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Modi and Netanyahu’s NY bromance

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Last night Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu met with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, within hours of Netanyahu’s arriving in the U.S. According to The Hindu, Modi’s reach-out to Netanyahu, which took place with a lot of wrangling and ceremony last night (see Avigdor Lieberman in the video above), represents a shift in the Indian position re the conflict, from supporting Palestinian freedom to keeping quiet.

Of course both Netanyahu and Modi have links to massacres of Muslims. Modi is widely believed to have stood by during a Muslim genocide in 2002 when he was the chief minister of Gujarat– actions that resulted in the U.S. barring him from this country for ten years till his party’s recent triumph. There were reports that human rights groups were planning to protest Modi’s visit, but Modi is going to the White House for a dinner tonight. And of course Netanyahu’s onslaught in Gaza that just killed 2100, 500 of whom were children, gets the red carpet treatment in the U.S.

Netanyahu said on meeting Modi:

We’re two old peoples, some of the oldest civilizations on earth. But we’re also two democracies… If we work together we can [seize the future]….We’re very excited by the prospects of greater and greater ties with India. We think the sky’s the limit.

Modi said he had met yesterday with members of the Jewish community in New York, presumably the American Jewish Committee.

Excellency you are absolutely correct. I agree with you that India Israel relations are historical. I met this morning with people from the Jewish community, the American Jewish Council.
…India is the only country where anti-semitism has never been allowed to come up, and where Jews have never suffered, and lived as an integral part of our society.

Here is the Hindu‘s account of the Indian shift re Palestine:

Mr. Netanyahu has invited Mr. Modi to visit Israel soon, and if Mr. Modi goes he will be the first Indian Prime Minister to do so.

There are other factors that denote the shift in India’s position. To begin with, the Prime Minister will be meeting Mr. Netanyahu, but has not met with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas who was here in New York at the same time. In the past few years, India has taken a more nuanced position on the Palestinian-Israel conflict, away from its pro-Palestine stance of the past. While India voted against Israel at the UN Human Right Council this year during the recent conflict in Gaza where more than 2,200 people were killed, for example, the government refused to condemn Israel’s actions in its statement.

Mr. Modi’s speech at the UN also saw a departure from the past years, when the Indian speech regularly made references to the “Palestinian struggle” in the past.

And Modi held a gathering at Madison Square Garden last night, which scores of elected US officials attended, including pro-Israel stalwarts congressmen Eliot Engel, Gregory Meeks, Steve Israel, Ed Royce (the last three just went to Israel). What a fortuitous triangle, the U.S., India and Israel.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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25 Responses

  1. just on September 29, 2014, 12:09 pm

    Horrid Islamophobes– alliances made in Hades.

    • American on September 29, 2014, 2:07 pm

      Actually this was a alliance made more than a decade ago by …..guess who?
      I cant locate the original Mother Jones(I think, or may have been WP) investigative report on AIPAC and the India Lobby–actually Hindu Lobby.
      Basically Isr went to India with a deal—the Jewish Lobby in the US would take them by the hand and help them build a India Lobby to get congress to aid India with nuclear energy and US corporate investment and locations in India and so forth—-in exchange for India allying with Israel.

      Here though a few blips that touch on it…

      ”Ackerman helped coordinate the links between AIPAC and the AJCommittee and the USINPAC. Israel, he said, is “surrounded by 120 million Muslims” whereas “India has 120 million” Muslims within. In 1999, Ackerman was in Atlanta at an Indian American event, where he celebrated the “ancient civilizations” of Hindus and Jews, pointing out that “Strong India-Israel relations is very critical to ensuring peace and stability in a part of the world that is characterized by instability, fundamentalist religious bigotry, hatred toward the West and its values and murder and mayhem spawned by acts of cross-border terrorism.”
      Ackerman is not only one of those who believes that Israel is the 51st state of the United States, but he is also one of the major proponents of the Indo-US nuclear deal.
      In 2001, Ackerman’s legislative aide, Narayan Keshavan (who was otherwise a journalist, and who died very young, at 53, in 2003), said, “There are scores of congressmen and dozens of senators who clearly equate the growing Indian American political influence to the ‘Hindu Lobby’ – very much akin to the famed ‘Jewish Lobby.’” The aspiration to become like AIPAC and to move India in the direction of Israel is strong among many of those who want to build this India (or Hindu) Lobby, geared as it is against Pakistan and without deference to the fact that the 120 Indian Muslims are Indians too and not simply Muslims. A senior Democratic Senator said in 2003, “All of us here are members of Likud now.” In 2009, if USINPAC succeeds, they’d say, “We’re also members of the Hindu Right now.

