Political observers have termed Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Israel as ‘historical’, with the potential to elevate the bilateral ties to new heights. The visit holds symbolic importance, as Modi is first Indian prime minister to travel to Israel 25 years after the two countries established diplomatic relations, and 14 years after Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s visit to New Delhi.
The rosy picture of friendly ties between Israel and India is also supported by acceptance of each other culture in both the countries. India’s art and culture are very popular in Israel. For example, how would you feel if you visit a country on a vacation and a street artist performs an exclusive piece of your country’s National Anthem? You will feel both proud and grateful. The very fact that a country appreciates your art, your music leads to a sense of appreciation and belonging towards the people of that country.
The string of strong political, economic and diplomatic ties between any two countries is always formed on the ground of cultural ties. More the people of countries correlate to each other, more important it becomes for the parliament to have strong diplomatic ties with the country. And in this regard, Israel and India’s ties seem to be on a right path.
The many pictures of Modi and Netanyahu paint a rosy picture of relations between the two countries, but they won’t be enough to dispel longstanding regional tensions. The Palestinians’ curt reaction to the trip already suggests that India’s plan for an independent relationship with each country isn’t as viable as Modi might think.