OPINION

 

The visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to India was the final move towards normalizing the bilateral ties. That process received impetus in 1992 with the establishment of diplomatic ties between India and Israel. Major milestones were achieved by the visit of first Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2003 to India complemented by the first Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sojourn to Israel in 2017. Presently, the focus shifts to the future with Benjamin Netanyahu’s current 6 day visit, and their joint statement marked a 25 year timeline to embark towards a strategic partnership on the basis of shared interests.

India’s large imports of military inventory and Israel’s stature as a leading arms exporter offer a natural reciprocity to the bilateral ties. The commonality of characteristics between the two leaders includes an evident political resolve concerning Islamic radicalism and terrorism.

We saw Delhi voting with the wider global consensus on Jerusalem and censuring the US over its announcement. Netanyahu, however, did not consider the vote to materially influence the bilateral. Both Delhi and Tel  Aviv are eager to diversify the existing bandwidth of the trade and commercial ties a step forward of military sales. The new mutual engagement includes energy, cyber safety and arid land agricultural techniques.

The business scenario saw India acknowledging Israeli collaboration in Indian production with Narendra Modi hinting at the successful mix of India as a nation with “size and scale” and an Israel laden with “sharpness and edge”.

Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu also acknowledged the “natural partnership” that serves the hard power requirement of both nations. Moreover, a fragmented West Asia makes it favorable for India to take independent policy decisions on India-Israel relations as well as on Palestine.