Anyone who has a memory that goes back to the sixties of the last century should remember the pictures of the great Indian leader Jawaharlal Nehru together with the Egyptian president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, and other leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement countries. During the period, India adopted a principled position on the Palestinian issue and also extended its support to the Arabs.
Since inter-Arab relations seem to be tense, it was very natural to see Indian Prime Minister Modi embarking on a historic visit to Israel, resulting in signing of a number of agreements. The deals reflected an unprecedented level of cooperation between the two countries in the economic, military, security, political technical and educational fields. India has announced a strategic relationship with Israel.
Israel has a great desire to develop its digital economy base, which is developing significantly in India, while India seeks an advanced technical education system that produces qualified candidates in the fields of programming and technology in all its aspects.
As a skilled and low-cost outsource manpower, India is also looking for a distinctive military technology in the fields of air defense and radars that characterize Israel as well as electronic security means of destructive hackers and deadly electronic viruses. The Arab relationship with India has lately turned into a purely consumer relationship, with little added value.
The development of the relationship between India and Israel is a natural product of the Arab Spring’s chaos, which continues to manifest its disastrous consequencesHussein Shobokshi
Size and impact
There is cheap Indian labor in Arab countries that transfer money, and goods from India such as tea, rice, spices, textiles, timber and other foodstuffs.
But the relationship did not evolve as much, as the Arab countries as a whole did not make out what is happening in India today seriously, did not realize the size and impact of the Indian economy on the world economic map and the strength and influence of Indians Diaspora in world’s largest companies like, MasterCard, Citibank, McKinsey and others.
Israel dealt with India as part of as a long-term project. It operated in India through diamond trade first and attracted Indian investors and through companies that then entered the fields of mining, medicine and education to global technology, defense and security. The Arabs lost India to Israel on this dangerous tour.
And the relationship between them is likely to be strengthened, increased and sustained because equality, respect and equivalency exist and are clearly established. The development of the relationship between India and Israel is a natural product of the Arab Spring’s chaos, which continues to manifest its disastrous consequences.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on August 7, 2017.
(Hussein Shobokshi is a Businessman and prominent columnist. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al Takreer on Al Arabiya, and in 1995, he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his B.A. in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa. His twitter handle is @husseinshoboksh.