Relations between India and Israel have reached a new phase. Last year India voted in the United Nations in support of Israel for the first time. However, in the past also, India helped Israel and Israel helped India through all difficult times. Be it the China War or the 1971 and 1999 kargil war with Pakistan, Israel helped India with sophisticated weapons. Now when the whole world is struggling with the corona epidemic. India has become a troubleshooter for many countries in this global crisis.
India Recently removed the ban on the export of hydroxychloroquine and started export to Israel. This drug is proving to be very helpful in fighting corona. After Brazil and United States Of America, now Israel has also thanked India and praised Indian prime minister Narendra Modi for hydroxychloroquine. Indian prime minister Modi has also assured Israel that we will provide all possible help.
Before, In light of the lack of supplies, Israeli prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested Narendra Modi to approve an exemption and allow ‘the exports of masks and pharmaceutical raw materials’ to Israel. This request was presented after India came to a decision of terminating the export of these products to meet its own domestic requirements considering the rapid spread of novel coronavirus. India approved to Netanyahu’s demand to supply them N95 face masks for medical teams and raw materials for the Israeli pharmaceutical industry.
Chloroquine was initially used for malaria, later it was used as an arthritis and pain reliever. Hydroxychloroquine is an advanced version of the same drug. Investigations so far have proved that this drug is effective to some extent in the treatment of corona. Apart from prevention, there is no cure and cure for this disease, hence the same drug is being used.
Earlier, the Israeli Embassy had requested the Indian Foreign Ministry to transport Israeli citizens to Israel amid the global epidemic of corona virus. After which the Indian carrier Air India safely evacuated 314 Israeli citizens to their country by their special aircraft. Israel also thanked India wholeheartedly for this. The symbolic gesture of helping foreign nationals in the middle of an outbreak is a sheer gesture of growing trust and friendship between the two nations.
Last month Indian Defence Ministry signed a contract of 880 crore for purchasing almost 16,000 light machine guns from an Israeli firm for frontline troops. The deal was highly criticized by activists around the world. They claimed that the deal amount could have been put into a better use during an epidemic crisis. The deal was introduced on the life expense of doctors on the frontline in India, where they have been continuously complaining of a shortage of medical face masks and proper gears. India went ahead in signing the agreement. By ignoring all, the two countries shared friendship and complete the deal.
There is a lot of similarities too between India and Israel. India and Israel were born in the same year 1947. However, Israel officially gained independence in 1948. The initial relations between the two countries were not good. It was only in 1947 that India voted against the recognition of Israel as a nation. Similarly, in 1949, India once again voted against making Israel a member country in the United Nations. In the first 2 years with the rise of Israel, India’s favor was always against Israel.
Relationship of both countries improvement started in 1950. For the first time in 1950, India recognized Israel as an independent nation. Along with this, India appointed Israel’s Counsel in 1951 in a local Jewish colony in Mumbai. It was upgraded in 1953 to the rank of Counsel. In 1956, Israeli foreign minister Moshe Sherrat visited India amid the ongoing controversy over the Suez Canal. The Suez Canal dispute was between Egypt and Israel.
Israel also helped India with state-of-the-art weapons during Kargil war in 1999 against Pakistan. Not only this, when the Indian intelligence agency RAW was formed by then prime minister of India Indira Gandhi, the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad helped a lot. In 1992, PV Narasimha Rao was the prime minister of India, at that time India established diplomatic relations with Israel.
From 2015, the real story of the changed and postive relationship between both countries became public. India remained non-existent at the United Nations during the vote resolution on human rights rights abuses in Israel. Only after that the first visit by an Indian prime minister took place in Israel in 2017 and prime minister Narendra Modi visited Israel for 3 days. In 2018 Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu undertook a 6-day extensive tour of India. However, at the United Nations, India voted against a resolution recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.