India May Abandon Its Unconditional Support for the Palestinians

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

Israel Can’t Stake Its Fate on “Ironclad” Promises from Allies

Israeli tanks reportedly reached the center of the Gazan city of Rafah yesterday, suggesting that the campaign there is progressing swiftly. And despite repeatedly warning Jerusalem not to undertake an operation in Rafah, Washington has not indicated any displeasure, nor is it following through on its threat to withhold arms. Even after an IDF airstrike led to the deaths of Gazan civilians on Sunday night, the White House refrained from outright condemnation.

What caused this apparent American change of heart is unclear. But the temporary suspension of arms shipments, the threat of a complete embargo if Israel continued the war, and comments like the president’s assertion in February that the Israeli military response has been “over the top” all call into question the reliability of Joe Biden’s earlier promises of an “ironclad” commitment to Israel’s security. Douglas Feith and Ze’ev Jabotinsky write:

There’s a lesson here: the promises of foreign officials are never entirely trustworthy. Moreover, those officials cannot always be counted on to protect even their own country’s interests, let alone those of others.

Israelis, like Americans, often have excessive faith in the trustworthiness of promises from abroad. This applies to arms-control and peacekeeping arrangements, diplomatic accords, mutual-defense agreements, and membership in multilateral organizations. There can be value in such things—and countries do have interests in their reputations for reliability—but one should be realistic. Commitments from foreign powers are never “ironclad.”

Israel should, of course, maintain and cultivate connections with the United States and other powers. But Zionism is, in essence, about the Jewish people taking responsibility for their own fate.

Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship