These days, Israeli newspapers are openly publishing stories about India-Israel Friendship. They describe India and Israel as natural allies. Indian newspapers are not lagging behind. On the eve of the Aero India show in Banglore, a leading national newspaper wrote: “Israel, India’s furtive defence supplier that both countries keep shrouded behind layers of confidentiality, has outed itself in the Aero India 9th edition.” Israel’s ambassador Alon Ushpiz said: “Israel and India share a ‘level of intimacy and co-operation’ that is reflected in and is an ‘integral part’ of the growing multifaceted relationship between our two countries.” “Without going into details, the friendship and chemistry between Israelis and Indians… is a source of pride and indeed a bedrock of security, stability and tranquillity for both our nations,” he said. So important has Israel’s presence been at this edition of Aero India that even Defence Minister A.K. Antony, known for his aversion to being publicly seen in the company of possibly India’s most reliable military supplier as of now, allowed himself to be photographed with Major General Ehud Shani, the Director General in Israel’s Ministry of Defence.
These stories confirm what many in India would consider dangerous. They delineate how the Jewish lobby in the U.S. was responsible for the Indo – US nuclear deal and how they have been able to penetrate the Indian defence market. It is not really a ‘disclosure’ that India is the largest buyer of Israeli arms but the public display of closeness of the UPA ( United Progressive Alliance also termed the Un-Patriotic Alliance by its critics ) Ministers with Israeli counterparts and officials is shocking. Muslims all over the world consider Israel as the enemy of Islam, which is why political parties with secular credentials are generally anti-Israel. It helps them to keep their minority vote bank intact. So far it was kept concealed and camouflaged that Indian defence procurement and India’s relation with the US is directly influenced by the Jewish lobby. But, now it is a open secret. The influence of the Jewish lobby can be gauged from the fact that on the issue of the nuclear deal, the Congress had staked the UPA Government’s very survival.
Last year the then Indian Foreign Minister S.M Krishna’s visit to Israel received extensive coverage in both Israel and India. It was the highest ranking Indian visit to Israel in 11 years. The friendship between India and Israel has grown noticeably. Time and again it is pointed out that the Jewish- American lobby is behind Indo- American unity and this lobby influenced the nuclear deal between America and India. Moreover, the Jewish lobby backed the purchasing of weapons from Israel. The Congress had been hiding India’s emerging relationship with Israel. But what is shocking is that the Congress Government allowed Israel to open a consulate in Bangalore and even signed an extradition treaty. The liberal Congress policy makers now want a free trade agreement with Israel, so that Israeli goods can be sold freely in India.
Bilateral trade between India and Israel stands today at $5 billion and could hit $15 billion if a free trade agreement is signed. Cooperation in the agriculture, water, homeland security and aerospace sectors has flourished over the past 10 years. Besides, it is no secret that Israel has become one of India’s top defence suppliers and partners. The US has viewed positively the development of a strong partnership between India and Israel, particularly in the military and security spheres. American Jewish Advocacy Groups have played a key role in both strengthening US support for the Indo-Israeli relationship, and pushing for India’s rapprochement with Israel. India had come to believe that the American Jewish lobby had a major influence on Washington and improving relations with Israel would not only enhance India’s standing vis-à-vis the American Jewish community but also, in turn, help advance links with the US.
Bilateral trade between India and Israel stands today at $5 billion and could hit $15 billion if a free trade agreement is signed. Cooperation in the agriculture, water, homeland security and aerospace sectors has flourished over the past 10 years. Besides, it is no secret that Israel has become one of India’s top defence suppliers and partners. The US has viewed positively the development of a strong partnership between India and Israel, particularly in the military and security spheres.
During the Bush regime the Jewish lobby brought together the US, India and Israel. During Congress rule pro-Israel officials and experts were appointed to responsible posts. Many student exchange programme flourished. Many research institutes were created whose sole agenda was to create fear and panic so that a pressure is created to buy more weapons. Apart from this, American Jewish organisations have continued to push for closer links between India and Israel, and for the recognition of overlapping interests between India, Israel and the US. Unobtrusively, news of misappropriation in 9 per cent of strategic ties and allegations of kickbacks in India-Israel deals came and evanesced but nothing has been done yet. Any suspicious matter was always brushed aside. It seems India has become blindly generous to Israel and that could prove to be fatal in coming times. Significantly, the export of defense equipment is a major source of income for Israel. It is quite surprising that India is the biggest country which purchases weapons from Israel. Certainly, this raises a host of questions and the probability of a mediator. Now the issue is beyond the ambit of the Foreign and Defense Ministries.
