India, Israel ‘strategic partners’, send strong message on terror

The two sides decided to establish a bilateral Technology Innovation Fund worth US$ 40 million for research in industrial development. Modi said, “We also discussed the situation in West Asia and wider region. It is India’s hope that peace, dialogue and restraint will prevail.”

Written by Shubhajit Roy | Jerusalem | Updated: July 6, 2017 6:12 am
modi in israel, narendra modi, modi israel visit, india israel relations, modi on terrorism, india news Prime Minister, Narendra Modi being received by the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, on his arrival, at Ben Gurion Airport, in Tel Aviv , Israel on Tuesday. (Source: PTI Photo)

“THIS IS a marriage really made in heaven and we are implementing it here on Earth,” declared Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in the golden and indigo-hued ambassador’s hall at the historic King David Hotel here. Modi laughed. Minutes later, India and Israel decided to elevate their relationship to a “strategic partnership”, after negotiations and last-minute changes in the joint statement.

It was apt that the two leaders chose the hotel, where 91 people were killed in a bomb attack in 1946, to flag terrorism in their short statements. “India and Israel live in complex geographies. We are aware of strategic threats to regional peace and stability. India has India, Israel forge ‘strategic partnership’, send strong message on terror suffered first-hand the violence and hatred spread by terror. So has Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu and I agreed to do much more together to protect our strategic interests and also cooperate to combat growing radicalisation and terrorism, including in cyber space,” Modi said in his remarks after the talks.

Stating that the two countries need to cooperate in the field of counter-terrorism, Netanyahu described 26/11 as a “horrible terrorist attack”. He said the two countries are being challenged by “forces of terror” and have agreed to cooperate in countering terrorism. “We also recognise that we are being challenged. We are being challenged by the forces of terror, the forces of terror that seeks to undermine our world, our countries, the peace and stability of our common civilisation, and we have agreed to cooperate in this area as well… This is an expression of our commitment… ours is a partnership to seek good, defend the good, achieve the good. This is indeed a good day,” said the Israeli PM, after three hours of talks and a working lunch. He added that this was a “deeply moving moment for me, both in personal, but also in national and international terms”.

While the joint statement made a categorical reference to terrorism, it did not mention the phrase “cross-border terrorism”. “Recognising that terrorism poses a grave threat to global peace and stability, the two Prime Ministers reiterated their strong commitment to combat it in all its forms and manifestations. They stressed that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever. The leaders asserted that strong measures should be taken against terrorists, terror organisations, their networks and all those who encourage, support and finance terrorism, or provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups. They also underscored the need to ensure that terrorist organisations do not get access to any WMD or technologies. Both leaders also committed to cooperate for the early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT),” it said.

Responding to a specific question, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar pointed to the reference to “terrorists, terror organisations, their networks and all those who encourage, support and finance terrorism, or provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups”, as an indication of “cross-border terrorism”, and remarked, “sometimes, people like longer sentences”. While the final joint statement included the “strategic partnership” component, there was some last-minute huddle and drama — an indication that negotiations on the formulation went down to the wire.

As officials waited for the two Prime Ministers to make their statements, Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Netanyahu’s military secretary Eliezer Toledano — who was wearing his uniform with a kippah — went into a huddle, along with PMO joint secretary Vinay Kwatra. Moments earlier, Jaishankar, India’s envoy to Israel Pavan Kapoor and Israel’s envoy to India Daniel Carmon chatted. The NSA and the FS also had a separate chat in a corner of the room. After the Prime Ministers arrived and sat on red wooden chairs, when the space cooperation agreements were announced, Netanyahu said, “The sky is not the limit”. The Israeli side later distributed a copy of the joint statement which said, “The historic first-ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Israel raised the bilateral relationship to a new level in order to solidify the enduring friendship between their peoples.”

When Jaishankar was told later that contrary to his claims, the joint statement circulated by the Israeli side had no reference to a “strategic partnership”, he expressed surprise. He quickly said that the Indian version was the updated statement. The Indian side, within minutes, distributed the document, which read, “This historic first-ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Israel solidified the enduring friendship between their peoples and raised the bilateral relationship to that of a strategic partnership”.

