Issue Brief on “Netanyahu’s India Visit: Coming Out of the Closet”

Calling his trip to India as “very emotional and deeply satisfying”[1], Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted as he bid his week-long trip to India adieu.

What began as a budding relationship between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has now flourished into a full-blown friendship. On January 14, 2018 Prime Minister Netanyahu arrived in Delhi for a six-day visit, accompanied by a 130-member business delegation, representing 102 companies – the largest business delegation that has ever accompanied an Israeli premier on an overseas tour. This was the first prime ministerial visit from Israel to India in 15 years after that of Ariel Sharon in 2003. Last year, Modi made history when he became the first Indian leader to visit Israel in July.

Netanyahu’s visit marks 25 years since India and Israel established diplomatic relations in 1992, and even though it comes just weeks after India voted in favor of a UN resolution disapproving President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, that did not hinder the ‘bromance’. Replying to a question on this topic, Netanyahu stated, “Naturally I am disappointed but I think this visit is a testament to the fact that our relationship is moving forward on so many fronts.”[2] However, this did not stop protests from sparking across the country because the protestors believed that the visit “gave legitimacy to the occupation of Palestine by Israel.”[3]

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