Very few world leaders receive Israel’s grand reception; people like the President of the United States, and The Pope. So it did not go unnoticed that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi received the same red elite treatment. While he became the first Indian Prime Minister ever to visit Israel, we shall try to know more about Israel, a middle eastern country.
Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in the Middle East, on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. Israel shares land border with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area.
Israel’s economy and technology center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem. The population of Israel, as defined by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, was estimated in 2017 to be 8,711,460 people.
It is the world’s only Jewish-majority state, with 74.8% being designated as Jewish.
The country’s second largest group of citizens are Arabs, at 20.8% (including the Druze and most East Jerusalem Arabs).
The country has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, and has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Israel is a developed country and an OECD member, with the 34th largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2016.
India – Israel Relations
The two countries enjoy an extensive economic, military, and strategic relationship. India is the largest buyer of Israeli military equipment and Israel is the second-largest defence supplier to India after Russia.
From 1999 to 2009, the military business between the two nations was worth around $9 billions.
Relations further expanded during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration, with India abstaining from voting against Israel in the United Nations in several resolutions. As of 2015, the two nations are negotiating an extensive bilateral free trade agreement, focusing on areas such as information technology, biotechnology, and agriculture.
In 2003, Ariel Sharon was the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit India. Sharon’s visit was condemned in leftist and Muslim circles. Hundreds of supporters of India’s various pro-Islamic and communist parties rallied in New Delhi. Nearly 100 Muslims were arrested. Students of Aligarh Muslim University demanded that India severe ties with Israel and increase ties with Palestine.
In early 2006 Indian government ministers Sharad Pawar, Kapil Sibal and Kamal Nath visited Israel. Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi visited Israel in October 2006.
Breaking from convention, Singh was the first Indian minister to visit Israel without also visiting Palestine on the same trip.
In the same year, former Israeli President Shimon Peres visited India. A high level Israeli delegation with the Agriculture Minister of Israel, Yair Shamir, also participated in the Vibrant Gujrat summit in 2015.
In December 2014 a news published in The Hindu that India may end support to Palestine.
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In February 2015 Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon came to India. During his visit he participated in Aero India 2015. He also met his Indian counterpart, as well as the Indian PM.
Pranab Mukherjee became the first Indian President to visit Israel from October 13 to 15, 2015. Mukherjee was given the rare honour of addressing the Knesset.
The Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, visited Israel in January 2016. During the visit, she visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, members of the cabinet, and the Indian Jewish communities in Israel.
In September 2016, Minister of Agriculture (India), Radha Mohan Singh visited Israel to bolster India-Israel agricultural ties. He met his Israeli counterpart Uri Ariel, where the discussion concerned about collaborative opportunities in agriculture between both the countries.
Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin, visited India for a week-long state visit in November 2016, becoming the second Israeli President to visit the country. Following his visit, Rivlin told Israel media that
“They assure us that when the time will come they will never, never, ever let anyone [act against] the existence of Israel.“
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Israel for three days from 4 July 2017, the first ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the country. He did not visit Palestine during the trip, breaking from convention. With the sole exception of Union Minister Rajnath Singh, previous trips by Indian ministers and President Mukherjee included visits to both Israel and Palestine.
The Indian media described the move as the “de-hyphenation” of India’s relations with the two states.
With This Article, We Tried To Know More About Israel, Drop Your Views In The Comments Section Below.