Wednesday, July 5, 2017

PM’s Israel visit reflects pragmatism

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Israel visit reflects his pragmatic approach and dynamism. He is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel. The warm welcome extended to PM Modi by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had come to the airport to receive him personally, shows how much Israel is interested and eager to co-operate with India in every field, ranging from agriculture, Science and Technology, Space, Counter terrorism, Security and several others. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also made it clear before his Israel visit that India’s stand in regard to Palestine remains unchanged. India recognized Israel in 1950 and established full diplomatic relations with it in 1992. Israel has always been on India’s side against Pakistan. It had supported India in 1971 and Kargil war against Pakistan. So, Israel is a very good friend of India. It is also tried and trusted friend. Israel has the population of only 90 lakh. It is very small in comparison to India. But with use of advanced technology and skills, Israel has recorded tremendous development in the field of agriculture, defence, space, security, science and technology and others. Israel has second largest number of Start-Ups. As far as counter-terror mechanism is concerned, it has mastery in it. Israel like India has also been the victim of terrorism. So, coming closer to Israel may antagonize Pakistan, but it will be very beneficial for India. As far as defence equipment and the issue of security are concerned, Israel has no match. One more benefit for India by coming closer to Israel is that there is a strong Jewish lobby in the US. It will also speak in favour of India before the US administration and policy makers. As far as the issue of human rights violations is concerned, India has always been in forefront against it. But when it has a full-blown relationship with Saudi Arabia and China against whom there are charges of human rights violations, what is the wrong with having a full-blown relationship with Israel? The chief characteristics of India’s foreign policy are that it weighs everything on merit and takes its independent decision in regard to establishing relation with any country. Though the trade and commercial relations between India and Israel have been going on for years and they have been going from strength to strength but PM Modi’s visit to Israel will give a boost to them. Becoming more and more friendly with Israel may be irksome for India’s hostile neighbour, but one thing is certain that both the countries are moving upwards with a positive and dynamic approach. The meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Israeli PM and President clearly reflects the bonhomie among the leaders. PM Modi’s personal touch and chemistry reflect in the meeting. Though President Pranab Mukherjee had visited Israel last year, PM Modi is the first to do so. Our Defence and other officials have also visited Israel frequently to carry forward trade and commercial relations between the two countries. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit has instilled confidence in Israel that the leader of world’s largest democracy also has good will and respect for it. Israel will be very helpful to India in increasing its agricultural production. As Israel has mastered the art of turning desert to green, India can take lesson from it how to cultivate in the scarcity of water and lack of irrigation. As Agriculture has always been prey to either drought or flood in India, Israel will provide assistance to overcome irrigational problems. From the point of view of co-operation in various fields, deeper relations with Israel will be very fruitful. Israel is the most suitable country to provide assistance to India to overcome the problem of cross border terrorism.

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