      AIPAC Lobbies Indian PM to Form U.S.-Israel-India Front Against Iran
      by Richard Silverstein on February 28, 2007
      in Mideast Peace, Politics & Society

      One of the distinguishing characteristics of AIPAC’s Mideast policy initiatives is their overreaching nature. Not content with merely isolating a Hamas-led PA government, they author a bill which criminalizes even the remotest federal interactions with Hamas. Similarly, not content with merely advocating a military strike against Iran, they have a grandiose vision of a united anti-Jihadist front against that country consisting of the U.S., Israel and India. Far-fetched you say? Not according to AIPAC, which recently sent its board of directors to India for consultations at the highest level including with the prime minister.

      It’s useful to note the way this story tries to subtly paint a portrait of two states (India and Israel) united in a war against radical Islam, the upshot being the enemy of my enemy is my friend:

      The security measures at Number 7 Race Course Road [the Indian PM’s residence] in New Delhi are reminiscent of Jerusalem…As in Israel, special precautions are taken to ensure the protection of the Prime Minister at his official residence. India’s history of political assassinations and terrorism necessitate such measures.

      It is in part because of the shared threat of terrorism that the meeting with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh is about to take place. The AIPAC Board of Directors has journeyed here to meet with India’s national leaders to discuss ways the United States, Israel and India can work more closely together to confront the gravest dangers in today’s world: the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical arms and terrorism motivated by religious extremism.

      If you think about the assumptions behind this trip you realize that AIPAC has created a vision of a global war against Islam with essentially the U.S., Israel and whatever other country it can enlist to fight on its side. It’s frightening, almost terrifying. Do American realize the strategic initiatives that this organization is cooking up for our foreign policy? Where AIPAC wants to take us?

      Get a load of this hokum:

      As Prime Minister Singh enters and greets us each individually, I am struck by the poignancy of the moment. The leader of this country of 1.1 billion people has once again carved out time to have a meaningful conversation on the critical issues of the day with leaders of America’s pro-Israel community. I remember a previous meeting with Prime Minister Singh in New York when he averred that he knew of no other group in history that has played such a prominent role in the development of civilization as the Jewish people.

      In the rough-and-tumble world of politics in the world’s largest democracy, Singh presents himself as a humble and dignified man. He is a Sikh leading a nation of some 885 million Hindus and 145 million Muslims.

      Do you hear yet another echo of Israel here? In the rough and tumble of world politics, Israel presents itself as a humble and dignified country. It is a Jewish nation amid a world filled with multitudes of far larger religions.

      Finally, the writer gets to the heart of the matter, the solicitation of alliance against Iran:

      In our meeting with Prime Minister Singh, we…urge a more assertive stand towards Iran. Prime Minister Singh…emphasizes that Iran is obliged to meet international nuclear commitments but that he hopes that dialogue and diplomacy facilitated by the United Nations will lead to a solution”

      Right now Modi, who is a far right Hindu racist, and India are drunk with false power due to their ‘connections’ and the fact that it helped India get out of the economic gutter somewhat. So India will also eventually be trouble.

      NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A prominent right-wing Hindu group in India warned Muslims and Christians on Thursday not to join in a lively Hindu religious festival this month, in the latest bid by activists to step up segregation in the multi-faith country.

      Emboldened by the May election victory of Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi, hardliners in his party and affiliated Hindu groups have been stirring up sentiment against India’s religious minorities in recent months.

      “We are warning Muslims and Christians that they should stay away from all our festivals. The Navratri festival is for Hindus only,” Surendra Jain, spokesman for a Hindu group called the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), told Reuters.

      The annual, nine-night Navratri Hindu festival began on Thursday. In many parts of the country it is marked by celebrations involving prayer, music and dance among men and women.

      It is famous for being high-spirited and Christians and Muslims are known to take part. They also take part in the Holi Hindu spring festival.

      But this year, Hindu activists plan for the first time to demand identity cards to keep non-Hindus out of festival venues. Usually in India, one can tell a person’s religion by their name.

      “Muslims and Christians do not pray to the Hindu mother goddess so why should they dance and enjoy nightly feasts with us?” Jain said, accusing young Muslim men of taking part in the festival to tempt Hindu girls into converting to Islam.

      Members of the VHP have in the past been accused of instigating communal violence, including riots in the western state of Gujarat in 2002, when Modi was its chief minister.
      At least 1,000 people were killed, most of them Muslims

      • American on September 29, 2014, 2:14 pm


        Heres a book on India and also covers the AIPAC relationship.

