India-Israel ties are finally out in the open for everyone to see. Decades of unsure diplomacy behind closed doors by one party just for the sake of votes of a community meant almost stagnant relations between the two democracies. Now, that hesitance is well in the past.
Prime Minister Modi has become the first Indian prime minister to visit the Jewish state. Till now, previous governments feared that explicitly advertising India’s relations with Israel would harm its relations with Arab nations, especially Palestine. But this visit is truly a game-changer.
The question that arises is – If the Muslim world is act truly so touchy on India’s deepening ties with Israel, then why hasn’t any such nation opposed the visits? Let’s see why.
Saudi Arabia is a nation that has improving relations with Israel. It even hopes that Israel will use its air force to take out Iran’s nuclear weapon facilities. Saudi has close relations with India as well and hence there is no opposition to the visit from this power of the Muslim world.
Turkey was close friends with Israel, but now there’s enmity between the two. Yet, even Turkey hasn’t spoken against this meet. The reason being that Turkey is eager to enter India’s market. Turkish President Erdogan recently visited India, and clearly said that India is a friend.
Another nation that is a threat to Israel is Iran. India has burgeoning relations with Iran with a great volume of trade and now the latest geopolitical partnership in the form of the Chabahar Port. But the Iranians aren’t opposed to this visit either despite their animosity towards Israel.
The Iranian ambassador to India recently said at a gathering, “Iran will not dictate to India who it should be friends with and India should not allow its friends to dictate its relations with Iran.” So, India can run its diplomacy with Israel on a separate track within being concerned about what Tehran thinks.
This visit to Israel doesn’t mean that India will budge on its support for a two-state solution. But this visit has de-hyphenated India’s relations with Israel and Palestine. Also, the Prime Minister of Palestine visited India two months back. So, statements that India has downgraded its relations with Palestine are simply absurd.
Arab leaders from nations such as Qatar, UAE, even Morocco and Oman have been to India in the past few years. They are attracted by India’s rapidly growing economy and Prime Minister Modi’s rising status as a world leader.
To put it in a nutshell, India’s huge market, fast growing economy, demographics and the rising stature of our Prime Minister is preventing Arab nations from taking an explicit stance against the visit of Prime Minister Modi to Israel.