India has shown a clever and progressive approach in the ongoing Israel-Palestine situation. India tried to maintain its traditional approach towards Palestine and yet, tried to flourish its ties with Israel. In response to one of the world’s oldest conflict, India’s permanent representative to the United Nations, TS Tirumurti, suggested a clear “Two-State Solution” and “Talks” with immediate termination of violence and struggle between the two nations in order to resolve the ongoing crisis.
By this, India has not only retained its traditional approach towards Palestine, but also given Israel a notion of silent approval on its ongoing policies. India initially made Israel responsible for changing the existing status in East Jerusalem, but consoled it by condemning the rocket firing from Gaza. This balanced set of reaction shows India’s urge to maintain healthy ties with both the nations.
India shares a commendable past relation with the Palestine, especially the PLO i.e. the Palestinian Liberation Organisation since the Nehru era. India has always received PLO leader Yaser Arafat as the Head of State whenever he has come to India. In 1975, India was the only non- Arab country to recognise the PLO as the representative of Palestinian People.
Under PV Narsimha Rao, India opened a representative office in Tel Aviv that later moved to Ramallah after the division between the PLO and Hamas. India also voted in favour of a UN resolution against the making of wall by Israel. India’s acts have been of immense importance in maintaining good relations with other Arab countries, too.
During the first NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, India gave immense importance to Israel. He said that Israel is a “strong state” and knows very well how to defend itself; Home Minister LK Advani and Foreign Minister Jasvant Singh also visited Israel to strengthen ties between India and Israel. This act of balancing continued during the UPA regime, too.
Post 2014, PM Narendra Modi started an aggressive phase of close ties with Israel, not only in the field of defence, but also by collaborating in other issue such as opposing a Bill in the UN in 2016. This bill stated that Israeli forces had carried out inhumane acts on Gaza strip. Also, in 2017, when PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas visited India, our existing policy showed a remarkable change on the status of East Jerusalem as Prime Minister Modi in his speech didn’t mention about the conflicted city.
All this clears that India is dealing with both the countries separately. In the ongoing crisis, after Tirumurti’s statement in the UNSC, the world order is quite clear that India will continue to keep its balanced approach towards this old conflict.