Sunday, October 26, 2008

Israel and India.

A quote from BY WAY OF DECEPTION An Insider’s Devastating Expose of The Mossad by Claire Hoy & Victor Ostrovsky {Arrow Books 1988}:

“One of my assignments, in mid-July 1984, was to escort a group of Indian Nuclear Scientists who were worried about the threat of the Islamic Bomb {Pakistan’s Bomb} and had come on a secret mission to Israel to meet with Israeli nuclear experts and exchange information. As it turned out, the Israelis were happy to accept information from the Indians, but reluctant to return the favour.” {Page 127}.



India’s Nehruvian policies kept India and Israel politically apart for over forty years despite sharing many attributes in common. India and Israel emerged as nation states within months of each other. Contemporary global and regional developments now dictate that the distortions of past Indian policies be jettisoned and both countries put value on the imperatives for enhancing their strategic cooperation. Events since 1998 indicate that a beginning has been made. India, at the turn of the millenium seems, to have broken out of the straitjacket of moral histrionics of the last 50 years in terms of its foreign policies and approaches to strategic cooperation. In terms of India’s national interests related to the context of its present external and internal threats, the imperatives of strategic cooperation with countries willing to contribute to enhancement of India’s security, becomes inescapable.

Israel as the preceding survey would indicate, is a prime example of a country willing to go the whole length for strategic cooperation with India. That it is willing to do so without pre-conditions or succumbing to pressures from other countries, makes it a safe source for meeting India’s defence needs. India is in dire need today to reform its intelligence apparatus and add teeth to its counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism responses. Israel has expressed its readiness to assist in these fields and can be expected to provide blueprints appropriate to Indian requirements.
United States, Russia and China especially, all have noticeable political, economic and defence cooperation with Israel, currently. Arab countries of West Asia have accepted this pattern. There should be no logical reason for them to be concerned about India - Israel strategic cooperation either. Israel’s practical approaches on India’s close relations with Iran do not also either come in the way. Bar Illan, Senior Adviser to former Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had commented on this in 1997 that "countries that keep good terms with Israel and at the same time maintain good relations with Iran without providing them arms, could be used as conduits for dialogue" 31 China is a case in instance. India could be a better conduit. India's national interests are paramount and these dictate the enhancement of India-Israel strategic cooperation. In terms of strategically educating itself from Israeli experience, India could learn to have the will to use power, unapologetically.

India – Israel Relations : Indian Policy Distortions of the Early years

* In the Pre-Independence period, Gandhi, Nehru and the Indian National Congress had opposed the creation of a ‘Jewish National Home’.

* India did not subscribe to the majority plan of United Nations Special Committee on Palestine
recommending partition of Palestine.

* India voted against the admission of Israel into the United Nations in May 1949.

India’s Military and Intelligence Contacts with Israel in the Years Before Diplomatic Recognition

Devoid of access to classified documents and entirely by deductive analysis, it becomes apparent that beginning in the 1970’s, India did realise that its West Asian Policies of excluding Israel were wrong. In the military field in India’s critical hour of need of the 1971 war with Pakistan, India sought Israel’s help to supply it with the devastating artillery weapon, 160 mm mortars and ammunition, exclusively manufactured in Israel.

Facilitating such covert Israel aid was that:

"Acting widely as an alternative diplomatic service, the Mossad has opened doors and maintained relations with dozens of countries which prefer that these connections not be known. The Mossad simply gives the other nation an easy way out – receiving military, medical and agricultural advice from the overenthusiastic Israelis without risking economic or political boycotts of the Arab World".

It also appears that at the about the same time India - Israel intelligence cooperation had commenced. The book under quote sets out lucidly that: "India even more populous was another useful contact point for Meir Amit's Mossad, even though the Indian Government was also unwilling to tell its 800 million Hindu and Muslim people about the secret relationship with the
Jewish State. Clandestine cooperation is always based on common interests, leading to an exchange of information. For India and Israel, the common potential enemy was Pakistan – a Moslem nation committed to helping the Arab countries of the Middle East". India had yet not given diplomatic recognition to Israel, but in a rare display of pragmatism and need, it began a covert relationship with Israel in the 1970's. Again with no records to go by, it can be safely assumed that covert military and intelligence exchanges should have ensued till 1992.

