India-Israel Become Strategic Partners – PM Modi’s Visit to Israel


India & Israel upgraded their relationship this week to a strategic partnership, a partnership that rests on common values, shared sadness & the enormous opportunity each nation sees in the other. Rarely has a visit been so successful as PM Modi’s visit to Israel this week. PM Netanyahu set aside his regular duties to spend the entire visit with PM Modi, a demonstration both of the importance of the visit & the friendship the two leaders have built in the past three years.  

A deeply important shared experience of the two nations is the November 2008 attack on Mumbai by NaPak trained commandos. They killed every non-Muslim they could find including parents of a boy named Moshe Holzberg at the Chabad House Jewish center. Moshe was saved by his Indian nanny.

PM Modi sought out young Moshe during his visit and the picture below speaks volumes about the bond the two nations share as victims of jihadi terrorism. Moshe’s grandfather told PM Modi that Moshe wants to become a Rabbi and then return to Mumbai’s Chabad House. 

The visit was successful from the traditional standpoint as well. The two leaders signed seven major agreements on water, agriculture, and space technology on top of creating a $40 million research fund for joint innovation. Prior to the visit, the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries had signed a nearly $2 billion deal to supply India’s army and navy with missile defense systems, making it the biggest defense contract in Israel’s history.

Desalinization is an important objective for both India & Israel. But look where & how the two leaders chose to discuss the topic.

There is a special bond I personally share with Israel. My father was involved with the then newly formed Indo-Israeli Friendship center in Mumbai. The city of Mumbai has also had a warm & old relationship with Israel. The largest Marathi-speaking community outside India lives in Israel as David Akov, Israel’s Consul General said this week and added “We believe that the connection with Maharashtra will be immediate. We expect Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel will first bring benefits to Maharashtra which will then spread to other parts of India“.

 The personal bond & friendship between leaders of countries go a long way in determining the success of the partnership between nations. That in itself should point to greater heights for India-Israel strategic partnership. 


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