        Planet India: The Turbulent Rise of the Largest Democracy …
        Mira Kamdar – 2008 – ‎Business & Economics
        The organization got its start under the tutelage of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. On the AIPAC model, USINPAC has placed young ..

  2. Horizontal on September 29, 2014, 1:00 pm

    Here’s again where we see a politician giving cover to crimes only because they themselves are guilty of similar abrasions of the law, all sitting comfy and cozy together in poses of respectability.

    It’s enough to make one want to puke.

  3. Krauss on September 29, 2014, 1:10 pm

    A Chinese-Israeli alliance isn’t on the cards, China needs too much oil for that. Plus the closest non-East Asian ally of China is Pakistan.

    An Indian-Israeli alliance is much more logical in many ways. But India’s oil thirst is growing by 10% per annum. This by itself is going to limit how much the relationship will flourish.

    Also, India does not have an AIPAC. India needs Israeli weaponry(it’s the largest arms importer in the world), but since there is no Israel lobby in India and since India’s economy is just barely ahead of Canada’s on a nominal GDP basis, we’re looking at more moral support than any differentiating factor here.

    Still, I was interested in viewing how the Indian public views Israel. According to the Israeli consulate, the Indian public is the “most pro-Israel public in the world”.

    Well not according to this:

  4. Krauss on September 29, 2014, 1:14 pm

    Here is the most authorative poll on the subject, by Australia’s Lowy’s institute in 2013.
    See page six, it ranks how the Indian public ranks countries.

    Israel doesn’t do that well, it’s third bottom from last. Only Afghanistan and Pakistan do worse. Even Iran(!) does a smidgen better than Israel.

    America is #1 and by a considerable margin, and then Singapore, Japan, Australia and France clustered together. India’s 15% muslim population can’t have that much of an effect. It bleeds into other groups.

  5. Kay24 on September 29, 2014, 1:15 pm

    Evil alliance. Both hate Muslims, and knowing the anti Muslim happenings in Southeast Asia, it does spell big trouble for many nations in that region. Israel has slithered into many Asian nations already. This will be a pact with the Devil (you choose which one).

  6. Marnie on September 29, 2014, 1:21 pm

    What a fortuitous triangle, the U.S., India and Israel. AKA the axis if evil?

    • Marnie on September 29, 2014, 2:23 pm

      Really missing the ability to edit (and catch myself, but my problem) meant to write AKA the axis OF evil.

    • shashiishot2007 on September 30, 2014, 9:59 am

      evil for jihadis. Not for people who love their countries.

  7. Marnie on September 29, 2014, 2:22 pm

    “Netanyahu said on meeting Modi: We’re two old peoples, some of the oldest civilizations on earth. But we’re also two democracies… If we work together we can [seize the future]….We’re very excited by the prospects of greater and greater ties with India. We think the sky’s the limit. ”

    You got the first part right, you are two old ass people. However, your civilization (state of israel) is not included in some of the oldest civilizations on earth. And the democracy crap – again?

    • gracie fr on October 3, 2014, 3:39 pm

      LAST MONTH, in his first interview as prime minister, Narendra Modi told the CNN news show host Fareed Zakaria the blandest of truths: “Indian Muslims will live for India, they will die for India—they will not want anything bad for India.” Predictably, expectations from Modi on this score are so low that this made headlines. The pre-recorded interview left out an obvious follow-up question (somehow Modi’s interviewers always skip the obvious follow-ups): Your public life has largely been spent in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (Militant Nationalist Hindu Organization), to which you continue to owe allegiance—how do you respond to Muslims who are understandably alarmed by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s recent claim that India is a Hindu nation?

      the RSS does draw great satisfaction from Modi’s electoral victory, tending to see it as an affirmation of the logic that drives their view of India. The BJP has failed to garner support from Christians and Muslims, but it has effectively consolidated a “Hindu” vote cutting across caste. It is in this context that Modi’s rhetoric, which has been so endlessly and so pointlessly analysed, must be understood.

      Hindutva (India’s Hindu cultural legacy), allows Modi to speak to Indians of inclusiveness without spelling out that Muslims and Christians are less than equal by definition. Exclusion is built into the term, and his record in Gujarat bears this out, as do his party’s first few months in power in Delhi. Only those commentators who have tried to project their own longings for an Indian inclusivity onto him have missed noting this consistency.

      Modi has spoken often about working within the Constitution—but as the prime minister he cannot do otherwise. While he may draw his legitimacy from constitutional values, he draws his core political support from the idea of Hindutva. These are not compatible ideas. Modi may talk of Indian Muslims dying for the country; he could never claim that they would die for Hindutva.

