Monday, January 5, 2009

Why Indians seem to Support Israel

Israel's assault on Hamas in the Gaza Strip has received condemnation from the Government of India. The communist parties have staged protests outside the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi, while pro-Islamic movements have held demonstrations in Srinagar, burning Israeli flags.

But in all the noise, there is a quiet, unspoken truth: most Indians wish India could be as strong as Israel. Last summer, India was bombed virtually every alternate day. Indian Mujahideen, HuJI, LeT, JeM: the list goes on, and the training sites are always in PoK, Lahore, Karachi or Bangladesh. 

The anger within the masses swelled up, while an absolutely ineffective Home Minister failed to do anything. It was only after 26/11 that the country stood up and said 'Enough is Enough.' People accused the Government of not caring for Indian lives. They demanded an assault on Pakistan, ripping apart terror infrastructure there. 

Interestingly, the people of Israel have been saying the same things. Only, their government listened. Various eyewitness accounts speak of how Israelis living near Gaza lived in a perpetual state of fear. Rockets were launched from Gaza, hundreds a day. That's the equivalent of what's been happening in India: bombs here, rockets there. In India, about 20 serial blasts took place last year. In Israel, 3,000 rockets were launched last year from Gaza!

Now, you will hear a lot of political voices speaking up against Israel. They are politicians and DO NOT represent the wider opinion of the nation. Yes, in the world's largest democracy, the Foreign Policy has only been tweaked a little since Independence, and the strong anti-American tide during the Indira Gandhi regime has given way to pro-US (and consequently, pro-Israeli) feelings which are not adequately reprsented in the Indian foreign policy. 

It might sound evil, it might sound wrong, but it's the truth: India would have loved it if the Government had blasted Pakistan, as Israel is blasting Gaza. For two countries which established diplomatic links only in 1992, the Indo-Israel relationship has grown on culture, values and terror strikes.

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