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India, Israel and the Jewish People

This chapter examines the core dynamics of Indo-Israeli links from the independence of India (1947) and Israel (1948) to today (2017). Reviewing political, military, economic, and cultural relations will show how far all civilian fields have, until very recently, lagged behind the military relationship; some still do. A short list of main events and dates over seven decades of history includes:

  • 1947: India votes against the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine (UN Resolution 181);
  • 1949: India votes against the admission of Israel to the United Nations;
  • 1952: India recognizes the State of Israel but declines diplomatic and other relations;
  • 1950s-1991: India’s political and public position is hostile to Israel;
  • 1960s: Beginning of secret Indo-Israeli military relations, with no political effects;
  • 1992: India establishes diplomatic relations with Israel;
  • 1998-2004: The newly elected Hindu BJP government boosts relations with Israel;
  • 2004-2014: The Congress Party’s return to power stalls further progress in relations;
  • 2014: The election victory of the BJP’s Narendra Modi opens a new period of open friendship and cooperation with Israel.

Thus, for these two states that claim to descend from civilizations that are thousands years old, change happened with the speed of light. But India has time, and Israel, which faces a new threat every other day, does not have time. For Israel the wait seemed long.