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Research Report

India and Israel: Evolving Strategic Partnership

P.R. Kumaraswamy
Copyright Date: Sep. 1, 1998
Pages: 65
OPEN ACCESS
https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep04726

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. [i]-[ii])
  2. (pp. 1-4)
  3. (pp. 4-6)

    In pursuing normalization, Prime Minister Rao (1991-96). rectified an anomalous situation which was in existence for over four decades. The roots of India's Israel policy can be traced to the early 1920s, when the Indian nationalist leadership emerged a staunch supporter of the Arabs.³ For historical reasons India's attitude towards the Jewish nationalistic aspiration was different from that of the West. Perceiving it through an Islamic prism. the Indian nationalists argued that the consent of the Arab inhabitants was essential for the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine. While being sympathetic towards the Jews and their sufferings in...

  4. (pp. 6-8)

    A strategic partnership presupposes a broad understanding of mutual security concerns. At present, any Indo-Israeli security cooperation is unlikely to revolve around a common (stated or implicit) enemy. India is unlikely to share Israeli concerns over Iranian and Islamic radicalism nor Israel of India's concerns over China. Due to traditional political relations, geographic proximity, dependency upon petroleum resources and labor migration to the Middle East, India is unlikely to abandon its close ties with the Arab world. Indian Muslims have been sympathetic towards the Islamic countries and their perceived opposition significantly contributed to the prolonged absence of political relations between...

  5. (pp. 8-10)

    India is both a regional power and an emerging market and it serves Israel's interest to maintain close political as well as economic ties with India. Both have adopted similar positions on various arms control issues. and Islamic radicalism does pose a serious threat to both countries. However. the real scope for Indo-Israeli strategic partnership can be found in India's search for technological independence and Israel's quest for qualitative superiorit). India's substantial difficulties in upgrading and modernizing its armed forces. due to lack of suitable technology and financial constraints. compel India to seek long-term collaboration with Israel. The framework for...

  6. (pp. 10-23)

    Emphasizing the commercial and cultural aspects of the relations. both countries are extremely wary of discussing the military and security dimension of their relationship. Both governments go out or their way to minimize, if not halt the flow of information pertaining to those issues. In August 1994, Israeli officials tried unsuccessfully to prevent the local media from reporting the presence of Defense Ministry's Director-General David lvry in ew DeihL even after the Indian media gave widespread coverage to the visit.23 Similarly. Indian diplomats were unwilling to acknowledge the presence of Defense Secretary T. K. Banerji in Israel. though the media...

  7. (pp. 23-33)

    From these visits and high level contacts, reported in the media but rarely discussed by either government, one can identify certain broad areas of security-related cooperation between the two military establishments. They revolve around India's ambitious and ongoing attempts to design. develop and produce major platforms, mostly pertaining to the air force. In all these areas, India has been pursuing specific projects and has made significant progress in some of them. One cannot ignore the possibility of cooperation in other areas such as intelligence cooperation. counterterrorism, coastal patrol. small arms, mines, electronic fencing or joint air. military or naval exercises;...

  8. (pp. 33-44)

    Having been indifferent if not hostile to one another for over four decades, it would not be easy for both s tates to forge a security relationship posthaste. The prolonged absence of political interaction has to be overcome and re medied prior to the pursuit of any meaningful security cooperation. Nor can one ignore certain obvious limitations. 165 Any attempt to establish a strategic partnership between India and Israel would have to address and meet at least some of the following preconditions.

    It is essential for both countries to discard past blinkers and to adopt a realistic attitude towards security...

  9. (pp. 44-46)

    The intense and diverse nature of contacts between India and Israel since 1992 indicate that the prolonged absence of political relations has not inhibited either India or Israel from seeking security cooperation. Largely revolving around the air force, they also cover areas such as intelligence cooperation, naval patrol and anti-terrorism. Both countries have yet to develop a common threat perception that would give a focus to security ties. They do, however, share the common objective of seeking technological independence and qualitative superiority. Numerous strategic programs currently undertaken by both countries provide the best possible framework for strategic partnership. India's search...

  10. (pp. 47-61)
  11. (pp. 62-63)