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Foreign Policy a la Modi
India's Oh-So-Delicate Balancing Act on Israel

Just after India’s Parliament rejected a resolution to censure Israel’s actions in Gaza, the country voted for the United Nation’s Human Rights Council resolution against Israel. Time reports

The UN Human Rights Council voted Wednesday to launch an inquiry into potential violations of human rights by Israel in its conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip — a move Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly labeled a “travesty” […]

The council’s inquiry would investigate “all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law” in Palestinian areas. The resolution was drafted by Palestine, and supported by 29 of the 46-member council. The U.S. voted against the resolution, while European countries abstained.

India’s decision to support this resolution reflects a careful balancing act. Israel’s leaders (like all thinking people) hold the UNHRC in healthy contempt. They wouldn’t resent India for casting meaningless votes in a pointless talking shop. For India’s government, on the other hand, supporting the inquiry allows it to appease Muslims and others at home who are offended by the country’s increasingly pro-Israel stance. Moreover, it helps India fool the useful idiots everywhere who think such votes matter. They will come away thinking India remains unaligned with Israel, when, in fact, beneath a PR move like this the links between the two country are getting stronger and stronger. 

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  • Andrew Allison

    The real news here is the European countries, to their shame, abstained. Where’s the resolution censuring Hamas for putting civilians in harm’s way by using them as human shields?

  • hro001

    As each day passes – whether on the Arab-Israeli front or the “climate change” front – I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that many countries and causes in the world would be far better off if they were to withdraw any and all support for the UN.

    The UN has become an organization that seems to thrive (and rapidly expand itself) on fomenting and promoting discord – and inserting itself into areas in which it has no officially chartered business (e.g. Climate change and the environment, as I recently discovered.

    Pls. See

    And as Alan Dershowitz noted in Aug. 2003:

    “No organization in the world today has accorded so much legitimacy to terrorism as has the U.N.”


    The view from here, so to speak, is that the well-rehearsed “playbook” used by the UN to aggrandize itself (and its ever-increasing numbers of officially affiliated NGOs**) is the one it created and perfected on the Arab-Israeli front, i.e. “Let’s you and him fight”.

    ** Last time I checked (which was a few years ago) there were 3,523 such NGOs (Including 102 that were “under suspension” because they had not filed their quadrennial reports.) By comparison, in 1946, there were 4.


    Mind you, never let it be said that the UN does not practice “recycling”. Former Irish Prime Minister, Mary Robinson, who chaired the UN’s so-called “human rights” Council during the disastrous Durban conferences, was recently appointed Ban Ki-Moon’s “Special Envoy on Climate Change”.


  • Shahar Luft

    Not such a meaningless talking shop. Its previous resolution brought about the Goldstone Report, which gave Israel much headache. The delegitimation campaign is built on a multitude of such resolutions and documents. They’re clever enough to know that there will not be a decisive move, but they realistically expect a tipping point in which Israel’s standing would crumble like South Africa’s. They may be right, Im afraid. India (and China, for that matter) aren’t very helpful, and the Western countries are so confused and unreliable as to not compensate. The resolution is really bad news.

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