28 February, 2021

The Hard Trek To Mount Of Olives

It has taken 25 years for India to break out of its moral duplicity regarding Israel. West Asia has changed, so have Indian priorities that demand realpolitik.

Warmth Personified
Narendra Modi meets Benjamin Netanyahu at the airport in Tel Aviv
Photograph by PTI
The Hard Trek To Mount Of Olives

Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel from July 4-6 is a first by an Indian head of government. Israeli premier Benjamin Neta­nyahu flew down from Jerusalem, breaking protocol, to warmly receive Modi. It culminates a process that began 25 years ago, when P.V. Narasimha Rao recalibrated Indian foreign policy to the post-Cold War world. It would be useful to capture the evolution of bilateral relations.

In 1991, when Rao assumed office, he faced an empty treasury, a limping economy and India’s all-weather friend, the Soviet Union, imploding. Post the fall of the Berlin Wall, the world moved from a bipolar balance to US hegemony. Francis Fukuyama declared the end of history, implying victory of the Western liberal order. The US’ 1991 intervention in the Gulf, to successfully eject Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, confirmed the new unipolar global order. It then turned to settle the lingering Israel-Palestine dispute. The Madrid Peace Conference was jointly convened by the US and Russia on October 30-Nov­ember 1, 1991. Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and...

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