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Modi visit to Israeli resulted in "annihilation" of Nehruvian consensus, whose dismantling began under Narasimha Rao

By Firoz Bakht Ahmed
The entire media world was recently abuzz with the news of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel as he set a historic landmark. The Israeli PM Netanyahu even referred to him as, “Merey dost Narendra Modi! (My friend Narendra Modi)” The reason is that Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel in the history of both the nations that were established as independent nations more or less at the same time. The visit also marked the 25th anniversary of Indo-Israel relationship.
Truly, Modi is a Prime Minister who has accomplished what the previous Prime Ministers had fought shy owing to the vote bank considerations. In fact the Modi visit resulted in the annihilation of the last vestige of 'Nehruvian Consensus', whose dismantling began during the P V Narasimha Rao years. What should have happened in 1948 happened in 2017. The Jerusalem Post also reported, “This is the first time an Indian prime minister is visiting Israel, that too without visiting Palestine in the same trip, which would have been unthinkable during non-BJP regimes.”
How PM Modi touches the inner chords of people has been proved by this example of Moshe Holtsberg. On the second day of his visit to Israel, the PM met Moshe Holtzberg, the 11-year-old today, whose parents were killed in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. Mr. Holtzberg, who escaped the terrorist attack with the help of his nanny, now lives with his grandparents in Israel. Mr. Modi has offered him and his family long term visas to visit India “anytime”.
Israel is small country in the Middle East, about the size of New Jersey, located on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea and bordered by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The nation of Israel -- with a population of just more than 8 million people, most of them Jewish. It has many important archaeological and religious sites considered sacred by Jews, Muslims and Christians alike, and a complex history with periods of peace and conflict.
As history goes, the Jews were persecuted by Hitler at the time of Holocaust. The holocaust was the systematic persecution of the Jews by the Nazi regime and collaborators and between 1933 and 1945. The Nazis who came to power in Germany, believed that they were a “racially superior” race while deemed the Jews as inferior. As a result, the Jews started leaving Germany and in fact from all the world, they were made to settle in the Middle East where Israel today is.
The United Nations approved a plan to partition Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state in 1947, but the Arabs rejected it taking it to be unjust and illegal occupation of their land. However, on May 4, 1948, Israel was officially declared an independent state with David Ben-Gurion as its first Prime Minister. Since then there has been a military tussle between Israel and the Arab nations surrounding it with the two major wars in 1948 and 1967. In both these wars though the Arabs started well but ended up losing owing to the superior military technology of Israel backed up by the USA.
With not-so-successful record of cyber security, in Israel India finds a dependable ally who can help build firewalls
The nature of the conflict has shifted over the years from the large-scale, regional Arab–Israeli conflict to a more local Israeli–Palestinian conflict, which peaked during the 1982 Lebanon War. However, developments in the course of the Syrian Civil War reshuffled the situation near Israel's northern border, putting the Syrian Arab Republic, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Syrian opposition at odds with each other and complicating their relations with Israel. Israel, like Japan, that was decimated by the nuclear attack rose from its ashes, Sphinx like to be a small but one of the most powerful countries in the world.
As far as India’s stand is concerned, it is a friendship-friendship bond with all the nations of the world with the Prime Minister Modi visiting Saudi Arab, UAE and other Muslim countries. In Saudi Arab, the PM was also offered their highest civilian award by the king. India will keep supporting the Palestinian cause but without opposing Israel as was in the case of the previous governments.
In a two-page joint statement the governments of Israel and India the two leaders dedicated one of 22 paragraphs to their discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. “They underlined the need for the establishment of a just and durable peace in the region,” the declaration read. “They reaffirmed their support for an early negotiated solution between the sides based on mutual recognition and security arrangements.” As a matter of fact, no Muslim country except Pakistan cribbed over Modi’s visit to Israel. Had Pakistan befriended Israel, it would have been far ahead.
Despite the US emerging as a major Indian defence equipment supplier, Israel has held steady course as India’s third largest hardware supplier, even if it is does have capital-intensive weapon platforms for fighter jets, major warships or submarines that India imports. In February, the Cabinet Committee on Security, cleared a Rs. 17,000 crore deal for 40 medium range Surface to Air Missiles (MR-SAM) from Israel for the Indian army’s strike corps. Deals worth an estimated $ 5 billion are in the pipeline for the missiles and drones.
India is 158 times bigger than Israel; however there are many benefits that India can gain owing to its superior technology. The first would be cooperation in agriculture with Israel supplying irrigation and related technology that will have the potential of boosting farm sector efficiency, improving crop quality and quantity, and reclaiming arid land.
The second would be in a large measure linked to the first by way of Israel providing India with cutting edge technology on water management, recycling and desalination. This would also include technology to control the pollution of Indian rivers. Together, agricultural and water technology can help India ensure food and water security for its teeming millions.
Third gain is cooperation in space projects. Israel has been partnering India in its quest to be the frontrunner among emerging powers in developing space technology, especially in the domain of satellites. The successful launch of nano satellites, which represent the future, is an outcome of this cooperation. The idea is to take this cooperation between ISRO and Israeli Aerospace to an altogether new level.
Fourth on the agenda would be cyber security. India, like every country, faces the threat of cyber crime and cyber terrorism. The threat increases with each passing day. With a not-so-successful record of cyber security, India needs a dependable ally who can help build firewalls of the future.
Once again, the transfer and infusion of Israeli technology, recognised as among the best in the world to deal with cyber security, is being aimed at.
Last, though not the least, both India and Israel are keen to enhance people-to-people contact by pushing tourism, showcasing culture, promoting scholarships and creating connectivity. India has agreed to set up a cultural centre in Israel. This part of the relationship will be work in progress over a period of time.
In a two-page joint statement the governments of Israel and India the two leaders dedicated one of 22 paragraphs to their discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. “They underlined the need for the establishment of a just and durable peace in the region,” the declaration read. “They reaffirmed their support for an early negotiated solution between the sides based on mutual recognition and security arrangements.”
It goes without saying that Modi in Israel, has left a lasting impact.
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*Grandnephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, social commentator

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