Sunday, May 18, 2014
More Good News On India - Modi And The BJP Are Strongly Pro Israel!
As I reported previously, India has moved decisively to the Right in its new elections, with the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)winning by a landslide large enough to preclude the BJP having to form a coalition.
India's economy has stagnated, with the growth rate slowed, inflation as a major problem and massive corruption and over-regulation from India's bureaucracy. And ineffectual leadership by the quasi-socialist Congress party was also a major campaign issue. This sounds suspiciously like the United States at the end of the Carter years.
The BJP and India's new prime Minister Narendra Modi, considered the right wing of Indian polics, ran on economic growth, a pro-business administration, fiscal responsibility, a more muscular foreign policy and clean, honest government.
Part of that will almost certainly be increased and stronger ties with Israel, since Modi and the BJP have a strongly pro-Israel stance.
One of the things Modi campaigned on was his record of economic success as Chief Minister of Gujarat State, something Israel had an important role in:
Part of his success was due to a public relations campaign and financial incentives to encourage investment in development within Gujarat. Israel was reportedly one of Modi's greatest allies in economic progress according to the International Business Times. He has visited Israel in the past and has publicly supported it.
Modi came to power as leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has supported his close political and financial ties with Israel, who invested billions of dollars in Gujarat during Modi's time as its leader.
Not only was Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu one of the first world leaders to call Modi to congratulate him on his victory, but Israel and Modi have a personal history because of his virtual ostracizing by the Obama Administration and the EU:
Though popular throughout much of the nation for his charisma and economic success, Modi is a highly controversial political figure since riots in 2002 in Gujarat when 1,200 people were killed in violence between Hindus and Muslims. (NB - for the most part, this was determined to be mostly Muslim on Hindu rioting)
Modi was accused of complicity in the violence and though he was absolved of all accusations by India's Supreme Court, the US and European countries rejected visas for Modi in sanctions meant to punish the leader for not doing enough to end the violence.
Israel gained Modi as a business partner and political supporter when he saw that attempting to find financial investment from the US and Europe wasn't politically viable.
Yet, it isn't only for financial gain that Israel finds itself naturally partnered with Modi's BJP. Anti-Pakistan and anti-Islamic rhetoric from BJP officials over the years has drawn India closer to Israel politically and ideologically as they also search for ways to cooperate in fighting terrorism.
Israel's relationship with India has always been friendly, (you can travel to Goa and other cities in India and see signs in Hebrew because of all the Israeli tourists) and Israel remains India's chief supplier of military hard ware. But the relationship was always tempered by two things - the need of the Congress Party's coalition to cater politically to India's Muslim minority, about 10% of the population and the need for oil and gas to fuel India's economy.
Modi and the BJP have no need to enter into that kind of coalition politically, Israel is a promising new source of oil and gas as well as badly needed investment and the two countries, both surrounded by more or less hostile Muslim states are natural allies against Islamist terrorism.
I predicted some time ago that the Obama Administration's attitude towards the American-Israeli relationship would lead to Israel finding some new best friends overseas. Watch as Israel's relationship with China continues to warm up as well.