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'Natural logic' of India-Israel ties crosses another threshold

'Natural logic' of India-Israel ties crosses another threshold

In addition to the Russian leader, Netanyahu plans to visit to India soon and hold talks Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and meet with President Donald Trump "in Washington in March, if not sooner". Looking at the history of India-Israel ties and a commitment for the strong and visionary leadership by both sides, there are fair chances that Netanyahu's visit will only further strengthen the already robust relationship.

Thus, it seems that the three issues that are central to the final Israel-Palestine settlement, i.e., emergence of a viable and sovereign Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital and the right of return of refugees, are being superseded by the deliberate creation of new realities in the occupied territories.

"I think everybody can see that".

In November, the defence ministry had made a decision to retract the process to acquire a batch of Spike missiles from Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, a deal which would have been worth $500 million, after the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) expressed confidence of producing the indigenous Nag ATGM.

Israel's state-owned defence contractor Rafael announced on January 3 that India had cancelled a $500 million order to buy its Spike anti-tank guided missiles.

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Conflicting reports about India's uncertain proposal to purchase Spike anti-tank missiles from Israel are also swirling in power corridors.

Netanyahu will be leading a high-profile delegation comprising 130 businessmen from 102 Israeli companies drawn from areas like agriculture, water, cybersecurity, healthcare and security.

However, Israeli Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon, at a media briefing, set at rest all speculation over this saying, "I think the relationship is much stronger than one vote in the United Nations here and there". At present, Israel is a major defence supplier to India exporting an average of $1 billion of military equipment each year. In April previous year the two countries signed a military deal worth almost $2 billion, which includes the supply of medium-range surface-to-air missiles, launchers and communications technology.

It will also highlight the countries' shared interest to fight extremism with the prime minister's visit to Mumbai to commemorate the November 2008 attacks. He said both PMs have struck a personal bond as well, which was displayed during Modi's visit to Israel past year.

The Ambassador described innovation as a "cross-cutting issue" and said this would be reflected in the discussions between Prime Ministers Modi and Netanyahu. Bollywood "mega-celebs wield tremendous influence around the world", Mr Cohen said.

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