India – Israel : Formal Diplomatic Relations Establishment, 1992

India accorded formal recognition to Israel in 1950 but continued to resist establishment of formal diplomatic relations till 1992. Probing visits by Israeli officials had taken place to test the
temperature in New Delhi ending with the visit of Israel Deputy Director of Israel Foreign Ministry Moshie Yaeger in 1992.6 Following the establishment of formal diplomatic relations in 1992, India and Israel have signed a number of agreements on economic, scientific, agricultural and cultural matters. Joint Commissions stand established in many of these fields including regular foreign office discussions. VIP visits also commenced and the important ones till 1998 (those after 1998 will be discussed later) have been those of:


- President Ezer Weizman (Dec 1996). First ever visit by an Israeli President to India, leading a 24 member business delegation. For President Weizman it was a sentimental visit as during the Second World War he was posted as an RAF pilot at Yelahanka, Bangalore.

- Israel Services Chiefs
- Foreign Minister


- Services Chiefs
- Dr. A.P.J.Abdul Kalam then Head of DRDO.
- Defence Secretaries

Besides the above a sizeable number of official and business delegations from both countries have visited each other and thus the neglect of earlier years was corrected.

Indian Imperatives – The Defence Field

* Israel offers a valuable autonomous source for purchase of sophisticated weapons and military
equipment, indigenously developed; it therefore, precludes external pressures on Israel not to supply.

* Israel’s defence industries have earned a global reputation for upgradation of old weapon systems to latest technological capabilities. It applies to India’s vast holdings of Russian combat aircraft and tanks holdings. Israel has done it for number of countries.

* Israel’s technological advances in the fields of satellites, satellite imagery, missiles, rockets and
nuclear fields are appreciable. Most of them being indigenous developments, they can be a source of advanced technology for India.

* Potential exists for India – Israel joint defence production and marketing of conventional military equipment. India’s under - utilised and aging defence production facilities could be modernised and upgraded for export purposes. Export earnings could subsidise India’s requirements for enhanced defence expenditure.

Indian Imperatives – The Intelligence Field

* Israel from its existence recognised "that they needed excellent intelligence to aid their fight for survival. Their country was among the tiniest on earth but would have to develop the finest services in the world". They have done so in the form of Mossad (Foreign Operations), SHIN BET (domestic security) and AMAN (Army’s Intelligence Agency). Each one of them have acquired global reputation for excellence. This was achieved both by the imperatives of national
survival and being "a synthesis of various traditions that were learned, adopted, inherited, or copied from other countries that have longer histories as states and more deeply ingrained intelligence customs".

* With India facing both internal and external onslaughts from adversaries, India’s intelligence agencies need toning up. Israeli expertise would be invaluable as inputs for strenghtening of India’s intelligence agencies.

* India is under attack from Islamic fundamentalists. Intelligence exchanges with Israel would provide valuable inputs as Israel too is under similar attacks and has developed considerable expertise in dealing with them.

* Israeli industries produce hi-tech sensitive gadgetry for intelligence purposes. India could tap
this source for its requirements.

* India’s counter-terrorism mechanisms and responses are poor. Israel experience could help.

India’s Imperatives – The Internal Security Field

* "Israel is in almost permanent state of war and has been since its birth in May 1948. It is surrounded by hostile nations and a constant, threat so the rules of defence and intelligence must differ from those that apply in America or other Western countries." India is in a similar predicament and the Israel experience would be valuable.

* Israel’s border management and counter – terrorism techniques could help India in getting over its major weaknesses in internal security management.

Israeli Imperatives for Strategic Cooperation With India

The Israeli imperatives may not incorporate a wide a list as the Indian requirements. The major ones are:

* India offers vast markets for arms sales. India’s weapons and military equipment requirements in the next ten years add upto billions of dollars.

* India needs autonomous sources of both military equipment and technology in the fields of nuclear power generation, space technology and satellite imagery. Attractive market exists for Israel in India.

* Cost effective joint defence production.

* India is a vast market for Israel’s super speciality – agro-tech industries.

* Israel’s hi-tech industries could find India as an attractive market for sales, transfers and joint
production and marketing.

* Tapping India’s advanced IT industry for both civil and military uses.

