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'Israelis generally accept India's strategic need to ties to

Press Trust of India  |  Jerusalem 

Israeli analysts generally accept India's strategic need to demonstrate its traditional support for Palestine with some seeing Narendra Modi's trip to as a "comfort prize" for amid growing Indo-ties. Modi, the first Indian to visit Palestine, has reached amid heightened tensions in the region after US recognised as the capital of has consistently voted in favour of resolutions supporting the Palestinian cause at international forums, an issue that has bothered strategic partner "I believe that the understand that this visit is a comfort prize after and have grown closer dramatically in the last few years," Lior Weintraub, a former Israeli in and Washington, said. said. is now prioritising the bilateral relationship with that has a strategic aspect, cultural aspect and economic aspect, over allowing the impasse in the Israeli- to dictate how is going to act vis- -vis some vital national interest that is has, the former further added. Israelis are generally accepting of India's strategic need to demonstrate its traditional support for the with some seeing trip to Palestine as a "comfort prize" for intensifying Indo- ties while others viewing it as a move to safeguard national interest. Modi's visit to Palestine comes just weeks after Israeli much publicised trip to A section of the media and colleagues in his own Likud party hailed his "treatment like a King" in India, emphasising on the personal chemistry between and Modi. The visit to Palestine may have come as a dampener to many Israeli enthusiasts who have looked excited at the burgeoning ties between and but on the contrary there seems to be an understanding of "India's national interest". "The visit of in the will also have diplomatic significance: On the one hand it is important for the Indians to show that they have not neglected their traditional position when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but (on the other hand) the close relationship between Modi and can help in facilitating a renewal of the talks between the sides," Lior said. Currently working with The Project as a senior executive, Lior sees Modi's visit to Palestine as a move vital to protect India's national interest. Senior sources in confirmed that the Israeli government was sounded off much in advance, and prior to, of Netanyahu's visit to "I do not see any reason to crib about anything here. Our relations have matured to a level that we can understand India's needs. Its not an either or situation.

It never was," the source told Genady Shlomper, a at Tel Aviv university, sees Modi's visit as a part of India's engagement with the Arab world. "has vital interests in the Arab world. The trip to is also clubbed with his trip to other parts of the Arab world. has such a huge diaspora community there and vital economic and political interests. It is not surprising to me that he has decided to visit Ramallah," Shlomper said. The Indian Jewish community, which so warmly welcomed Modi during his trip to Israel, also seems understanding of India's need to demonstrate its ties with Palestine. Certain sections of the press in have however raised eyebrows at Modi's decision to lay a wreath on Yasser Arafat's Mausoleum. The iconic Palestinian leader is revered in most parts of the Arab world but a lot of Israelis see him as a "terrorist" responsible for the death of several of their citizens.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, February 10 2018. 16:10 IST
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