Military ties between India and Israel expand over past decades

[This article detailing Israel and India’s extensive military ties has an important omission. In its descriptions of the launch of a spy satellite by India with Israeli assistance and India’s purchase of drone aircraft from Israel, the article does not mention the fact that these pilotless drones and the satellite are not just spying on Pakistani forces; they are being used to gather intelligence on the people’s uprising in Kashmir and the Maoist-led resistance of the adivasi people in eastern and central India to a massive assault of 200,000 troops called Operation Green Hunt.–ed]

by Isabelle Saint-Mézard,  Le Monde Diplomatique

From antipathy to military cooperation–India and Israel: an unlikely alliance

India has the world’s third largest Muslim population, and political and economic ties with Arab nations. It is also buying weapons and military expertise from its new friend Israel.

India and Israel were born (in 1947 and 1948) through long and violent partition processes, from the ruins of the British empire. Both were caught up in inextricable armed conflicts. Yet this did not make for any particular affinity between the countries: rather the reverse.

From the 1920s onwards, the leaders of India’s nationalist movement sided with the Palestinian Arabs against British imperialism, opposing the Zionist aim of establishing a Jewish state. India voted against the partition of Palestine at the UN General Assembly of 1947, and only recognised Israel in 1950. Until the 1980s it formed a bloc with the Arab countries at the UN and within the Non-aligned Movement, in defence of the Palestinian people’s right to a sovereign state.

India had its reasons: it was worried that the Muslim world would side with Pakistan over its claim to Kashmir; it was concerned about energy security (India depends largely on the Middle East for its oil); and in the late 1980s and 1990s, when it had a serious payments imbalance, it relied on money sent back home by the many expatriates working in the Gulf states . Continue reading