Israeli Official Responses for Enhanced Strategic Cooperation with India

In marked contrast to India, Israeli official pronouncements on enhancing ties with India and so
also strategic cooperation display an open ended approach. Bar Illan, Senior Adviser to then Israeli Prime Minister, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu made the following statements to a group of Indian journalists in July 1997:

* On ties with India "We don’t have any limitations, (in terms of ties with India) we would like it to be as deep and tight and as prolific as possible."
* On defence cooperation: "quite a bit of it is there; there is nothing in the world that cannot be

* On strategic cooperation: "as long as India and Israel are friendly, it is a strategic gain. I hope
there is the kind of strategic cooperation that will benefit both."

During President Weizman’s visit to India on Dec 1996, he expressed that Israel was keen on lending expertise in fields of missiles technology and avionics to India. Israel also offered both investment and technical cooperation in production of military aircraft, reverse engineering and upgradation of weapon systems.

No other nation has made such open offers to India not even those who were India’s strategic partners in earlier years.

India – Israel Cooperation since 1998

India-Israel cooperation has intensified since 1998 and rightly so. India at long last has pragmatically realised the imperatives of strategic cooperation outlined above and efforts have begun as highlighted by the visits of India’s Home Minister L. K. Advani and India’s External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh to Israel in quick succession in mid 2000. Indian Home Minister L. K. Advani’s visit to Israel drew much attention in external media both in terms of the composition of the delegation (Heads of India’s intelligence agencies RAW, IB, and central police organisations fighting terrorism) and Advani’s inter-action at the Israel end besides the protocol
ones. The focus of external media was on the emerging India-Israel cooperation in the internal security management field as under:

- Advani’s visit was first ever by senior Indian Minister since 1992 and that too a hardliner.

- Advani formalised intelligence sharing and cooperation agreement in his meetings with the MOSSAD Chief and Israel’s Ministers dealing with security.

- Israel supported India’s anti-terrorism efforts. Israeli intelligence agencies would open offices in New Delhi on the lines of United States FBI. Agreement modeled on similar lines.

In terms of India -Israel defence cooperation the following was highlighted:

- Advani spent a long time with Israeli arms manufacturers besides his discussions with intelligence and border management agencies.

- Israel is willing to share defence technology with India.

- Israeli armaments technology is first class and prices reasonable.

Coverage of Mr. Advani’s visit would be incomplete without quoting the Israeli Ambassador’s impressions about Mr. Advani. He said "Mr. Advani is a very unique man. I like him very much. Ideologically and personally he reminds me of some people from an earlier generation of Israelis." Such impressions, presumably, would have fostered meaningful interaction. The other notable event was the visit by Mr. Jaswant Singh to Israel closely following that of the Home Minister, Major events / discussions during this visit, the first ever visit by an Indian Foreign
Minister were:

- Cooperation in defence and counter – terrorism will hence forth underpin a greater political and strategic dialogue between India and Israel.

- Discussions between the two Foreign Ministers spoke of intensified cooperation in areas ranging from counter – terrorism to Information Technology.

- Israeli Foreign Minister Levy stressed Israel would never back off from its commitments to India.

Both Foreign Ministers additionally agreed/ discussed the following:

- Joint Commission established at Ministerial level for cooperation in combating terrorism. This is in addition to the Foreign Ministers Consultation Process.

- Strategic discussions will be held every 6 months.

- Defence purchases were also discussed including the GREEN PINE radar (one of the sub-systems of Israel’s anti-ballistic missile system).

- Additionally visits of India’s National Security Adviser Mr. Brajesh Mishra and Services Chiefs have taken place since 1998 underlining the growing strategic cooperation between India and Israel. In non-strategic areas visits to Israel have taken place in 1998 – 99 from the Indian side by the Ministers of Urban Affairs, Health and Welfare and the Attorney General. The Indian Navy has also conducted goodwill visits by its ships to Israel. INS SHAKTI, INS GOMTI and INS RANVEER visited Port EILAT around March 28, 2000 Senior Indian Naval officers held talks with Israeli defence officials.

