|Hootie & the Blowfish-Hold my Hand|
I have shortlisted my options to Hebrew baby boy names and will come up with one shortly(hopefully) but what better way than to commend the relationship between our nations by giving you a lowdown of this strategic partnership. My Muslim friends can look away now. This is the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Israel since diplomatic relations between the two countries were established 25 years ago. According to the Indian ambassador to Israel, Mr Pavan Kapoor and I quote, “We’ve been a bit bashful in the past about our relationship with Israel, and we’ve gotten over that and the degree of visibility that we’ve been showing for some time has been much higher and now coming with the PM visit, the formal coming out of the relationship,” in conversation with Nidhi Razdan from NDTV.
Intricacies have always been involved in this relationship given the sizable Muslim population in India for fear of alienating a vote bank or bloc and India has always supported the 2 nation theory. Not to mention alienating Arab countries and Iran since India has a very high petroleum bill from them. However, in a departure from tradition PM Modi this time would not be visiting Ramallah, the seat of Palestinian Authority. In a reciprocal gesture, PM Netanyahu is according special status to the visit which has only been the preserve of US Presidents or the Pope for PM Modi. According to Israeli media, Israel arms imports are upwards of $1 billion per year to India making it one of the top three defense markets for India. A case in point being the Barak missile defense system jointly built with Israel. We as citizens can look forward to agreement being signed in varied fields such as technology, aerospace, education, Clean Ganga campaign and seeking Israeli help in agriculture. Israel has made rapid progress in recent years by graduating from a water deficit country to an exporter of water to Jordan. The bonhomie and camaraderie being depicted by the two leaders augurs well for the near and distant future and one can only hope that we prosper together.
Ps- Moshe if you ever read this, Ma in Hindi means Mother. I missed the 26/11 attack by following almost the exact same route of the terrorists 48 hours prior and feared for Ashish when it did actually happen.
May God give you the strength to overcome what you experienced because we will not forget and are waiting for you with open arms.