  8. eljay on September 29, 2014, 2:48 pm

    Modi and Netanyahu’s NY bromance

    Last night Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu met with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi …


    By what tabloid-y name shall this love be known? ;-)

  9. just on September 29, 2014, 3:11 pm

    What would Gandhi say?

    (Did anyone else hear Netanyahu’s positively Freudian slip when he was referring to the Iranian centrifuges as refugees?)

  10. Keith on September 29, 2014, 6:22 pm

    PHIL- “What a fortuitous triangle, the U.S., India and Israel.”

    US imperialism, Israeli Zionism and Hindu fascism. Birds of a feather, natural anti-Muslim comrades in arms. So much for BRICS.

    India, along with South Africa, is a perfect example of neocolonialism, how political independence is meaningless without economic independence. Now the natives administer the country for the benefit of foreign corporations and local oligarches. A global matrix of control from which none are allowed to escape.

  11. traintosiberia on September 29, 2014, 7:19 pm

    Modi or more precisely RSS is offering some badly and urgently needed oxygen to Netnyhu and to Israeli settler colonizer doctrine . But can the supply last? Both are coveting the same resources,same market,and trying the same method .

  12. Vera Gottlieb on September 30, 2014, 11:04 am

    Bromance? How about just plain, simple ass kissing?

  13. JLewisDickerson on September 30, 2014, 12:44 pm

    RE: “What a fortuitous triangle, the U.S., India and Israel.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: “Fortuitous triangle” or “Axes of Repression”?* Enquiring minds mimes want to know!™

    * ■ Catalan Police in Israel: repression courses “Tested In Combat” [VIDEO, 05:40] – https://WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V=YPRNMGCIFPY#T=192

    VIDEO February 16, 2014
    “Public security” training in Israel for police from Catalonia – or how to wage war on your own civilian population to protect the investments of bankster criminals!

    SOURCE –

  14. JLewisDickerson on September 30, 2014, 12:53 pm

    * ■ Catalan Police in Israel: repression courses “Tested In Combat” [VIDEO, 05:40] –

  15. NickJOCW on September 30, 2014, 2:09 pm

    I have experience of India. Indians try to please. They will always tell you things and act in a manner to please you now since now is their only immediate concern. When will this or that happen? Shortly, Sahib. Will it rain tomorrow? Certainly not. They always tell you what you would like to to hear. This is not a criticism but simple recognition of a cultural reality, and comforting when you get used to it.

  16. amigo on October 1, 2014, 12:39 pm

    “We’re two old peoples, some of the oldest civilizations on earth. But we’re also two democracies… If we work together we can [seize the future]…” nietanyahu.

    Interesting choice of words .I wonder whose future he has in mind.

    “India is the only country where anti-semitism has never been allowed to come up, and where Jews have never suffered, and lived as an integral part of our society. ” nietanyahu

    “This week Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released the findings of the most comprehensive survey on global anti-Semitic attitudes ever conducted in the history. The survey polled 53,100 adults in 102 countries. The report confirmes the prevalent anti-Semitic sentiments present throughout the world. The most disturbing aspect of the findings, for me personally, was the level of anti-Semitic attitudes found in Indian and particularly within the Hindu community.
    According to the survey 19% of Hindus hold anti-Semitic beliefs. At least one-fourth of the Hindu respondents were aware of the Holocaust. Amongst those who had heard of the Holocaust, 48% considered the number of Jewish victims to be greatly exaggerated, and 11% considered the Holocaust to be a myth. The overall figure for India was just as damning, with 20% of Indians harboring anti-Semitic sentiments”Times of Israel.

    Who is nietanyahu,s adviser,????.

  17. amigo on October 1, 2014, 1:08 pm

    The centre of the Indian flag looks like the Israeli flag done in kaleidescope.

  18. ivri on October 1, 2014, 5:18 pm

    A de-facto Israel-India partnership (under a general US patronage) will give a HUGE boost to both parties and could develop into the next big thing for Israel. Critically for Israel, it would an antidote for possible punitive economic measures from Europe, given the strong disapproval in the EU of Israel`s expansion onto the West-Bank – counterbalancing their impacts. As there are shared ideas about Islamism protests from the Islamic world won`t make much difference and likewise from anti-Israel quarters in Europe.
    It is true that India depend on Arab oil but then, fortunately for Israel, the main oil exporting Arab countries are now (even if informally in cahoots with Israel by their shared attitudes towards threats from Iran, Assad, Hezbollah and even Turkey – so they are unlikely to object too loudly.
    This could potentially be a major, major breakthrough for Israel, politically as much as economically.

  19. Pixel on October 4, 2014, 4:25 pm


    “Bromance” Ha!!

    Good one, Phil!

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