Hello defence lovers! In this article, we are going to discuss the Israel-Palestine conflict from the Indian perspective and would try to understand why India can’t afford to support either of them.
Also read: Explained: The Israel Palestine Conflict So Far
Today Israel and India have very strong deplomatic and military relation. Israel is one of India’s largest military hardware supplier. The leaders of both the countries share very warm relations. Israel sees itself as an all weather ally of India, and has always supported India on all international forums.
But it is surprising to know that Indians have made very little effort in making indo-israel relations, what they are today. India is the only country in the quad which recognises Palestine as a country. A few decades ago, Israel India relations were not what they are today. Previously time and again India had voted against Israel in many international forums. But Israel had huge patience with India and made all the efforts and initiatives to improve their relations with India.
Like other western countries like the United States, Canada and the European Countries India cannot openly issue statements supporting Israel. Let’s understand why. Most of the western countries have homogeneous societies. But India is a country of diversity. In this Israel-Palestine conflict, religion is key factor. Almost every major religion has its followers in India. So supporting statement in favour of any country might hurt religious sentiments of our own people.
The Middle East
The middle East has always been engulfed in conflicts. India has policy to keep itself away from these conflicts. India has developed close ties with Saudi Arabia, UAE with the gulf countries. Countries like Iran, are diplomatically and strategically very important for us and our foreign policy.
India is more or less dependent upon the gulf countries for its energy requirement. Apart from energy dependence, large number of Indian workers migrate to these Gulf countries for employment.
Iran has crucial role in India’s plan to access the central Asian markets. We have billion dollar investment in Iran’s Charbahar port. India is looking forward to buy large quantities of crude oil from Iran and waiting for the sanctions to be removed.
The entire Muslim world including all the gulf countries is angry with Israel for its violence on Gaza. In such a scenario, India cannot openly issue statements supporting Israel’s military actions in Gaza. It will ruin India’s relation with the gulf countries.
Israel is equally important for India. Israel is India’s most reliable defence partner. Israeli equipment are everywhere, be it Tejas or INS Vikrant.
India is against all forms of terrorism. Thus we are dead against Hamas. Israel has the right to defend itself against terrorist attacks. Israel targetting Hamas is justified. A country facing existential threat is bound to utilize all its resources. Israeli Defence forces’ primary responsibility it to protect its citizen. Thus sometimes IDF ignores the collateral damage to ensure the safety of its citizen first.
But the way Israel has been using its air power, it needs some checks. Recently Israel bombed Al-Jazeera’s (a prominent central Asian news agency) building. This reflects Israel’s intent to propagate its own propaganda and narrative by suppression of the journalists who were reporting from ground zero in Gaza.
As a country India supports Israel’s actions to wipe out terrorists from its neighbouring countries (although we might not express it publicly due to our obligations, which leaders of both the nation’s understand very well). But India is against any illegal occupation and annexation of land of any other country.
Thus India cannot pick any side in the Israel-Palestine conflict and has to stay neutral.India neither supports or opposes both the parties in the conflict entirely. India supports peace and opposes terrorism and violance.