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India, Israel and the Jewish People

17. Apart from militant Indian Muslims and the increasingly irrelevant communist/Marxist parties, the most persistent and outspoken hostility to Israel can be found among some of India’s intellectual elites, including artists and writers. It expresses itself in BDS activism, protests against links with Israel, etc. While this hostility has little impact on India’s Israel policies and does not affect India’s Jews, it permeates some of India’s intellectual sphere.

  • Do not ignore the hostility of Indian writers and intellectuals, but try to understand its roots and open a series of dialogues with the intellectual elite of the country. In contrast to Europe, hostility to Israel among Indians has no old roots. There has never been indigenous anti-Semitism in India.
  • Invite to Israel a delegation of Indian women activists who are political and social leaders, and organize meetings with, among others, their Israeli counterparts.
  • Organize conferences in Israeli or Indian universities to discuss similarities and differences between the Israeli and Indian experience in the 20th century. For example, how do Israel and India cope with national traumas, of the Holocaust in the case of Israel, of partition and its massacres in the case of India? Or, what should be the relationship between religion and state in democracies with very old historical roots, such as Israel and India?
  • Invite some of the most popular Indian writers of the young generation (e.g. Aravind Adiga, Chetan Bhagat) to Israel, for example to participate in the Jerusalem International Book Fair.