By Isha Chauhan from Amity University, Noida
The conflict between Israel- Palestine, often known as the “world’s most intractable conflict” is a result of the dispute between the land that is claimed by Jews as birthright and by Palestinians as self-determination. Even after various attempts to solve the conflict ,it still remains unsolved.
RELATION OF INDIA-PALESTINE
The attitude of India towards Palestine is the major result of the freedom struggle fought during colonization from British. Going back in time, in 1938 Gandhiji on the proposal to create a homeland for Jews mentioned, “sympathy for Jews would not blind me for justice and it is inhuman to pressurize Jews on Arab”. In 1947, India become the only non-muslim country to vote against the partition of Palestine and also to recognize PLO as the sole Palestanian representative.
India had opened the representative office for Palestinian authority, after it became a self governing body. The next step towards co-orperating with Palestine includes the notion of favoring Palestine for being a full member of UNESCO.
Technical assistance was also provided to Palestine so as to enhance it’s development. US$300,000 were given to Al-Azhar university for the construction of the library. In 1997, India offered 51 training courses for Palistenians in the academic year 1997-1998. In 2012, India pledged US$10 million as an aid to Palestine. USD 1.25 million was promised in 2016, so as to enable refugees to be self-dependent.
Being an all time partner of Palestine, India provides hundreds of scholarships to students resident of the country under ITEC. Cultural similarity is the next string that connects both the countries.
UNSCRAMBLING THE PRO-PALESTINE POLICY
India being an adobe to a large number of Muslim population is the reason of it being more sympathetic to the population in Palestine. Politicians of our country followed a pro-Palestine approach keeping in mind the sentiments of minority citizens. The country is dependent on Arab nations for import of oils, being the next major reason behind pro-Palestine policy.
The next reason being India’s co-operation with the Soviet Union at the time of cold world war. The main being the wish to counter Pakistan which could be made easier if Arab nations supported us.
THE INDO-ISRAEL RELATION
Even after voting against the creation of Israel in the UN resolution, full diplomatic ties were made in 1992. The probable reasons for the tectonic movement in the country’s stand includes the ones mentioned below. The country hasn’t ever got any negative trigger from the Arab country in the Kashmir issue. Even before tying diplomatic rights, Israel was on back of India during Indo -Pak wars.
With the changing times, the collapse of Soviet Union occurred, giving rise to the US as a superpower. India aligning with the US came to be a plus point in securing Indo-Israel relation.
Israel being one of the countries that helped India during the Kargil war, further strengthened the India-Israel relations. The problems in India’s intelligence were rectified and sorted by Israeli assistance. Israel is an important defence reporter for the country. Operation Parakram was successful only because of the special planes provided by Israel. Indo-Israeli agricultural collaboration is the next major stand that connects the nations. Israel being a major source of help in order to intensify the modern day techniques. The past few years have been proven to be a great source of space research, commerce and trade as a result of strengthened Indo-Israel relations.
INDIA’S STAND ON THE ISRAEL-PALESTINE CONFLICT
India supports the establishment of viability and sovereignity in the state of Palestine. India though is in support of Palestine but it’s relation with Israel has not been affected due to it’s stand. The government of India was not in favour of passing the resolution in resolution in parliament which would in turn condemn Isreali action in 2014. In the year 2015, a UNHRC report of inquiry was launched which aimed at investigating the international human rights and humanitarian laws. India in this resolution disapproved for voting against Israel.
The change in the thread of relations of Indo- Israel though felt for some as a beginning of dilution of the relation between Indo- Palestine, but this isn’t true. The major reason behind India strengthening relations with Israel is the country’s being the hub of India’s energy security. Even after the country strengthened relations with Isreal , the fact that India having pro-palestine policy can’t be denied thus supporting Palestine to the fullest. India being a pragmatic equalizer is acting as a thread connecting the two . The approach used is creating a more balanced environment between both further promoting peace.
The major concern that India shouldn’t forget before endorsing Israel includes, the concern about energy security for which our country is still dependent on Arab nations. India’s relations with Saudi Arabia and Iran could also be affected by India’s increasing friendship with Israel, due to the reason of Saudi not recognizing Israel as a country and with Iran as it is in favour of Palestine.
India being currently trying to have a 2 state solution on Israel-Palestine issue. But seeing the current scenario, it seems nearly impossible as Israel wants India to end the pro-Palestine policy which would not only break the age old bond between the countries, but also would be a reason of the Iran-India conflict.
It is seen that India although is trying to apply a balancing approach in the issue of Israel-Palestine, even then the country needs to modify the strategy applied so as to sustain the past relations with Palestine as well as Iran and the other gulf countries, along with promoting a positive relation with Israel.