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سید ثاقب اکبر نقوی

Ever-increasing relations between India and Israel has now transformed into closer friendship. The latest manifestation of this warmth was evident when the prime ministers of the two countries met in New York on 29 September 2014. The two leaders discussed cooperation in areas ranging from agriculture and water management to defence and cybersecurity. According to the Jerusalem Post, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyaho told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that sky was the limit for relations between the two countries. “We’re very excited by the prospects of greater and greater ties with India, we think the sky is the limit.” He further said: “We are two old people, some of the oldest civilizations on earth. But we are also two democracies. We’re proud of our rich traditions, but also eager to seize the future. I believe that if we work together, it will be for the benefit of both our people.”


The ties between the current Indian prime minister and Israel are very old. As chief minister of Indian state of Gujrat, Modi had visited Israel in 2006. Earlier in 2003, then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had visited India. The New York-engagement was the second important meeting at the highest level between Tel Aviv and New Delhi. From the beginning of his tenure as Prime Minister of India, Modi had a very clear plan for forging close ties with Israel. It is for the same reason that Modi govt refused to condemn Israel in parliament for its aggression in Gaza Strip in August as demanded by the opposition parties. This led to a walkout from the Lok Sabha by the Congress and two other parties. This action on the part of the Indian govt clearly depicted the stance of Modi as far as Israel and its attack on Gaza was concerned.


Meanwhile, the National Assembly of Pakistan passed a unanimous resolution condemning the brutal Israeli assault on Gaza. Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz moved the resolution on 3 August 2014 which was unanimously adopted by the members of all the parties represented in the National Assembly. The resolution said: “Pakistan condemns in the strongest possible terms the brutal Israeli strikes against the people of Gaza and those abetting the genocide. Besides killing unarmed civilians and innocent women and children, the attack has resulted in the loss of precious lives, injuries to thousands and displacement of large number of people from their homes, causing the people of Pakistan and the Muslim world great pain and anguish.” On the occasion, Sartaz Aziz said: “The Pakistani government and nation stands by the Palestinian brethren in this hour of agony. Our hearts ache for innocent and unarmed Palestinians who were targeted and brutally killed by Israeli forces even during the holy month of Ramazan. We do not see any logical justification for Israeli cruelties. We cannot name it anything other than unprovoked aggression.”


Criticizing the Gaza assault, the Prime Minister of Pakistan said in a statement that the brutal actions of Israel against the Palestinians amounted to war crimes. He said Pakistani nation is with the people of Gaza and we support the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state. He further said that Israel always resorted to brute force against the people of Palestine which we strongly condemn.


Though the clandestine relations between India and Israel existed for a long time, but now due to cowardly behavior of the Arab rulers, this friendship has gradually started to unfold before the world. However, the leadership of Pakistan, right from the beginning, has been declaring Israel as an illegitimate state.


There were almost thirty two thousands Jews living in India at the time of creation of Pakistan. Israel, in order to increase its power, was then bringing Jews from all over the world to settle them in Palestine. India also played its part in this regard and as a result twenty five thousand Jews from this Asian country gradually settled in Israel. This was done to dislodge the original inhabitants of Palestine from their homeland snatching their lands and resources. These Jews played a major role in developing and promoting relations between India and Israel. Immediately after the illegitimate creation of Israel in 1948, Tel Aviv sent delegations to India expressing its desire to establish relations with New Delhi. In fact India officially recognized Israel in September 1950, but kept these ties secret due to its strategic interests and political constraints in particular those related to India’s close links with the Arab and Muslim world and to India’s Muslim domestic population. Afterwards both the countries signed an agreement on intelligence sharing. It was in 1992, when Israel and India formally announced the establishment of diplomatic relations between them. Later, the intelligence agencies of the two countries, RAW and MOSSAD, signed another agreement to further enhance cooperation between the two. The first Prime Minister of Israel David Ben Gurion, in his initial policy statement, declared that Hinduism and Zionism were the two oldest civilizations of the world and that they were natural allies of each other. He said that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (India's first prime minister) was a great leader of the Third World and we needed to enhance friendship and cooperation with India.



The assertion of Ben Gurion declaring Hinduism and Zionism as the two oldest civilizations and the statement of incumbent Prime Minsiter of Israel Benjamin Netanyaho in New York saying that sky is the limit for India-Israeli ties and we are two old nations belonging to some of the oldest civilizations on earth, is a reflection of the same mindset. It shows that right from its illegal inception till today Israel has remained committed towards India. On the other hand, when Quaid-e-Azam was the Governor General of Pakistan, Ben Gurion had sent him a telegram expressing his desire to establish diplomatic relations with the newly formed country. In his official response to the letter, the founder of Pakistan said:


“Every man and woman of the Muslim world will die before Jews seize Jerusalem. I hope the Jews will not succeed in their nefarious designs and I wish Britain and America keep their hand off and then I will see how the Jews conquer Jerusalem. Over half a million Jews have already been accommodated in Jerusalem against the wishes of the people. May I know which other country has accommodated them? If domination and exploitation are carried now, there will be no peace and end of wars.”


Although in different periods some rulers in Pakistan, under the pressure of world powers, have been trying to pave the way for establishing ties with Israel, but the people of Pakistan have always openly and forcefully rejected such efforts. It is because of this public pressure that even now Pakistan officially considers Israel as an illegitimate state. I hope that due to the awareness of the masses, the policy towards Israel will not change till the day comes when this illegal state reaches its logical conclusion and the real inheritors and sons of the soil of Palestine are rehabilitated in their homeland.