India’s Recent Defence Purchases from Israel and Areas of Potential Interest

Recent defence purchases by India from Israel as reported include the following:

Artillery Guns 130mm upgradation to 155mm- 180 (To be done in Israel)

Artillery Guns 130mm upgradation to 155mm- 250 21 (To be done in India)

- Battlefield surveillance radars (Artillery) – 250

- Battlefield surveillance radars hand held (Infantry)- unspecified

- Fast attack naval craft Super Davora – 2 plus four to be built in India.

- Electronic Warfare System for INS VIRAT (aircraft carrier)

- 160mm Mortar ammunition - 30,000 rounds

- 130mm artillery gun ammunition - 50,000 rounds

- 125mm shells (for tanks) - 100,000 rounds

- 5.56 mm ammunition for rifles - Unspecified

- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) - 8 in 1999 for surveillance purposes (Army) - 20 in 2000

- Indian Navy (UAV) requirements (Shipborne) - 50 23

Russian MI 35 helicopter prototype upgradation - 25 24

with Israeli avionics and night vision devices.

India seeking defence equipment worth- unspecified number25

$ 200 million to include UAVs, avionics for IAF SU – 30 MK I, MIG 27 ML, and JAGUAR upgrades Fire Control radars

During the Kargil War, Israel responded magnificently, despite pressures from various quarters not to supply. UAVs for high altitude surveillance, laser – guided systems and many other items were supplied within 24 hours. Israel is reported to have emerged as India’s No.2 defence supplier after Russia, and with costs of Russian spare parts for replacement escalating by 300-500%, Israel may emerge as India’s No. 1 defence supplier. India is presently faced with the daunting prospect of buying immediately $200 million worth of ammunition and further $ 1.5 billion later to make up for losses in recent fires at Indian Army Amunition Depots.27 Israel may be the only source for immediate replacement. In terms of areas of potential Indian interest in Israeli defence equipment, briefly it can narrow down to the following items.

* Submarine launched cruise missiles.

* Micro-satellite systems for surveillance which can be launched from aircraft or in clusters from a missile.

* Laser guided systems and precision – guided mention munitions (PGMs)

* Anti – ballistic missile systems.

* Upgradation of all Soviet – origin aircraft, artillery, tanks etc.

* Radars of all types. {1}.


Christina Rocca had said that she was not here to put pressure on the Government of India to send troops to Iraq. Speaking at a function organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Ms. Rocca said the U.S. welcomed the new relationship between India and Israel. The U.S., she remarked, was happy that two of its friends were making friends. Maintaining that Indian and American objectives were complementary in South Asia, Ms. Rocca said that the U.S. was in a privileged position as it had good relations with both India and Pakistan. "Although the India-Pakistan relationship is often viewed in zero-sum terms, the U.S. firmly believes that a successful U.S.-Pakistan relationship will serve India's interests. Pakistan is a country in the midst of a major political, economic and ideological transformation. {2}.


ITHACA -- Over 100 members of the Jewish and Indian communities came together on the Cornell University campus for a forum on Jews in India and India-Israel relations. The event was co-sponsored and organized by the Cornell-Israel Public Affairs Committee (CIPAC) and by Cornell's Society for India. It started off with addresses by two key note speakers -- T.J Tirumurti, counselor and special assistant to the Indian ambassador, and Nissim B. Reuben, Goldman Fellow of the American Jewish Committee, who also is an Indian of Jewish decent. "When I told anyone about this event I told them that its about the history of the Jews in India and about Indian-Israel relations," said Daniel Greenwald, vice president of CIPAC, when introducing the speakers. "And nearly every time I got the same response: 'there are Jews in India?', and, 'what could India and Israel possibly have in common?' My answer to that is: 'of course' and 'a lot'." Greenwald's claims were supported by the two speeches that followed the introduction. "The Jewish settlement in India started in 72 A.D. in Shingly," Tirumurti said. He then went on to describe some of the details of the history of Jews in India, a "country without anti-Semitism." "It is said that India was the only country, where out of deference for Jewish soldiers, no battles were fought on Saturday," Tirumurti said. Despite close ties between Jews and India and then later between India and Israel, few people are aware of them. "It is interesting that among the American public, people don't know about the intimate link between the Indians and the Jews," Tirumurti said.
In fact, many in the audience expressed surprise to hear about the long history of Jews in India. "I had never heard of the Jewish communities in India," said Gabriel Slater, a senior at Cornell. He felt that he learned a "fair amount" from the talk. Nissim Reuben said that Jews in India is not a myth. Reuben himself is a Jewish Indian, one of the 6,500 who reside in India today. The forum also brought to light the fact that there is an Indian-Jewish community in Israel -- of about 70,000 people. Preserving the Jewish community in India is not an easy task in that nation of nearly a billion. Most efforts were previously done through arranged marriages. "My mother wants me to marry an Indian Jewish girl. But its hard since there are only 6,500 of us," Reuben said. "For me, being Jewish and Indian is a privilege. I'm proud of my background. (In) India people know me as a Jew, but in the U.S., people are very inquisitive when they find out I am Jewish." This is the first time that CIPAC and the Society for India co-organized an event.
"American Jews and Indian-Americans are often natural allies and friends on a national level, and have been for a long time now. It is wonderful that our two communities are beginning to become active together on a political level as well," Jennifer Berger, president of CIPAC said. Aneeq Ahmad, Society for India president, also agreed that the dialogue with other organizations is very important. "(India and Israel) are two countries that are genuinely committed to close and warmer relations. If the audience takes that sense away from this event, I would have achieved my purpose of coming here," Tirumurti said. {3}.


