Israel-Palestine Conflict: India's Balanced Diplomacy

  • | Wednesday | 25th October, 2023

BY ALOK VERMA The Israel-Palestine conflict is one of the most enduring and complex geopolitical crises in the world. Rooted in historical, religious, and territorial disputes, the conflict has captured global attention for decades. Amid this complex and often volatile situation, India has maintained a diplomatic stance characterized by a balance of interests and support for a peaceful resolution.

The Israel-Palestine conflict dates back to the mid-20th century when the State of Israel was established, leading to mass displacement of Palestinians. Over the years, the conflict has witnessed numerous wars, uprisings, and peace efforts, but a comprehensive resolution remains elusive.

India`s involvement in this conflict is multi-faceted, rooted in its commitment to principles such as non-alignment, support for a two-state solution, and respect for international law. India recognizes both Israel and Palestine and maintains diplomatic relations with both.

India`s Stance on the Conflict

India believes in its long-standing support for the establishment of a "sovereign, independent and viable" state of Palestine, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said during a weekly press briefing on. He said New Delhi`s policy on the Israel-Palestine issue has been longstanding and consistent. "India always advocated the resumption of direct negotiations towards establishing a sovereign, independent, and viable state of Palestine, living within secure and recognised borders, side by side at peace with Israel. I think that position remains the same," Bagchi said days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned Hamas for its deadliest attack on Israel and said that New Delhi stood in solidarity with the Jewish state.

Support for a Two-State Solution: India has consistently supported the idea of a two-state solution, where Israel and Palestine can exist side by side in peace and security. This stance aligns with the international consensus and United Nations resolutions.

Peaceful Negotiations: India believes that dialogue and negotiations are the only viable means to resolve the conflict. It has endorsed various peace initiatives and urged both parties to return to the negotiating table.

Development Assistance: India has been contributing to the socio-economic development of Palestine through financial and technical assistance. India`s projects in Palestine focus on capacity building, infrastructure development, and humanitarian aid.

Engagement with Israel: India`s engagement with Israel has deepened in recent years, particularly in the fields of defense, agriculture, and technology. This growing partnership is based on shared interests and mutual benefit.

UN and International Law: India emphasizes the importance of upholding international law and UN resolutions in addressing the conflict. It supports a fair and just resolution that respects the rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people.

Challenges and Considerations

India`s balanced diplomacy in the Israel-Palestine conflict is not without challenges. It must navigate a delicate balance between its growing strategic partnership with Israel and its historical support for the Palestinian cause. Moreover, it must address domestic concerns about the impact of this diplomatic stance on its relationship with countries in the Middle East.

India also recognizes the complexity of the situation, where security concerns, historical grievances, and deeply rooted emotions are at play. The humanitarian aspect of the conflict, including the plight of Palestinian refugees and access to essential services, remains a matter of concern for India.

Looking Ahead

India`s approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict underscores its commitment to peace, stability, and respect for international norms. As a responsible global actor, India continues to engage with both Israel and Palestine, reiterating the need for peaceful negotiations, adherence to international law, and the realization of a two-state solution.

While the conflict persists, India`s role in promoting dialogue and development assistance to Palestine remains crucial. In a world marked by conflicts and tensions, India`s commitment to a balanced approach to this protracted conflict stands as an example of diplomacy rooted in principles and a quest for lasting peace in the region.

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