Narendra Modi’s Reelection Is Good News for Israel

India’s recent elections delivered a decisive victory to the sitting prime minister, Narendra Modi, and his BJP party. Noting Modi’s consistent commitment to bettering relations between Jerusalem and New Delhi, Vijeta Uniyal comments on what this portends for the Jewish state:

Though some [of the improvements in the relationship between the two countries] have taken place gradually since the early 1990s and can equally be credited to the previous Israeli and Indian governments, bilateral ties today bear Modi’s distinct signature. In keeping with his policy of forging a strong bond with the Indian diaspora worldwide, India’s government has made specials effort in reaching out to the nearly 85,000 Jews of Indian origin living in Israel. During his July 2017 visit to the Jewish state, Modi addressed a gathering of 8,000 Indian Jews and Indian nationals. No modern Indian leader before Modi has managed to galvanize the Indian diaspora in such large numbers. . . .

Unlike his predecessors, Modi’s foreign policy has been shaped by his personal relationships with world leaders. If he has been warm toward Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Vladimir Putin, his dealings with the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau can fairly be described as frosty. Therefore, much will rest on the personal rapport between him and the next Israeli premier. . . .

[In the meantime], the media’s speculations over possible hostilities from India’s large Muslim population over Modi’s diplomatic “pivot” toward Israel have largely been unfounded. Beating predictions, he doubled his share of the Muslim vote in the recent election, increasing it from 4 percent in 2014 to 9 percent this election cycle. The Arab countries as well haven’t shown any inclination toward punishing India for building stronger ties with the Jewish state. These factors, combined with an increased mandate, give Modi even greater leverage in cementing diplomatic ties with Israel than he had in his previous term.

Read more at JNS

More about: Indian Jewry, Israel-Arab relations, Israel-India relations

Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security