Close on the heels of Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to India, a magazine, supported by the jewish community in this country, which aims at boosting ties between the two nations, is set to hit the stands. The publication, a monthly, is titled ‘Namaste Shalom’ with BJP leader and former Rajya Sabha MP Tarun Vijay as its editor. The Jewish community in India is behind the endeavour, with Bene Israel Heritage Museum and Genealogical Centre, a Mumbai-based organisation, backing it. The editorial board of the magazine comprises several prominent names, including MPs Poonam Mahajan and Rajeev Chandrashekhar as well as Chairman and Managing Director, Bene Israel Heritage Museum Ralphy Jhirad. Speaking to PTI, Jhirad emphasised that the magazine would be a media-bridge between the two nations and also focus on the heritage of Jews who made India their home.
When the rest of the world persecuted and refused shelter to Jews, India welcomed them and gave equality and respect, he said. The first issue of the magazine, which is expected to hit the stands on Monday, has received special inaugural messages from President Ramnath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vijay said. It features a special article on India-Israel civilisational threads written by Principal Economic Advisor to the Government of India Sanjeev Sanyal. It also has an interview with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and contributions by several noted columnists and economists.
Vijay, a former Rajya Sabha MP, said the magazine would help strengthen India-Israel relations, especially at strategic and people-to-people levels. “The two nations are working together in an extraordinary way, without changing its Arab and Palestine policy, and that’s the beauty of the understanding and an amazing chemistry between Modi and Netanyahu,” he said. Vijay claimed that the magazine is a historic move, and a first after Independence, perhaps a first for any country at a popular-strategic level supported by the people and not patronised by any government agency.