Why would Israel like its relations with India to burgeon? What are the underlying benefits and strategies of both the countries? The first question is : how India suddenly became the world’s largest buyer of Israeli weapons ? Secondly, the closeness of the two countries is a deep secret, and Israel is not just selling weapons, they are transferring the technology too. Both the countries want Jammu and Kashmir to be free from Jihadi elements and the destruction of Pakistan. Both are eyeing Islamic terrorism as an evil and Pakistan as their enemy.
The Government of India along with Israel and America has come up with a strike and crush policy. This paved the way for Mossad in India and eventually their cooperation with Indian intelligence agencies. It is significant that the BJP gave them the opportunity to strengthen their grip in India and the Congress is strengthening it further. This evokes a host of fresh questions : are there any military ties between India and Israel? Are they strategic partners or part of a strategic alliance? According to information received until now it could be said that there have been no military ties yet but in the case of Indo-Israel nothing can be said with assurance as there is a distinct element of furtiveness in their agreements and meetings. A few experts opine that there could be a Secret Strategic Partnership between the two.
In the 2008, ISRO successfully launched the Israeli satellite “Polaris”. Just after that, on 20th April 2009, India launched an Israel-made imaging satellite RISAT-2. Surprisingly, the launching was not shown on Doordarshan. The information was divulged when YS Reddy died in a helicopter crash. The Israel-made imaging satellite was used to locate the crashed helicopter.
The Government must disclose how many satellites were launched apart from RISAT-2 with the purpose of keeping an eye on Islamic countries. The Government of India with the help of Israel, fast-tracked vital surveillance systems in the wake of the attack by Islamic extremists on Mumbai, India’s commercial hub, in November 2008 in which 166 people were killed, five of them Israelis. In January 2009, India took delivery of the first of three Phalcon all-weather AWACS, also built by IAI, the flagship of Israel’s defense industry, under a $1.1 billion deal. The Phalcons made India the first State in South Asia to have advanced multi-sensor AWACs capable of providing tactical surveillance or multiple airborne and surface targets and able to gather signals intelligence. As part of the Phalcon deal, the Israelis have disclosed that they would establish five factories in India to produce artillery shells, a project reportedly worth $250 million. In addition, the Congress Government in Andhra Pradesh has given Israel a free hand to open software companies. Israel will not just set up a Research Project but wants Hyderabad to be a software hub where the defense and hi-tech surveillance equipment will be made. Interestingly, there is a Congress Government in Andhra Pradesh. Why did India allow Israel to set up weapons factories in India? Did Parliament ever discuss this issue? Interestingly, the Government does not need approval of Parliament on an agreement with Israel.
The Congress has forgotten the fact that even before Independence Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru were against the division of Palestine. On 29 November 1947, India voted against the creation of Israel in the United Nations. Whatever the Congress is doing today is against the basic structure of Indian foreign policy. India has always been a supporter of Palestine. Since 1948, Indo-Israeli relations have been quite secretive. Today, what the Congress is doing is blatantly against the basic structure of India’s foreign policy. Palestine has always been supportive of India. Gandhi and Nehru had opposed the creation of Israel. India’s relationship with Israel has been a secret since 1948. This is why it took 44 years for both the countries to open their embassies. The Israeli Embassy in New Delhi and the Indian Embassy in Tel Aviv were opened in 1992. A major shift in relations between Israel and India came when the BJP formed a Government. Israel has been crushing the rights of Palestinians. Ignoring the friendship and the trust of the Arab nations, the Congress Government befriended Israel. Quite apart from the possibility of secret arms deals and pacts, the friendship with Israel means that we will have to close our eyes to the plight of Palestine. Are both or either of them acceptable from the viewpoint of to put it mildly transparency?