Narendra Modi’s Maiden Israel Visit: India Should be Justly Proud of its Prime Minister
Two things markedly stand out in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel, the first Indian PM to ever visit it in seventy years:
- The headline of the Israeli daily, The Marker: Wake up: the most important PM of the world is coming
- Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcoming his Indian counterpart with “We’ve been waiting for you for 70 years.”
The similarities and contrasts between India and Israel couldn’t be starker.
While Israel recognises itself as a Jewish Democratic state since its inception in 1948, and political parties or “candidates that deny the existence of Israel as a Jewish state, oppose the democratic system, or incite racism are prohibited,” India after giving in to the violent and explicit demand from Muslims that they couldn’t live with Hindus agreed to partition its geography but adopted the same spineless policy of not defining its own identity accurately. So far, Nehruvian secularism meant Muslim appeasement but one is still unsure what it still stands for.
As recently as 2007, Knesset member Azmi Bishara had to resign and flee Israel following a criminal investigation on charges of foreign contacts, accusations of allegedly aiding the enemy during wartime, passing information to the enemy, contacts with a foreign agent, and money laundering. In the case of India, there’s no dearth of both sitting and former lawmakers at all levels involved in all sorts of shady deals with Pakistan. Trinamool Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP Ahmed Hassan Imran faces charges of harbouring links with banned Islamic terror groups like SIMI and others in Bangladesh.
There’s also the well-known similarity of both Hindus and Jews as victims of protracted historical persecution at the hands of Islam and Christianity but that’s where it ends. The contrast lies in the manner in which Israel has safeguarded its borders and its people while India continues to bleed on both counts. Just yesterday, a mob of about 2000 Muslims attacked Hindu homes, shops and other property and indulged in widespread arson in North 24 Paraganas district, West Bengal.
Naysayers might indulge in rhetorical and/or textual sophistry but the real, observable fact throughout history has been that preventive action and swift and ruthless punishment are the only effective ways to check this sort of scourge. It is this that Israel has consistently demonstrated and is where India has consistently failed. Borrowing from King Lear, one can only say that there’s something in nature that makes such “hard hearts” whereby your own leaders unleash the forces that kill large numbers of your own people. This sort of criminality is unprecedented anywhere in the world, and is all the worse because instead of undergoing punishment, these leaders have thrived.
Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel with particular emphasis on deepening defence ties, homeland security, and joint efforts to fight Islamic terror might change things for the better. The July 1976 Operation Thunderbolt/Entebbe offers a model of decisively dealing with terror. But its aftermath also shows the simple axiom that ultimately a nation must look out for itself. The UN Security Council debate termed the speech of Israeli Ambassador Chaim Herzog as “bloodthirsty.” Here’s an excerpt of that speech:
We come with a simple message to the Council: we are proud of what we have done because we have demonstrated to the world that a small country, in Israel’s circumstances, with which the members of this Council are by now all too familiar, the dignity of man, human life and human freedom constitute the highest values. We are proud not only because we have saved the lives of over a hundred innocent people — men, women and children — but because of the significance of our act for the cause of human freedom.
Contrast this with the permanent Kashmir blunder that Nehru inflicted on India by unilaterally referring it to the UN.
The rest said about the others of his dynasty the better. On the contrary, Narendra Modi’s ongoing visit to Israel is precisely aimed at undoing the manifold damage that the Nehru dynasty did to India’s image on the global stage. Few people may remember today but Nehru’s lapdog English media back in those days reported that bringing a foreign loan to India was Nehru’s “great achievement.” From there up to Manmohan Singh, far from being taken seriously, India became a weak state, a laughing stock. One only needs to recall the stunning pusillanimity that India displayed as a “response” to the 26/11 war waged by Pakistan against India and contrast how Israel would’ve responded had even a fraction of something like this hit them.
And so as whatever remains as a national party, the Congress instead of standing behind Narendra Modi after temporarily setting aside its differences, has done what it does best: vacuously criticised him. Needless, this criticism is also tinged with jealousy. Any Nehru dynast could’ve landed in Israel in all these seventy years: it was indeed a low-hanging diplomatic fruit. But Nehruvian politics pandered only to the worst elements of the Muslim community and kept Israel at a distance. Now they have no grounds to harangue Modi.
Indeed, the following observation about India by the Israeli media should shame us collectively as a people:
Completely sidelining the Congress and its rule in India, Israeli papers were quick to point out that first ever visit by an Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, took place in 2003 when BJP-led NDA regime was in power with Atal Bihari Vajpayee as prime minister.
Israel media seems to believe that, unlike its predecessors, BJP is not held hostage to an Islamist or leftist agenda, and apart from communists and the Islamists, no one else had a problem with Modi skipping Palestine during the Israel trip.
An article in The Jerusalem Post castigated the Congress for equating Israel with Pakistan as a nation-state based on religion and opposing its very existence. [Emphasis added]
As a ridiculous postscript, as both India and Israel are celebrating the formal declaration of friendship, the Congress party is busy writing letters to the Censor Board wanting to “inspect” the upcoming Indu Sarkar movie that apparently showcases the horrors of the Emergency that its “tallest” leader, Indira Gandhi imposed on India. This tomfoolery even as the political careers of its “leaders” are going up in flames.
Meanwhile, it’s truly a matter of pride for all Indians at the fact that Israel has named a strain of the White Chrysanthemum flower as “Modi flower.”
A really yawning cry from the Red Rose-sporting Ambassador of World Peace, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.