Jerusalem: Israeli analysts generally accept India’s strategic need to demonstrate its traditional support for Palestine with some seeing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Ramallah as a “comfort prize” for Palestinians amid growing Indo-Israel ties.
Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Palestine, has reached Ramallah amid heightened tensions in the region after US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
India has consistently voted in favour of resolutions supporting the Palestinian cause at international forums, an issue that has bothered strategic partner Israel.
“I believe that the Palestinians understand that this visit is a comfort prize after Israel and India have grown closer dramatically in the last few years,” Lior Weintraub, a former Israeli spokesperson in New Delhi and Washington, said.
India is now prioritising the bilateral relationship with Israel that has a strategic aspect, cultural aspect and economic aspect, over allowing the impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian channel to dictate how India is going to act vis-a-vis some vital national interest that is has, the former diplomat further added.
Israelis are generally accepting of India’s strategic need to demonstrate its traditional support for the Palestinians with some seeing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Palestine as a “comfort prize” for intensifying Indo-Israel ties while others viewing it as a move to safeguard national interest.
Modi’s visit to Palestine comes just weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s much publicised trip to India. A section of the media and colleagues in his own Likud party hailed his “treatment like a King” in India, emphasising on the personal chemistry between Netanyahu and Modi.
The visit to Palestine may have come as a dampener to many Israeli India enthusiasts who have looked excited at the burgeoning ties between India and Israel but on the contrary there seems to be an understanding of “India’s national interest”.