What took it so long? Well no doubt it was held back in the hope that outward signs of respect to Israel might help placate the Arabs and keep them on India’s side. That failed miserably.
The UN has never been all too friendly Israel in recent times to put it lightly and that was underlined in big, bold red lines when it negated any link between Jews, Judaism and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem through UNESCO.
It was a major “What the …” moment to some, and the crudest form of anti-Semitism to others.
It’s a devaluing of history and spiritual divorce that India can relate to. For in India there have been many attempts to culturally whitewash Indian history, particularly in academia where terms denoting that spiritual and historically links were sought to be excised completely from schoolbooks and to cry foul of any kind of link between the events in The Ramayana to spiritual teachings.
India is steadily moving away from reluctant, creeping support for Israel. India has changed its stand at the UN from abstaining to voting in line with a firm patriotism and spiritual affinity with Israel and Judaism as well as a clear recognition that both fight the same terrorist enemy that seeks to dismantle it any which way it can.
Eschewing Israeli support thinking it would help Arabs in fighting terrorism on Indian borders was a born fallacy. It is Israel that provided assistance to India during offensives in the past even when the world looked away and would not help.
Only leftist, myopic, deluded peaceniks in India actually think that if India supports the Palestinian cause and cries foul of Israel that somehow the Arabs will lend all their support to India in fighting back against Pakistani terrorism. It hasn’t happened and it never will.
No Arab country had anything to say after the 1971 genocide of Bengalis by Pakistan or the 1988 ethnic cleansing of Hindus from Kashmir. In fact, Arafat was quick to proverbially slap Indira Gandhi in the face in 1974 when he took up the invitation by Pakistan to attend the Islamic Summit conference.
From his perspective, and that of militant forces within the Palestinian cause, they were relatively pleased with the fact that Pakistan was a staging ground for logistical training for Arab insurgent forces seeking to decimate Israel.
Of course India only woke up to this realisation after normalising relations with Israel in 1993. J N Dixit who was the foreign secretary of India at the time frowned at the kind of blasé idealism of Nehru by saying in no uncertain terms “What have the Arabs given us, if I may ask? Did they vote for us in the Kashmir issue? Were they supportive of us when we had the East Pakistan crisis?” (Kumaraswamy, P R “Israel-India Relations: Seeking Balance and Realism,” Israel Affairs, Autumn/Winter 2004)
Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) is very relevant to Israel and hence Indo-Israeli relations because insurgent forces that seek to destroy Israel are using this region to arm themselves, train and drum up support, importing these fighters to undertake jihad in Kashmir and decimate Indian forces in the process.
Narendra Modi undertook the surgical strikes against Pakistan and was quick to illustrate the parallel with Israel in how to respond to terror. The Indian left have been quick to show their fury, demanding proof of the attack sites and decrying the Indian response as heavy handed. When parallels are drawn to how the IDF reacts to terror, the Indian Left is quick to start calling Israel a terror state. How foolish they seem in the wake of increased Pakistani sponsored terror has martyred Indian soldiers fighting for their safety and way of life.
India and Israel face the same enemy and just might be the only two bottlenecks in their respective regions to contain and hopefully obliterate the cancer of terrorism at the heart of the only democracy in the region (Israel) and the largest democracy in the world (India).