Real reason why Rahul Gandhi did not meet Benjamin Netanyahu


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in India this week with Prime Minister Narendra Modi breaking the protocol to receive his new ‘friend’ with his famous hug at the airport.

Nehru in Gaza with Indian troops

However, Congress President Rahul Gandhi refused to meet the Israeli leader. The real reason behind Rahul choosing to not meet ‘Bibi’ lies in what Israel did to his great-grandfather and India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

Israel emerged as a Jewish ‘nation’ on 1948. Having rejected the notion of ‘nations based on religion (Pakistan)’ and suffered partition in 1947, India naturally voted against UN partition plan that divided Palestine arbitrarily into a ‘Jewish dominant’ State called Israel, and an Arab State called Palestine.

India eventually recognised Israel in 1950, but refused to establish diplomatic relations with the same. Nehru was in favour of one nation–a secular State of Palestine with Jews and Arabs living side by side with equal rights–in the Levant.

However, after Israel became a ‘fact’, India began supporting the UN approved plan of establishing a Palestine State alongside Israel.

Remember, US and Israel never wanted a secular state in the region. Officially, US was in favour of the ‘Two State’ solution. But Israel, an US ally, posed numereous obstacles even in the path of the UN Partition plan.

With escalating tensions between Arab nations and Israel, UN Peacekeeping forces were deployed in Gaza. Indian troops formed a large part of the UN contingent.

India’s Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited the Indian and other UN troops in Gaza in 1960. After his visit, he boarded a UN aircraft to fly to Beirut.

As his aircraft took off, two Israeli fighter jets came alongside and began aggressive maneuvers against the UN plane.

On 1 August 1960, Nehru told the Indian Parliament about what happened. He said that the Israeli action was ‘unwarranted’ and that the Israeli authorities had ‘prior knowledge of his intended visit to Gaza’.

Fortunately for Nehru, his UN pilot held his nerve and got the Prime Minister to Beirut safely.

Later, in 1967, Israel attacked and blew up the US ship, USS Liberty. More than three dozen Americans were killed. Number of others were left wounded. Investigations revealed that the Israeli Jets that destroyed USS Liberty knew it was an American ship. America was Israel’s ally. But the ship was shot down to send a message both to America, which was not taking a confirmrd, pro-Israel stand in the impending Arab-Israel war, and to other Arab States–a message about ‘Israeli might’.

Eventually, Israel paid compensation to the US for the attack on USS Liberty. But, till date, Israel has not issued an apology for trying to assassinate an Indian head of State.

And the ‘nationalist’ Modi is welcoming ‘Bibi’ with open arms–such is the degraded state of Indian nationalism. Israelis are known back-stabbers; India cannot afford ‘friendly’ relations with an abnormal country.

(The author is a political analyst. Views expressed here are his own)