The Hindu Editorials Notes – Mains Sure Shot
- Note: on 17th September The Hindu Editorials ,there were three important articles – one on Israel and Pakistan relations, the second on Hindi being promoted and the third on Trillion dollar economy.
- Hindi being promoted has already been discussed in July with more points than now (in context of the Draft Education Policy, 2019). And also the trillion dollar economy has been covered earlier.
Question – Analyse the feasibility of diplomatic ties between Israel-Pakistan and where does India stand in this.(250 words)
Context – Speculations about the possibility of Israeli-Pakistan diplomatic ties.
About Israel in brief:
- Israel is a country in the Middle East, located at the eastern end of the Mediterranean sea. But being a Jewish state it is relatively isolated in the Muslim dominated region.
- Due to social and political developments in Europe, between 1896 and 1948, hundreds of thousands of Jews resettled from Europe to what was then British-controlled Palestine, including large numbers forced out of Europe during the Holocaust.
- Many Arabs saw the influx of Jews as a European colonial movement, and the two peoples fought bitterly. The British couldn’t control the violence, and in 1947 the United Nations voted to split the land into two countries – Israel and Palestine.
- The Jewish residents accepted the deal but the Palestinians saw it as a plan to drive them out of their land and fought it. Later the Arab states of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria all later declared war on Israel, as well.
- So, ever since Israel’s founding in 1948, it has been the endeavour of the Jewish state to overcome its regional isolation and enhance diplomatic relations with as many countries as possible.
- But apart from Turkey (1949), Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994), none of the states in the region have recognised Israel. In fact, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) routinely pillories (criticises) Israel for its “occupation” of Palestinian lands.
- So because of this Israel has developed the majority of its diplomatic relations beyond its regional neighbours.
- Israel has established diplomatic relations with a large majority of the 193 UN member states.
Relations between India and Israel:
- India established full diplomatic ties with Israel in January 1992.
- There were many reasons that brought the two countries closer – for example, both have successfully tackled state-centric threats (meaning a sort of state led military threats) throughout their history.
- Israel has successfully dealt with combined Arab opposition in 1948, 1967 and in 1973. Similarly, India has prevailed over an acutely hostile and implacable Pakistan in every conflict since Partition.
- Also, both Israel and India have been victims of asymmetric warfare such as terrorism, which they continue to tackle with resolve.
- The Indian Prime Minister has successfully dealt with India’s relations with the West Asian regions and the Gulf Cooperation Council states strengthening both economic and security ties.
- At present, mutual apprehensions about Iran (shia dominated state) have brought Israel and the Gulf countries closer but Israel still looks beyond its immediate region for greater economic and diplomatic Lebensraum, especially the Indo-Pacific region is fast emerging as a prime focus of its endeavours.
- Israel is also looking at increasing its diplomatic footprint in South Asia and beyond. Forging closer ties with populous Asian Muslim countries such as Bangladesh and Indonesia would help it to gain greater legitimacy in the Islamic world.
- Pakistan in this scenario is trying to increase its strategic ties with Israel. Israel has close relations with the U.S. and Pakistan can look up to Israel to act as a mediator on recurring U.S.-Pakistan tensions. Concerns regarding Iran were also cited as a point of convergence.
- But a very strong relation between Israel and Pakistan is unlikely to develop because Pakistan is seen as the “sword-arm” of the Sunni world (Arabs have a rivalry with Israel and Pakistan has friendly relations with the Arab world). Islamabad has invested considerably in the security of the Arab monarchies, including in Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Pakistani military units have been stationed in these countries to promote internal stability.
- Pakistan is also a member of the OIC who criticise Israel on the Palestine issue. Pakistan has used the platform provided by the OIC to drum up support for its stand on Kashmir, just as the OIC has done for the Palestinian issue. If Pakistan were to establish diplomatic ties with Israel, it would dilute its Islamic credentials and lead to a weakened support base within the OIC on Kashmir.
- The regime in Pakistan would also face the heat from its many domestic conservative Islamist groups.
- The coming close of the two countries if at all happens will be because of the Iran factor as both Israel and Pakistan share hostilities with Iran. But Israel cannot expect Pakistan (sunni dominated) to be used against neighbouring Iran because it would risk the dangers of escalation in sectarian conflict in its own country, given that more than 20% of its (Israel’s) population is Shia.
- Israel needs to balance its ties between Pakistan and India. However, it is not in Israel’s interest to seek diplomatic ties with a state that sponsors terrorism.
- Though as of now the possibility of diplomatic relations between Israel and Pakistan seems dicy yet international relations are highly unpredictable and India has to be prepared for that.