Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas of India’s “unwavering support” as compared to what he had said last year at a public function in Himachal Pradesh wherein Modi appeared to compare the Indian Army’s targeted action along the LoC to the Israeli policy of targeted assassinations and full-fledged aggression against the people of Palestine and Lebanon at that time. But what he had said on Tuesday was just opposite saying it hopes to see a sovereign, united and an independent Palestine, co- existing peacefully with Israel. Modi, who is scheduled to travel to Israel in July, also hoped for early resumption of talks between Palestinian and Israeli sides to move towards finding a comprehensive resolution. Modi’s remarks assume significance in the backdrop of growing proximity between India and Israel and Palestine hopes India can play an important role (in resolving the Palestine-Israel crisis). The present situation is a win-win one for India to take further already existing cordial relations with Islamic countries to counter the growing influence of Pakistan in export of terrorism in Kashmir. India’s solidarity with Palestinian people and its attitude towards Palestinian cause had taken shape during our freedom struggle against British colonialism. In 1938, on the proposal to create a homeland for Jews in Palestine, Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “my sympathy for the Jews does not blind me to the requirements of Justice. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs”. And one of the best periods of this relations was during the Congress rule especially during the rule of Indira Gandhi when Palestine had Yasser Arafat as Chairman. India with a considerable number of Muslim population has always been sympathetic to the Muslim population in Palestine. Indian politicians also followed a pro- Palestine approach without hurting the minority sentiments. And now Modi taking U-turn too looks like our Prime Minister has been influenced by the changing global political canvass especially emergence of US under Donald Trump who sees as opportunities in adversaries. It won’t be an exaggeration of the fact that troubled Israel-Palestine relations may find a way-out during Trumps regime which India too looks forward to encash being Asia’s one of the big player.
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