Weekly Current Affairs

Notice

Grateful for shift in India’s position, says Israel envoy

  • Referring to India’s decision to abstain from resolutions critical of Israel at the U.N., the United Nations Human Rights Council and UNESCO, Mr. Carmon said the shift in India’s position has been visible more recently.
  • In the last couple of years, there has been a shift in various votes (by India) which reflects the present improvement in relations.
  • This should not be overexaggerated as a trend, each side has their declared positions and it is not a zero sum game.
  • India says they are committed to the Palestinian cause, to the Arab cause, and they have good relations with Israel that they intend to pursue.
  • Mr. Carmon was speaking in the context of the current controversy over the United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 that has pitted the Obama administration against the Israeli government over the issue of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
  • Traditionally, India has stood unequivocally with the Palestinian cause, voting in favour of all resolutions critical of Israel.
  • However in July 2015, India abstained on a vote against Israel at the U.N. Human Rights Council, marking what seemed a major shift in policy, especially as it followed a phone call from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • India repeated the abstention in 2016, but explained that it was due to a reference to the International Criminal Court, which India doesn’t recognise.
  • In August 2016, India supported Israeli Ambassador Danny Dannon for first time to become Chair of U.N. Legal Committee, opposed by all Arab countries.
  • In October 2016, India changed its vote at the UNESCO in Paris to an abstention, on a resolution criticising Israel for encroachments at the Western Wall and near the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
  • Since it came to power in 2014, the Modi government has consistently promised better ties with Israel, which it considers an ally on counter-terrorism and defence cooperation.