Mahatma Gandhi considered the idea of creating Israel on Palestinian land to be a crime against humanity: 10 years before the creation of Israel he wrote thus in ‘The Harijan’: “… Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home”.
In 1948, this is exactly what was done to create Israel.
Here’s why friendship with Israel is bad for India and her citizens:
1). Ideologically, India and Israel have nothing in common: India is a secular, multi-ethnic, democratic country born out of a heroic struggle against occupation and colonialism. Israel is a racist state, which also happens to be the western world’s last project of old-style colonialism and occupation of foreign lands. India’s interests lie in a more equal distribution of power in the world, while Israel is committed to clinging on to its disproportionate influence in world affairs.
2). Indian-Israeli friendship strengthens Israel, but prevents India from achieving its destiny in today’s changing world: There is no doubt that the world’s equations are rapidly changing in favor of emerging powers like China, India, Iran and Brazil. Israel is a power that belongs to the past. At such time, being saddled with a demanding but weak friend like Israel prevents India from availing of this new opportunity and achieving her true place on the world’s stage.
3). Friendship with a failing, dysfunctional state on the verge of collapse is dangerous: Through intransigence and injustice over the past 6 decades,Israel has brought itself to the point where even its most ardent supporters have begun to ask aloud whether it will survive the coming years. This is dangerous as any failing, dysfunctional state like Israel will try to cling on to and use a healthier state like India to delay its own inevitable disappearance.
4). The strategic and political costs of India-Israel relations are not worth it: Being friends with Israel inevitably means limiting friendship with the many tens of states in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America who stand opposed to Israel. Many of these states are poised to play large roles in tomorrow’s world. In the ultimate analysis, friendship with Israel entails a cost that’s simply not worth paying.
5). Friendship with Israel lowers India’s prestige and soft power while raising Israel’s: Being closely associated with a rogue and pariah state like Israel damages India’s prestige among the nations of the world, and diminishes her soft power and influence among nations. Israel on the other hand is able to boost its questionable legitimacy through association with the great nation of India.
6). Economically, India-Israel relations benefit Israel but hurt India: With hardly any population or resources, and with its economic output heavily dependent on American aid and its exploitation of occupied land and labor, Israel has almost nothing of genuine economic value to offer India in the long run. India with its vast resources on the other hand, is an economy that Israel seeks to exploit.
7). Israeli influence has subverted our foreign policy away from serving our national interest to serving its interest: As has been repeatedly demonstrated in the past few years, India usually toes the American or Israeli line on international issues of national importance – for e.g. the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline project. This benefits the West and Israel but damages our national interest.
8). Israel has thoroughly infiltrated our security and intelligence establishment: Those following these matters agree that Israeli intelligence now has massive influence on our own intelligence and security agencies. This means that these resources are increasingly being diverted away from serving our nation’s needs to serving the needs of Israel and the west. Mr. Kazmi’s arrest is a case in point.
9). Israeli involvement in defense has weakened our armed forces, fostered corruption and dependence while enriching Israeli firms: Israel today isIndia’s biggest arms supplier. Through bribery, faulty training, and foisting sub-standard, expensive equipment upon our forces, Israel has weakened our army. Also domestic defense equipment labs and firms have had to reduce themselves to becoming sub-contractors for Israeli defense firms.
10). The two decades of India-Israel relations have also seen India’s worst days in terms of communal harmony, social justice and equality: Babri Masjid in 1992, Gujrat in 2002 are just two examples. Also, economic inequalities in our society have dramatically worsened during this period. The enactment of draconian laws such as POTA and UAPA, and land-grabbing on a massive scale in the name of economic development have all peaked during this time. Is all this mere co-incidence?
The earlier we Indians end this toxic relationship, the lesser will be the damage we suffer. It is a welcome sign to see that this is what was proposed in our Rajya Sabha in March 2012 by MP Shri Mohammad Adeeb.