Inconsistency in Modi government’s diplomatic policy of West Asia By Yash
This is the first time when Indian Prime Minister landed on the soil of Israel, which will prove to be milestone in giving a new dimension to the political, economic and defence partnership of the two countries. Many observers have tried to capitalize on the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel's historic journey, in which the bilateral relations have the ability to overcome "new heights". However, none of these accounts have properly defined what these "new heights" will really look like. This visit is symbolically overdue because both countries had established diplomatic relations, and after 14 years of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's visit to New Delhi, Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to travel to Israel after 25 years.
It is particularly difficult practice to develop this unique historical nature and this relationship to evaluate Indo-Israel relations. From Nehru to Modi, India has carefully balanced its policy towards various politicians and alliances in West Asia at the expense of normalizing its relations with Israel. Since 1992, both the Congress Party and the BJP have developed significant defence and trade relations with Israel, while a Palestinian state has maintained a strong commitment to the creation of the state. Given this historic legacy, it is not clear whether the current Modi government has a clear idea of how it wants to take this relationship.
Initially, Modi announced his trip to Israel for a regular meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in June 2015, and showed interest in modifying India's diplomatic support for Palestine in multilateral organizations not at that level as it used to be. However, after initially pointing out the Israeli-backed change, Modi started work on a curriculum reform by mid-2015 and effectively started the policy of multilateralism of all relevant Western Asian artists. Prior to the Israeli trip, Modi has toured the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iran. In anticipation of Israeli visit, Modi hosted Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas in May 2017 and reaffirmed India's traditional support for "Peace with Israel" for an independent Palestinian nation. These different developments show that the Modi government's policy of West Asia has not yet been formulated properly.
Consequently, can we expect any significant change in India's position? What has emerged in the current transaction partnership over the last decade has at least four benefits. First of all, it benefits both India and Israel in particular in the defence sector. India is Israel's largest arms market, with $1 billion of defence sales per year. After Russia and America, Israel has become India's most important weapon supplier. Second, unlike recent times, trade and defense relations have developed separatist movements of political events, whether they were in regional crisis (in Gaza) or domestic political change (in Congress and BJP). Third and last, current relations have attracted limited conflicts with regional Arab collaborators.
Consequently, observers have usually indicated that Modi has indicated to personally make changes in order to tilt towards individual gesture to change India's traditional approach in this field, it seems that both regional pressures and opportunities are being reiterated to Modi for a more neutral viewpoint, looking at the unique nature of this bilateral relationship and imminent journey. There is a possibility, a change is a possibility.