In the National Interest, Paul Pillar, former CIA analyst, looks at the recent Indian judicial ruling on the Ayodhya site, sharing it between Muslims and Hindus, for both of whom it is holy, as a departure point for a meditation on Why Israel, unlike India, is so intolerant of its minority? Note that the url for this post includes the words, "the-lobby-must-not-be-named." Part of his very intelligent answer, which only obliquely mentions the lobby:
Hindus... constitute the majority in India just as Jews do in Israel. Hindus were conquered by foreign Muslims beginning in the 13th century and became oppressed subjects in their own homeland. And India is the only place that, notwithstanding substantial Hindu communities in other countries, could ever be considered the homeland of Hindus. Some on the Indian political right have wanted to run with that concept and turn India into something closer to Hindustan, the land of the Hindus. Given the Hindus' difficult history, it would be very easy to sympathize with that idea. But the dominant political ethos since independence—still voiced by the Congress Party, the principal governing party at present—sees India instead as a multi-confessional and multi-ethnic commonwealth, one in which Muslims become Bollywood film stars or even the president of India. And this is the case even though Hindus are an even larger majority in India (81 percent) than Jews are in Israel (76 percent), with Muslims being proportionately a smaller minority in India than in Israel.
There are several reasons that the Jews of Israel and the Hindus of India have taken such different paths, despite both having their versions of miserable and bloody histories. Leadership surely is one; there has been no Israeli equivalent of Mohandas Gandhi, whose approach to pursuing a cause was the antithesis of might-makes-right. While Gandhi was shaking off British rule in South Asia through mass marches and other nonviolent tactics, future Israeli prime minister and Likud Party leader Menachem Begin was shaking off British rule in Palestine through terrorist violence such as blowing up the King David Hotel. Another reason is the talent and resourcefulness of the Israeli people, who have had the skill not only to make the desert bloom but also to develop (with American help) the military power that makes it possible to achieve goals not through compromise but through force. Whatever the combination of reasons, the flicker of hope from the court ruling about Ayodhya and most Indian responses to it suggests that there is a better path.