India-Israel ties have witnessed an upswing ever since Narendra Modi’s election as India’s Prime Minister in May 2014. Last June, he became the first Indian prime minister in history to visit Israel, where his famed personal chemistry with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on full display.
However, India-Israel relations have experienced considerable turbulence in recent weeks. India shocked the Jewish state by voting in favor of a United Nations resolution condemning U.S in December. Earlier this month, one of Israel’s leading defense technology firms confirmed that the Indian Defense Ministry had cancelled a $500 million missile contract with it.
Whereas Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to India next month illustrates that the India-Israel bilateral partnership continues to reach unprecedented heights, particularly as its political and public profile continues to expand. The overall upward trajectory of India-Israel relations will not be compromised as the two countries are bound together by a congruence of common values and interest. Here are 4 reasons why India Israel relations are important –
1 ) National security and counter-terrorism: Both India and Israel boost the counter-terrorism cooperation and share real-time intel on issues crucial to national security. The ties can be taken forward based on common threats from global terrorism.
2 ) Water and agriculture: Israel has transitioned from a water-deficit state to a water-surplus state and has pioneered the water desalination technique, something that’s absolutely significant in the era of climate change, rapid loss of fresh water bodies and rise in seawater levels. In India, the use of salt water imported from Israel assumes immense importance. Moreover, Israeli drip irrigators are a cheap method of slow watering of dry lands, ensuring no water loss.
3 ) Defence deals: Israel is India’s fifth-largest source of arms, with imports worth $10 billion (Rs 59,670 crore) over the past decade. Between Modi’s election in May 2014 and November 2014, Israel exported $662 million worth of Israeli weapons and defense items to India. The Barak 8 long-range surface-to-air missile, developed jointly between India and Israel can be launched from a ship or from land too.
4 ) Trade: India’s total trade with Israel was $6.06 billion (Rs 36,160 crore) in 2013-14, up 57% over 2009-10. Since 2010, the two countries have been negotiating a free-trade agreement for goods and services, which should boost investments and trade ties.Israel also ranks 44th in terms of foreign direct investment in India, investing $82 million between April 2000 and February 2015.
Hence, there are a number of avenues in which India-Israel ties would be key to the emerging global order, making it very sacred and important in the arena of foreign relations.