Despite India is home to millions of Muslims and is supposed to show support for Palestine in the Gaza war, decision-makers in New Delhi are taking every pro-Israeli measure they could possibly think of.
Since the war in Gaza began on October 7, the Israeli military has killed more than 25,000 Palestinian men, women, and children. In one of the latest shows of bloodshed by Israel, at least 20 Palestinians were killed, and 150 injured this Thursday after Israeli tanks opened fire at Gazans lined up to receive humanitarian aid at the Kuwait Roundabout in Gaza City, north of the strip. “The Israeli occupation committed a new massacre against … hungry [Gazans] who were waiting for humanitarian aid at the Kuwait Roundabout in Gaza, resulting in 20 martyrs and the injury of 150,” Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.
But in 110 days since the war erupted, and with every endless airstrike by the Israeli military against Palestinians in the besieged area, nearly all countries and international organizations have, at least once, condemned Israel for the unprecedented volume of atrocity against Palestinian people. This is, however, not the case with India. Islam is India’s second-largest religion, with 14.2% of the country’s population, or approximately 172.2 million people, identifying as adherents of Islam in a 2011 census. India also has the third-largest number of Muslims in the world.
But what is surprisingly disappointing for India, as a country with millions of Muslim population, is that from day one when Israel began attacking Gazans, India has been one of the handful of countries that has shown full support for Israel.
To read between the lines, when Hamas attacked Israel on October 7Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, like most world leaders, condemned Hamas and expressed “solidarity with Israel at this difficult hour.”
But the Modi government’s approach in the following days and weeks was so pro-Israeli that it surprised even the most strategic allies of Tel Aviv. Just to give an example,
India voted against a United Nations General Assembly resolution in late October that called for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce” between Israeli forces and Hamas militants in Gaza while 140 other countries voted in favor of the resolution.
Israel is now relying on India for workforce loss!
In line with pro-Israeli policies adopted by Indian leaders, Israel is now enjoying Indian workforce to resolve its labor crisis that began exacerbating following Israel’s ban on Palestinian workers and the mass mobilization of the army to fight in Gaza.
According to a report by the Cradle, “construction companies in Israel have requested the government to allow them to hire upwards of 100,000 Indian workers to replace the Palestinians whose work licenses have been suspended following the Palestinian resistance’s operation in October.”
Good to mention that Israel signed a deal with India in May last year that would send 42,000 Indian construction and nursing workers to Israel. “India will be one of if not the, largest supplier of building workers in Israel in the coming years,” deputy director general of the Israel Builders Association, Shay Pauzner, said, noting that 5,000 workers from New Delhi and Chennai had already been secured.
India formally recognized Israel in 1950. But Indo-Israeli contacts were limited given Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s respect for the Muslim population in India and the necessity of supporting Palestine as an occupied country. Modi’s election in 2014, however, changed everything and put the Indo-Israeli rapprochement into higher gear. With Modi coming to power, India began forming strategic defense and commercial ties with Israel to unprecedented levels, an approach that is clearly in drastic opposition to the will of millions of Muslims in India.