As per Mr Vijay Prasad news of the Sharon’s visit first came from the mouth of Indian National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra during his May 2003 visit to the United States. After a twenty minute meeting with US President George W. Bush, Mishra spent his only evening as one of the chief guests at the American Jewish Committee's annual dinner. At this "Tribute to US Allies," Mishra announced that the Indian government looked forward to Sharon's visit. Mishra made the point that in the past decade "the tempo of our high level visits" between the governments of
Israel and India had increased significantly. What began in 1991 as a slow thaw in an uncomfortable half-century of relations would now blossom into the summit between Prime Ministers. "India, the United States and Israel have some fundamental similarities," Mishra told the twelve hundred diners, including Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar and Israeli Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chair Yuval Shteinitz. "We are all democracies, sharing a common vision of pluralism, tolerance and equal opportunity. Stronger India-US relations and India-Israel relations have a natural logic." Now, in late August, with the suicide attacks in Israel, the "pinpoint" assassination of Hamas political operatives in Gaza, the bomb blasts in Mumbai and the mayhem that has since followed, the climate for an Indo-Israeli entente decidedly favors the Right. More contact between ordinary people of both countries, of course, is to be welcomed, but Sharon's visit to India will not increase human interaction. It is designed to emphasize a Global Counter-Jihad, to create an alliance that wants to will away the local politics of discord that rend West and South Asia, to obscure the grievances of the Palestinians and the Kashmiris behind the rhetoric about terrorism. Acts of terror by groups like Hamas and the Lashkar-e-Toiba are elitist - they do not draw people into mass movements to
overthrow oppression, and they almost always take the lives of those who are innocent. The Indo-Israeli gathering will forget all this and seek to make all Muslims guilty of terrorism.

The night before Mishra's speech to the AJ Committee, he had addressed the influential New York-based Council of Foreign Relations. In that speech called "India, United States and the New World Order: Prospects for Cooperation," Mishra quoted a 1998 phrase from Prime Minister Vajpayee, that the US and India are "natural allies." What seems "natural" in the world of geopolitical alliances may not seem so obvious to the citizenry of the states in question. India, Mishra noted correctly, is one of the "very few countries with no history of anti-Semitism." This is true. However, the foreign policy of India has been strongly opposed to Israeli intransigence on the question of the Palestinians. A broad consensus existed between the many political parties, as well as perhaps among the citizenry, on India's refusal to align itself with Israel while the cauldron of west Asia remained on the boil. So what are the contours of this "natural alliance" that is now being formed between India and Israel with the United States as the "natural," and most important, third leg in the axis? India and Israel established relations in the early 1990s, when the Congress held power in the former while the Labor Party ran the latter. Both these formations emerged out of the traditions of social democracy - with an inclination toward the ideals of socialism, with a strong bent toward import-substitution national economies, and with a
general sense that all national citizenship should not be equated with either confessional or racial divides.
The alliance created in the early 1990s had a strong pragmatic side: Israel's newly buoyant military industrial sector sought a market for its goods, and India, who had recently lost its Soviet supplier, needed to find a supplier of military hardware. There was little ideological enthusiasm for the new relationship, illustrated by the virtual silence in both countries regarding the change of status. When the forces of Hindutva took New Delhi and when those of Sharonism established themselves in Tel Aviv, they spoke of this new relationship with relish. One Israeli commentator argues that the high-level and high profile meetings in this period reflect "the quickening pace of a strategic partnership that has moved from relative obscurity to the center of Israel's foreign policy agenda."

