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India May Abandon Its Unconditional Support for the Palestinians

Dec. 23 2014

For decades, India has been an unfailing supporter of the Palestinians at the UN. Despite the improvement in relations between India and Israel since 1991, this policy has continued. But India’s current government, which has sought expanded ties with Israel, is now signaling that it might jettison this policy, reflecting major changes within Indian public opinion. Vijeta Uniyal writes:

[India’s] firm support for the “Palestinian Cause” at international forums prompted commentators to refer to India as the 23rd Arab state. Many commentators within India have kept questioning the wisdom of an unconditional support for the Palestinians. They have pointed out the absence of support on the part of the Arab states with regard to the issue of cross-border Islamist terrorism sponsored by neighboring Pakistan. They have also questioned the morality of supporting a cause that employs terrorist tactics to achieve political aims—as thousands of Indians get slaughtered by terrorists year after year. With Islamic State now recruiting in the Indian subcontinent, the calls for a tough stand against global terrorism have grown stronger at home. . . .

The political base that elected Prime Minister Modi to the office is overwhelmingly supportive of Israel. During the recent Gaza conflict, Indians youth showed unprecedented support for Israel. At the height of the conflict the hash-tag “IndiawithIsrael” was trending prominently on social media. On August 16, the city of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) witnessed a 20,000-strong rally in support of Israel.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: India, Israel-India relations, Palestinians, Terrorism, United Nations

In Dealing with Iran, the U.S. Can Learn from Ronald Reagan

When Ronald Reagan arrived at the White House in 1981, the consensus was that, with regard to the Soviet Union, two responsible policy choices presented themselves: détente, or a return to the Truman-era policy of containment. Reagan, however, insisted that the USSR’s influence could not just be checked but rolled back, and without massive bloodshed. A decade later, the Soviet empire collapsed entirely. In crafting a policy toward the Islamic Republic today, David Ignatius urges the current president to draw on Reagan’s success:

A serious strategy to roll back Iran would begin with Syria. The U.S. would maintain the strong military position it has established east of the Euphrates and enhance its garrison at Tanf and other points in southern Syria. Trump’s public comments suggest, however, that he wants to pull these troops out, the sooner the better. This would all but assure continued Iranian power in Syria.

Iraq is another key pressure point. The victory of militant Iraqi nationalist Moqtada al-Sadr in [last week’s] elections should worry Tehran as much as Washington. Sadr has quietly developed good relations with Saudi Arabia, and his movement may offer the best chance of maintaining an Arab Iraq as opposed to a Persian-dominated one. But again, that’s assuming that Washington is serious about backing the Saudis in checking Iran’s regional ambitions. . . .

The Arabs, [however], want the U.S. (or Israel) to do the fighting this time. That’s a bad idea for America, for many reasons, but the biggest is that there’s no U.S. political support for a war against Iran. . . .

Rolling back an aggressive rival seems impossible, until someone dares to try it.

Read more at RealClear Politics

More about: Cold War, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, Ronald Reagan, U.S. Foreign policy