NEW DELHI: With the India-Israel relationship out of the closet, the famed Jewish lobby in Washington is taking the first steps towards linking their advocacy of Israel-US issues with India.
Two months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met a group of leaders from Jewish advocacy groups in New York, the American Jewish Committee has sent letters to key members of the US Congress saying India and Israel are natural partners which, along with the US, shared fundamental values, a report in Times of India said Monday.
“For many years, AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organization, has sought to promote enhanced US-India and India-Israel relations through advocacy initiatives with the Indian-American community in congressional, campus, cultural and commercial arenas. The United States, India, and Israel share fundamental values, including religious and ethnic pluralism, electoral democracy and market-based economies and common strategic challenges and concerns, including the urgent effort to thwart terrorism. As such, we regard the partnership between India and Israel as a natural one,” it said. In New York, Modi’s only bilateral meeting outside the South Asian region was with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. One of Modi’s aims is to be able to enthuse the Indian diaspora to band together like the Jewish groups to speak for India’s interests to US leadership. By and large, the Indian groups are a disparate bunch. It was only during the nuclear deal years that they came together for a common cause. Then as now, the Jewish lobby batted for India as well, which helped enormously. The AJC letter to Congress leaders and senators said with the Modi government in power, there have been high level visits – Israeli national security adviser Yossi Cohen visited India, while home minister Rajnath Singh travelled to Israel. The letter also flags the robust Israel-India defence relationship. INP