A similar statement might be made about the centrality of Israel to Indian foreign policy calculations, since the closeness to Israel might open a back door for the Right to secure its desired special relationship with the United States. The Hindutva-Sharonist alliance is not simply about the opportunistic needs of the Israeli defense industry and the Indian military, but it is also about the creation of an alliance alongside the Bush-run Pentagon against two foes: Islamism (or, in the most vulgar interpretations, the Arab states and Iran in general) and Communism (or, China). There has been little discussion on this point as Sharon arrives in New Delhi. His arrival sanctifies the emergence of Hindutva-Sharonism as a bloc that functions as subcontractors for the messianic imperialism of the United States. So, Namaste Sharon, welcome to India. You will meet your ideological kin in New Delhi, businessmen who are eager to profit by
the new relationship, military personnel and intelligence experts who want to learn how you control the Palestinians, and Indian Jews who will show you that India, despite Hindutva, remains a culturally diverse society. You will find, behind the barricades, a resolute population that opposes Sharonism as much as Hindutva; like your own government, Mr. Sharon, this too is a cobbled together coalition hijacked by the Right, and operating in the main against the popular will. Sharonism, Hindutva and the Evangelical Imperialism of the Pentagon disgust the ordinary
people of India, Israel and the US. Our opposition to this entente is fueled by that disgust - and by the politics of retaliation and fear that keeps you in power. {4}


Hindu Fundamentalist (HF) Politics that have menaced the lives of religious minorities,Dalits and Adivasis, who together constitute about 40 % of the total population, stems from the basic imperialist aspirations of the upper caste Hindus, who have had an unbroken hegemony over the Indian subcontinent for over three millennia, save for some interregnums of the Buddhist, Mughal and British periods. Its fascist genealogy can be traced to the Hindu Mahasabha, founded in 1915, which ostensibly opposed the political overtures of the Muslim League and aspired to establish a Hindu Rashtra. The amorphousness of Hinduism that hindered the building of a strong political movement was overcome by the ideological constructions of V. D. Savarkar, who provided it with apolitical creed in the name of Hindutva. The Rashtriya Swayansewak Sangh (RSS) (National Voluntary Organisation), founded in 1925 in Nagpur, constantly worked to create an army of indoctrinated volunteers for realizing its fascist goals. Today, Hindu fundamentalism is represented by a plethora of organizations and outfits created for and catering to every segment of the society. While most of them have been floated by theRSS, and therefore have been collectively called Sangh Parivar, there are a few like theShiv Sena in Maharashtra, that despite being independent of RSS, are also zealously committed to the ideology of Hindu fundamentalism. Hindu fundamentalism derives its ideological orientation from Brahmanism, which represents the most intricate imperialist worldview that naturalizes a hierarchical structure of the world and legitimizes the right of a class to rule over others. It therefore does not have any ideological contradictions with any kind of imperialism, colonialism, fascism, racism, or systems of discrimination on account of caste, creed, colour, gender, religion, culture, etc.
This explains its various dichotomies; while swearing in the name of Hindu nationalism, it never conflicted with the British colonial rule and rather opposed anti-colonial people’s struggles; while subscribing to the Gandhian vision of development, it killed Gandhi; while having compromised to living under Muslim rulers for seven centuries it bears an inveterate hatred towards Muslims; while it is well disposed towards the Christian world, it unleashed atrocities on and terrorized Christians in India and brutally burnt Graham Steins and his two innocent sons to death; while being admirers of Hitler and justifiers of his holocaust , it is at the same time friendly with the Zionist state of Israel; while its revivalist doctrine does not negate serfdom to Dalits, it awkwardly woos the Dalits in desperately trying to co-opt their icon- Ambedkar; while making noises about swadeshi they have overtaken even the most neoliberal evangelists in furthering the globalist economic reforms.

