Thursday, June 4, 2015

Welcome Break from Hypocrisy

In her interaction with the media to commemorate the first year of the formation of the Narendra Modi-led BJP Government, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced that several high-level visits to Israel following that of Home Minister Rajnath Singh last year were on the cards, leading up to the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself, the first such visit in history between two countries that destiny has aligned together, for better or worse. It is no secret that a large section of India, a majority in fact, appreciate Israeli efforts to defend themselves against Hamas-backed terrorism, making the death of each Israeli civilian a big deal, unlike India which can largely used its soldiers and civilians as canon fodder while dithering in making hard choices.

Let's state it clearly: India's Middle East policy has been duplicitous and self-damaging. Support to Palestine has gotten us nothing from the Middle East. We buy oil from them at full price, unlike the client state of Pakistan that receives billions in aid from Saudi Arabia. We supplement dictatorships there by providing cheap, almost slave-like labor so that the oil wealth can be used to buy the silence of the people there, and in return we get remittances, which are a product of that slave labor and not some gift as leftists like to imagine. In return, the Organization of Islamic Conference, dominated by the Middle East, has a special envoy who basically takes the Pakistani position on Kashmir. And not to forget how Saudi Arabia funds terrorist factories in Pakistan that strike India, among other countries. This is what decades of appeasement politics has gotten us.

Israel, on the other hand, has proven to be a worthy friend despite having every reason not to. The Indian Government, dominated by the Indian National Congress, voted against the creation of Israel barely a few years after voting in favor of the Partition of India, a clear case of double-speak. While it recognized Israel, it refused to have any official diplomatic ties, despite the alleged fact that Israel's Mossad helped create RAW after the catastrophic war of 1962 with China. It was only in 1992 when the hypocrisy of Nehru could be challenged that India's greatest Prime Minister PVN Rao opened up full diplomatic ties. In 1999, Israel was the only country in the world that sided with us in the Kargil War. Operation Parakram, despite its ultimate failure, would've been a non-starter without Israel. Today, Haryana and Maharashtra are using Israeli technology to improve agriculture and drought. Every year, Rishikesh and Haridwar welcome Israeli tourists by the thousands. All this, while being treated by the Indian government as a sort of secret mistress.

Leftists routinely speak against Israel out of what they call principle. Here's a principle - a friend in need is a friend indeed. By that step, all the countries that we once courted - China, the USSR and the Middle East - have been wicked enemies, while those that we berate - the US, Europe, Israel - have been allies. Here's another fact - the two-nation theory is a lie that cannot be run in India, as it is in Pakistan. Hindus and Muslims (and other groups) in India are part of the same Indian nation. What is good for India is good for all Indians. Defense against foreign invasion and drought are things that help Indian Muslims as much as everyone else. Therefore, the idea that India should boycott Israel to 'respect' the sentiments of Indian Muslims is based on the two-nation theory and should firmly be rejected.

Israel's timely and ready assistance to India is something that deserves praise, not to be hidden behind a curtain. Prime Minister Modi's visit to Israel will be a landmark one for India and should be welcomed by all patriotic Indians. It is the culmination of an unexpected but strong friendship, bound together by nothing less than the horrors of 26/11. 

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