Many observers were surprised with India voting in favour of a resolution brought by Turkey and Yemen in the United Nations opposing the United States’ decision recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Given the increasing inclination of India towards the US and Israel, speculations were rife that New Delhi might abstain from voting in the UN like 35 countries including Australia and Canada.
India decided to support the resolution, which was approved with a majority of 127-9 at the UN General Assembly. And, India had its reasons to vote to serve its interests.
India Israel Missile Deal
India’s scrapped a half-billion-dollar deal with Israel for anti-tank missiles will have negative repercussions not only on defense contracts between the two countries, but throughout the market, according to an Indian-Israeli commerce organization.
The large sale has been lauded by Israeli officials as a major milestone in trade and military relations with India, giving its reported cancellation extra significance, said David Keynan, vice chairman of the Federation of Indo-Israeli Chambers of Commerce
“It is a very noteworthy deal. It will have an impact not only on defense trade, but on all trade,” Keynan told The Times of Israel Tuesday, speaking over the phone from Bangalor, India.
He noted that defense exports often act as a “catalyst” for further trade.
On Monday, Indian media outlets reported that the country’s defense ministry had decided to scrap a $500 million deal to buy Spike anti-tank guided missiles from Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems in favor of developing such missiles domestically.
The cancellation of the agreement has yet to be officially confirmed. A Rafael spokesperson said the company was continuing in its efforts as normal, until it is notified of a change.
OIC MEET AT ISTANBUL
Earlier, the members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held a meeting at Istanbul to discuss the issue of recognition of Jerusalem by the US as Israel’s capital. The OIC decided to oppose December 6 announcement of Donald Trump administration on the status of Jerusalem.
India has huge strategic and economic interests in the 57 member countries of the OIC. Except eight members of the OIC, all others are Islamic countries, where Jerusalem dispute is an emotive issue.
A decision against the prevailing sentiments in these countries might unnecessarily create a strain in relation with India, which has been working with OIC countries including Iran, UAE and Saudi Arabia in various fields and a smooth relation with them works in New Delhi’s favour.
INDIA AND STATUS OF JERUSALEM
In September this year at the NAM ministerial meeting on Palestine at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had emphasised that the path to Israel-Jerusalem peace clearly lay in an early negotiated solution between Israel and Palestine based on mutual recognition and security arrangements.
Since the birth of Israel in 1948 and later its recognition as a UN member, Jerusalem has been a dispute between Tel Aviv and Palestinian National Authority. Till 1967, Israel had control over west Jerusalem while the eastern part was under Jordanian rule.
During the six-day war, Israel captured the eastern city of Jerusalem. But the OIC and Palestinian National Authority have declared the East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. The Palestinian National Authority is ready to forfeit its claim if Jerusalem is declared an open city, shared between Israel and Palestine.
The current positions held by both Israel and Palestine make the Jerusalem dispute unresolved. As India favours mutually acceptable settlement of dispute between Israel and Palestine, voting along the US’ lines in UN on the question of Jerusalem would have reversed New Delhi’s position on the matter.
Public Reaction After India Voted Against Israel
But since India voted against Israel this morning, there is an uproar among public and few intellectuals, who without understanding the reasons and they have started raising questions on the policy of Modi Government.
Public Reactions In India:
Many so called Modi fans on Twitter and other social media platforms were quick to target Government of India and even went on to the extent of abusing the UN Rep Syed Akrabuddin who is a master Strategist and an excellent ambassador of India abroad. The so called intellectuals who call themselves Modi bhakts as well like Sonam Mahajan questioned India’s stands forgetting that this was AMERICAN move and not UN move. India does not have to beg or justify every US action and has to maintain good relationship with IRAN as well who is a major Oil supplier to India. India also has a very strategic port ‘Chabahar’ in Iran. India has to balance everything. Israel is India’s top ally but at the same time India’s relationship with Iran dates back to ages as well. Its easier to shout on twitter .