Relations between Washington and New Delhi had touched a nadir in the 1970’s and early 1980’s when President Nixon sided with Pakistan in the 1970 Indo-Pak war, that ended in the humiliating defeat of Pakistan and liberation of Bangladesh; and courted China, when India had serious border disputes with the latter. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, when CIA sponsored Mujahideen were fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, the United States let Pakistan do whatever she wanted in return of her support to American operations. Pakistan made use of this opportunity and developed nuclear weapons to point at India. After the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, the US-fed resistance forces of Islamic fundamentalism grew into a phantom, no more in control of the US. When the US wanted to launch its “War on Terrorism”, in order to tame them, it needed Pakistan which possessed not onlya long border with Afghanistan but also all the intelligence the US wanted about Taliban, the latter being a creation of its Inter Service Agency. It is well known that Pakistan extracted a huge price from the US in terms of waiver of external debt, a bail out financial package, non-inclusion of India and Israel from the coalition, etc. The end of the Cold War brought about a sea change in geo-politics that favored better Indo-U.S. relations. Immediately thereafter, one finds the US showing a clear shift towards India. It recognized India as a power in South Asia and sought to court India as its darling in the region.
There was also talk of more trade. India, under a new rightist dispensation that came to power, was not only responsive but also embarrassingly servile. The USA perceived India as a potential partner in maintaining stability in the Indian Ocean region, particularly in fighting Islamic fundamentalism and checking Chinese ambitions. Besides political considerations, the economic interests of US multinationals in South Asia have also significantly influenced the US shift towards India. The importance of these interests in US scheme has always ranked on par with that of US security; the National Economic Council and the National Security Council being the parallel apex bodies. India’s sheer size, its vast market with an expanding base of middle class consumers, industrial infrastructure and huge English speaking technical manpower, spelt tremendous business opportunities to US multinationals and thus ensured its primacy in US foreign policy. The economic and strategic potential of India’s IT industry and its dovetailing with US businesses also came as an added boon.9While US trade and investment in China has so far been higher than in India, its pace is shifting in favour ofthe latter. With the Chinese heartland being saturated with US, Japanese and SouthKorean investments and China’s peripheral regions not being considered politically The Hindu fundamentalist forces toed the line of US imperialism and Israelisub-imperialism40in order to “secure franchise as a US lackey against what it sees as Islamic fundamentalism and Chinese Communism.” On missile defense, on globalization, on so many of the contentious issues of the day, the government of India has come out slavishly on the side of the US.41Soon after coming to power, the coalition government led by the Hindutva forces exploded nuclear weapons and proceeded to reach out to both the United States and Israel, trying to create a Washington-Tel Aviv-New Delhi entente against Communism and Islam - the two problem ideologies as posed by US political scientist Samuel Huntington’s style of fundamentalist geopolitics. Whenthe Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh visited Israel in July 2000 he said that the relationship between the two countries was strained due to ‘domestic polices because ofa Muslim vote bank.’ The anti-Muslim tenor of this statement reveals the eagerness of the forces of Hindu fundamentalism to make an anti-Islam alliance with those of Zionism.42India and Israel have developed an extraordinarily close strategic partnership. Israel has become the second largest weapons supplier to India (after Russia), sellingmilitary technology alone worth $2 billion (Rs. 10,000 crores) in 2002. It nowcoordinates political strategy and intelligence with India “sharing common interestsagainst adversaries, Pakistan and Islamic terrorism”. Israeli defence companies, aided byofficials of SIBAT (Foreign Defence Assistance and Defence Export Organization) haveappointed scores of agents in India, that liaison with undercover Mossad officialsstationed at the Israeli embassy at Delhi.43The servility with which the BJP government presented India to President Clintonduring his visit in March 2000 was embarrassing44enough but more embarrassing wasthe act of making India submit to a long term strategic dependency on US imperialismby signing a so called vision statement (VS) prepared by McKinsey and Co., whichenvisaged “complimentary responsibility for, ensuring regional and internationalsecurity .... and strategic stability in Asia and beyond.”45During the period of BJP rulethere have been extensive tie-ups of various sections of the state machinery with the USimperialism. These inter-locking relations, both formal and informal, can be seen at theministerial level, at the top echelons of the bureaucracy, in internal security andintelligence and in the sphere of defence. It is like a spider’s web with thousands ofrelations, visible and invisible, tying the Indian ruling-classes to the imperialists andtheir multilateral agencies. Much of these are kept secret from public view, and only asmall fraction of what exists gets to be known. After September 11, 2001 there has beena leap in US-India military relations, which are continuing to this day. With this, Indiaobviously hopes for an Israel-like role in South Asia. There is also a tacit acceptance ofIndia’s nuclear programme and its supposed need for minimum deterrence. Also there isa direct US commitment to “bolster joint efforts to counter terrorism.” So, the US, firstand foremost, attempts to tie India into US imperialism’s geo-political militarystrategy.46Many notable developments followed the signing of the vision statement. Forinstance, India openly endorsed the national Missile Defence Programme of the US,which had faced opposition even from US military allies. As indicated by Jaswant Singhin June 2001, the first steps were taken to open Indian military bases to the US military.

