External Affairs

‘Israel Can’t be Role Model for India’

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin shakes hands with Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Tuesday. Credit: Reuters

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin shakes hands with Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Tuesday. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: Over 70 people and 30 groups have signed a statement denouncing Israeli president, Reuven Rivlin’s visit on November 15, for strengthening of Indo-Israeli diplomatic ties on all levels.

According to the statement, titled ’25 years of Indo-Israeli diplomatic relations: No reason to celebrate!’, Rivlin will be accompanied by a delegation of “unprecedented size”.

The statement expressed concern that India, especially after Modi’s government came to power, has sought closer ties with Israel, with Modi being the first prime minister to plan on visiting Israel. Modi’s visit to Jerusalem is part of his plan to celebrate 25 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The signatories felt that in the process, India, a former colony, will condone Israel’s violations against Palestine over the decades.

The statement said:

We are shocked that Israel, with its lawless conduct has emerged as role model for the Indian nation-state, born in the struggle against colonialism and committed to peaceful relations in the neighbourhood. We refuse to accept that Israel’s undemocratic and exclusionary regime of apartheid is the new model for India under Prime Minister Modi.

The signatories are also worried that economic ties with Israel will make India complicit in Israel’s crimes against humanity by indirectly facilitating the Israeli army.

India’s economic linkage with Israel channels our public money through military deals to Israeli arms companies that transform these funds in to lethal military technology applied in the oppression, colonisation and ethnic cleansing, of the Palestinian people.

Extending ties with Israel, the statement says, will put India on the wrong side of the global movement to boycott companies and institutions that are believed to “bear complicity in Israeli war crimes.”

The statement was issued as part of the global movement, based on the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), launched in 2005, and was signed by several organisations and individuals of note, including CPI-M (L) and AISA.