Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently went on a historic three-day visit to Israel. He became the first Indian premier of India to visit the Jewish nation in the last 70 years. The tour and the show of love and respect by Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu towards each other and the two countries attracted the attention of the world. In India, it received mixed reactions. While some congratulated the PM for “de-hyphenating” India’s relations with Israel and Palestine, the others shared apprehensions that Modi’s policy towards Israel may push Arab allies away from India.
Scholar Gopalkrishna Gandhi, who is now the opposition candidate for the Vice-Presidential election 2017, says PM Modi was “ill-advised” to make this trip. In an article on The Wire.in, Gandhi says, “I believe Prime Minister Narendra Modi was ill-advised to make his just-concluded trip. Worse, to make it a love fest.”
All Indian governments in past, including the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led first NDA government, have been critical of Israel’s expansionist moves and its attempts at conquering the rest of Palestine, violating several UN resolutions. Since 1947, Gandhi says, India has been balanced and shows a “sense of perspective and of history” by being “singularly fair” to the two communities — Jews of Israel and the Arabs of Palestine.
By going to Israel, Modi has changed many things. Gandhi says he doesn’t object to PM Modi’s visit but finds it “surprising, even shocking” that “the visit should have taken place as if the Arabs do not exist, the Palestine state is a myth and that the only reality of that Holy Land is Israel, Israel, and more Israel.”
The former West Bengal governor says that by not mentioning UN Resolutions on Palestine in the India-Israel joint statement, “India has relinquished its opportunity to assist Israel and Palestine find a solution. It has come down shamelessly on the side of might is right.”