While the two sides kept defence cooperation in the background, and pushed for other issues including water and agriculture, the joint statement talked about defence cooperation in the context of “joint development” and “Make in India”, although Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and other officials said that they would like to see “Make with India”. There was no explicit reference to defence cooperation in Modi and Netanyahu’s statements, but the joint statement reaffirmed the importance of bilateral defence cooperation over the years. It was agreed that “future developments in this sphere should focus on joint development of defence products, including transfer of technology from Israel, with a special emphasis on the ‘Make in India’ initiative.”

Modi was effusive in his praise for Israel, as he called it “extraordinary” and said, “India admires the success of your people in overcoming adversity to advance, innovate and flourish against all odds. In our modern journey, our paths have been different, but our belief in democratic values and economic progress has been a shared pursuit.” This visit, he said, was an occasion to “rejuvenate the bonds of our friendship; to compose a new chapter in our ties; and to jointly venture towards new horizons of engagement.”

The two countries signed seven agreements pertaining to water, space and agriculture. When the two sides were signing one of the agriculture pacts, Netanyahu shook Modi’s hand. During the statements too, they embraced each other, continuing with their bonhomie. “Modi and I look ahead and, at the same time, have our feet firmly on the ground,” said Netanyahu.

“Israel is among the leading nations in the field of innovation, water and agricultural technology. These are also among my priority areas in India’s development. We agreed that efficiency of water and resource use; water conservation and its purification; productivity increases in agriculture are key areas in deepening our bilateral cooperation,” Modi said. The two sides decided to establish a bilateral Technology Innovation Fund worth US$ 40 million for research in industrial development.

On the regional security situation, Modi said, “We also discussed the situation in West Asia and wider region. It is India’s hope that peace, dialogue and restraint will prevail.” The joint statement said the two Prime Ministers discussed the developments pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. “They underlined the need for the establishment of a just and durable peace in the region. They reaffirmed their support for an early negotiated solution between the sides, based on mutual recognition and security arrangements,” it said.