After the second-coming of Indira Gandhi however, this mask appears to have slowly been discarded. Indira Gandhi played up the communal card in Punjab and paid its price with her life. Today, both Hindutva and neo-liberalism are the ideologies of the ruling class. Ironically, the beginning of both of them in an identifiable form is associated not with the BJP but with the Congress Party. It is Rajiv Gandhi’s regime thatmade space for communal and pro-imperialist elements by creating the Shah Bano case, opening the locks of Ram temple in Ayodhya and adopting neoliberal economic policies albeit in a milder dose; it was the Narsimha Rao government thereafter that formally installed globalization on the backs of the Indian people and let the Babri Masjid be demolished. Similarly, military cooperation between India and the US as well as Israel did begin during the Congress rule. In January 1963, a few months after India's border war with China, the government of India had reached out to the Israeli military establishment and opened a dialogue Two years later, Israeli cabinet minister Yigal Alon visited India. Mossad and India’s Research Analysis Wing (RAW) shared information and analysis from the late 1970s onwards.52After Rajiv Gandhi allowed Gulf War planes to refuel in Mumbai in 1991, the door to this lay open for the Hindu Right to step right in.53In 1992,the Congress Party-led government sent an envoy to Israel and diplomatic relations began in right earnest. The reasons for the turnabout can be clearly seen in terms of the Congress Party’s entry into the neoliberal regime and its renewed ambition to play a role of gendarme in the Indian Ocean region in the new post-Cold War order, akin to Israel's in the oil lands on behalf of the US. While it may be understandable that the Indian ruling class, in general being an illegitimate child of British colonialism and Indian feudalism, cannot prevent its birthmark being reflected in its comprador and communal behaviour, there is a difference of degree however between its various constituents. While the Congress for instance maybe apologetic about it and therefore displays it in soft form, the Hindu Right represented by the BJP wears it with pride; it considers itself as its source, a fountainhead. In the context of current relationship with the US imperialism, it distinguishes itself on the following counts. It has been historically consistent in its
pro-imperialist and particularly pro-USbehaviour. It is unwaveringly committed to rightist ideology. {5}

Lets not forget what happened in Indian Gujarat {around 2000 Muslims were butchered by the Terrorists in Hindu-Muslim Riots}. Since 9/11 Wahabi-Salafi has become a buzzword to malign Muslims and Islam all over the place.


1- South Asia Analysis Group Papers


2- India-Israel Military Ties Continue to Grow Troop Training to Supplement Arms Sales
By JINSA Editorial Assistant Amrith K. Mago.{1}.,2360,1947,1948,1971

3- U.S. welcomes India-Israel ties, says Rocca By Amit Baruah. {2}.

4- CU holds forum on India-Israel ties By VERONIKA BELENKAYA Special to the Journal. {3}. Originally published Tuesday, November 18, 2003

5- Namaste Sharon By Vijay Prashad

Vijay Prashad's most recent book is Keeping Up with the Dow Joneses: Debt, Prison, Workfare (South End Press). Leftword Books in New Delhi will soon publish his Namaste Sharon: Hindutva and Sharonism Under US Hegemony. {4}

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