s annual trade with Israel is still around $ 5 billion but officials here said this could double with the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) which is being negotiated.

Israel also has a serious trade imbalance with China, much like India, and Israeli companies find it much more difficult to export to China than to India,” said Ramzi Gabbay, chairman of the Israel Export Institute.

Israeli sources here said that there was no move by Israel to revive arms trade with China. Israel’s main political and defence ally, the US, too imposes strict restrictions on supply of arms or any defence technology to China or any other country by Israel. In the case of military cooperation with India though, according to Israeli defence officials, Israel’s agreements with the US are not a constraint.

Unlike what we are going to see with China anytime soon, the Israeli government pushes us to go for the maximum in any defence or arms agreement with India,” said an Israeli official on the condition of anonymity. The official spoke to a visiting Indian media delegation on the side lines of a homeland security conference here in Tel Aviv.

On display in the conference was also the Iron Dome, Israel’s advanced missile-shield system with a success rate of almost 85-90 per cent in intercepting missiles fired by Hamas from Gaza. India toyed with the idea of purchasing iron dome for a while even though the defence system in its present form can intercept missiles fired only from a range of 4 km to 70 km. Israeli defence officials admitted that the iron dome was currently more suited to South Korea which needs to protect capital Seoul, located a mere 35 miles from the border with North Korea. When asked if Israel could consider sharing technology behind iron dome – even if India doesn’t actually buy the defence system with its limited range – the officials said this was very much possible with India through research and development”. The NDA government is also looking for access to Israel’s technology in homeland and aviation security and also border protection.

According to senior government officials based in Jerusalem, even a visit by an Indian prime minister to Israel is not as unlikely” any more as it was until the beginning of this year. PM Narendra Modi was invited to Israel when he met his counterpart Benyamin Netanyahu when he met him in New York and we hope to welcome him here,” said an official. No Indian PM has visited Israel in 22 years of diplomatic relations between the 2 countries.

According to Israel, both countries have in the recent past been more open about at least the economic aspect of their relations and that there was an understanding in Israel that New Delhi’s relations with Iran could not be seen as an impediment to their ties with India. India’s ties with Iran are important not just for historical reasons and for its large Shia population but also for access to Afghanistan and central Asia. The Indian Cabinet only last month approved the proposal for developing Chabahar port in Iran, barely 80 km from Gwadar in Pakistan where the Chinese built a mega port.

Accounting for defence sales worth $ 1 to $ 1.5 billion every year, India is number one arms market for Israel. According to Israel, which exports defence equipment worth $ 7 billion every year but hardly anything to China in the last decade, global spending on homeland security will reach $ 344 billion in 2022 from $ 178 billion in 2010.

CONCLUSION

The relationship between Delhi and Tel Aviv at the end of the day depends on the party sitting in New Delhi. During the BJP led government in 2004 we saw the warming of relationship with Israel and then again during the 2004. So, far the Government had decided to make the relationship between India and Israel a statement. No matter what Israel is gonna be and remain a very helpful friend of India in the coming future with abstaining of vote against Israel for the first time in UN by India we can sense some kind of change in policy towards Israel.


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