Sadanand Dhume of the American Enterprise Institute discusses how India came to rethink its relationship with Israel.
Today, as reflected by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's high-profile visit to India in January, and by PM Narendra Modi's visit to Israel last July, the Asian giant that once treated Israel as a diplomatic pariah has made a strategic U-turn.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made a historic visit to India to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between the two nations. During this visit, India and Israel have signed nine agreements including Memorandums of Understanding in the fields of gas, oil, renewable energy and cyber security. In addition, agreements were signed for a joint industrial research and development deal and an update to an aviation agreement, as were agreements in health and space exploration.
How do other countries handle security at sensitive holy sites? In Mecca there are more than 5,000 CCTV cameras and over 100,000 people employed to provide security during the annual Hajj. Like Israel, Saudi Arabia faces terrorist threats and has upgraded its security in recent years.
The recent two-day visit of Narendra Modi to Israel, the first ever by an Indian Prime Minister, has been depicted as heralding a new strategic partnership between New Delhi and Jerusalem. Indeed, simply by taking place at all, it represented an upgrade of the relationship.
Narendra Modi made history in the first week of July as the first sitting Indian prime minister to visit Israel. The visit reflects the rapidly growing warm ties between the two democratic nations, as they seek greater cooperation on a range of issues including trade, defence, tourism, agriculture and water technologies.
Next week India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make history as the first ever sitting Indian prime minister to visit Israel. The visit marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of full diplomatic relations between Israel and India.
After nearly a quarter century of diplomatic ties, Israeli-Indian relations have come of age.
The UN Human Rights Council closed out its 29th session on July 3 by passing its 62nd resolution against Israel, more than it has passed for every other country combined. This resolution, in which the Council adopted its Commission of Inquiry's misleading Gaza report, saw ‘yes' votes from 41 of 47 Council members, including countries Israel has traditionally considered allies such as Germany and France (although there may have been tactical considerations behind the European vote.) The sole ‘no' vote came from the United States, and five countries abstained, including Kenya, Ethiopia, Macedonia, and Paraguay.
But Israel saw perhaps a surprising diplomatic victory in the fifth abstention: India.