A Fitting And Practical Ally

by The New Republic Staff | July 16, 2007

The Indian press reported on Friday that the Delhi government had agreed to invest $2.7 billion in a missile defense project with Israel. The principles of the system are known, and the resultant weapons will be able to destroy planes, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) from a distance of 70 km. India is now a practical ally of Israel's, and an ideological one, too. During the early decades of Indian and Israeli independence, the governing Congress party and Jawaharlal Nehru positioned themselves as part of "the non-aligned group" of nations, which was anything but non-aligned. Nehru himself was, along with Nasser, perhaps the leading figure among the anti-western "neutrals." To be anti-Zionist was de riguer in this camp, and the Indian government played the game, orchestrated by the foreign minister V.K. Krishna Menon. All these leaders are dead, as are their dreams. Faced with the unrelenting hostility of a very precarious Pakistan and Islamic terrorism over both Kashmir and internal Muslim grievances, India has become more Hindu than in the past. A Hindu party is quite strong, and actually governed several times. All this has brought India to understand that Israel is a fitting and practical ally. As the Turks have understood. And as Persians will realize again...

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