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    Nissar Ahmed Naik
    Jul 7, 2017 at 1:31 pm
    "Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter said in remarks broadcast Monday that Israeli policy in the West Bank represented instances of apartheid worse even that those that once held sway in South Africa. Carter's comments were broadcast on Israel Radio, which played a tape of an interview with the ex-president, but did not specify to whom Carter was speaking. But has made similar remarks in recent interviews, such as one to CBC television. "When Israel does occupy this territory deep within the West Bank, and connects the 200-or-so settlements with each other, with a road, and then prohibits the Palestinians from using that road, or in many cases even crossing the road, this perpetrates even worse instances of apartness, or apartheid, than we witnessed even in South Africa." Carter said his new book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" was meant to spark U.S. discussion of Israeli policies...... " -Israeli Newspaper 'HAARETZ', Friday, July 07, 2017
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      Nissar Ahmed Naik
      Jul 6, 2017 at 3:13 pm
      ..."apartheid." In the Occupied Territories, what Israel is doing is much worse than apartheid. ..What’s happening in the Occupied Territories is much worse. There’s a crucial difference. The South African Nationalists needed the black population. That was their workforce. It was 85 percent of the workforce of the population, and that was basically their workforce. They needed them. They had to sustain them. The bantustans were horrifying, but South Africa did try to sustain them. They didn’t put them on a diet. .. The Israeli relationship to the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories is totally different. .. Israel has—Israeli experts have calculated in detail exactly how many calories, literally, Gazans need to survive. And if you look at the sanctions that they impose, they’re grotesque. I mean, .. They’re ic. .. Just enough calories to survive. And, of course,. it means just enough material coming in through the tunnels so that they don’t totally die. -Noam Chomski
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        Ram
        Jul 7, 2017 at 1:52 am
        Noam Chomski is mentor to many JNU half brained left traitors. No more to say about the rest of blabber you wrote. Anyway India and Israel are natural partners as they are facing the same regressive violent thuggish enemy, that of islamic terror. 85 India's Hindu,Sikh,Jain,Buddhist and Christians are very very happy to go along with Israel in all areas 1000 percent! Rest can always go to pakistan the land allocated to them according to their own wish in 1947. Remaining few lefty-commies can always jump in Bay of Bengal only useful thing they can do by doing what Osamaji did!
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          Nissar Ahmed Naik
          Jul 7, 2017 at 12:07 pm
          Noam Chomski is too big a person to be ridiculed in this way. His unparalleled intellect spans not only international affairs but the science of linguistics. The ForignPolicydot com has included him in the list of The World’s Top 20 Public Intellectuals , so ridiculing him by people like us really does not matter. Here is what that says: "Chomsky is perhaps best known for his scathing criticisms of U.S. foreign policy extending back to the Vietnam War. An outspoken activist, a lively debater, and an icon of the international left, Chomsky rarely shies away from assailing American power and venerating those he deems the world’s oppressed. The failures of American mass media and the greed of big business are also frequent targets of his critiques. Beyond his political provocations, Chomsky’s contributions to modern linguistics are immense, particularly his theory of generative grammar. The bestselling author of more than 30 books, Chomsky has taught at the MIT for ...
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        Anthony Gonsalves
        Jul 6, 2017 at 1:43 pm
        Better bury Feku in that graveyard in Israel. India will get rid of nuisance.
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          Raghupk
          Jul 6, 2017 at 3:06 pm
          not him but it is all those anti indians like u , papu and co , lefists
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          Nissar Ahmed Naik
          Jul 6, 2017 at 1:36 pm
          Correction for a typo in my quote of Israeli Journalist Gideon Levy in a previous post: 600 000 refugees AND NOT 6000000 refugees.
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            Nissar Ahmed Naik
            Jul 6, 2017 at 1:22 pm
            "The cry for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me. The sanction for it is sought in the Bible and the tenacity with which the Jews have hankered after return to Palestine. Why should they not, like other peoples of the earth, make that country their home where they are born and where they earn their livelihood? Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home. The nobler course would be to insist on a just treatment of the Jews wherever they are born and bred. " -Mahatma Gandhi, Published in the Harijan 26-11-1938.
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              Ram
              Jul 7, 2017 at 1:58 am
              If what you wrote is not cooked up stuff, then OMG you are making many feel how dangerous Gandhi was for India and its well being! What else he had to say about Kashmiri Pandits, teh original inhabitants of Kashmir which belonged to them? And what about 1947 India par ion by Nehru-HGandhi-Jinnah or congress-ML demarking Pakistan as land for Indian muslims and the rest to the rest? Did it really happen? Why not?
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                Nissar Ahmed Naik
                Jul 7, 2017 at 12:37 pm
                It is very arrogant of you to accuse me of'cooking up stuff'. The words " Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French." is a well-known quote of Gandhiji, so I pity your ignorance. We are discussing Israel , so why you suddenly start abusing Nehru and Gandhi? They are respected by a huge majority of Indians. Oh, I forgot, there is a minuscule minority to whom Nathuram Godse is hero. Even many many Israelies sympathize with Palestinians, refer to my post about Gideon Levy.
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              Nissar Ahmed Naik
              Jul 6, 2017 at 1:02 pm
              Here is what Gideon Levy, an Israeli journalist says in 'Haaretz' an Israeli newspaper in the issue dated 4th July '17: "..the day after Independence Day, when Israel was immersed in praise of itself and its democracy almost ad nauseam, ...colleague Akiva Eldar ... we lacked the shocking figures he revealed: By the time of the Oslo Accords, Israel had revoked the residency of 140,000 Palestinians from the West Bank. ... 14 percent of West Bank residents who dared to go abroad had their right to return to Israel and live here denied forever. In other words, they were expelled from their land and their homes. In other words: ethnic cleansing. While we are still desperately concealing, denying and repressing our major ethnic cleansing of 1948 - over 600,0000 refugees, some who fled for fear of the Israel Defense Forces and its predecessors, some who were expelled by force - it turns out that 1948 never ended, that its spirit is still with us ..the goal ... Land ..for for the Jews..alone.
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                Nissar Ahmed Naik
                Jul 6, 2017 at 12:29 pm
                Mr. Modi could have easily found some time to visit the Palestinian territories but he did not, very sad. Many many Israelies feel ashamed of the pain and injustice meted out to the Palestinians by the nation of Israel. President Carter said the Israeli Society was an Apartheid Society where Palestinians were treated as inferior human beings.We did not develop relations with apartheid South Africa, had we done so we could have acquired advanced weaponry from them too but we did not abandon our principles of justice.
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                  M. AHMAD
                  Jul 6, 2017 at 12:17 pm
                  INDIA HAS STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP WITH MANY COUNTRIES AND THE RESULTANT NO DECREASE IN TERRORISM. SO, WHAT WILL DO THIS STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP. MOREOVER, ISRAEL IS FATHER OF TERRORISM AND SUPPORTED BY AMERICA. THE COMING DAYS WILL SHOW ALL THIS DRAMABAZI.
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