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A Hello to Arms
Israel and India Reach Historic Weapons Deal

The budding friendship between Israel and India just got $2 billion bigger. NDTV:

India has signed a weapons deal with Israel for nearly $2 billion in what’s being described as the “largest defence contract” ever signed by the military exporting giant.

The deal will provide India with an advanced defence system of medium-range surface-to-air missiles, launchers and communications technology, the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries said in a statement yesterday.

The “mega” missile agreement is “considered to be the largest defense contract in Israel’s defense industries’ history”, the company said, stressing that some components will be assembled in India, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push to reduce reliance on costly imports.

The deal here makes a lot of sense for both sides. India has been pursuing closer ties with Israel ever since Modi took office, in part because of the simple transactional calculation that India desperately needs new weapons and Israel has them. It’s a natural relationship: the Indians are seeking to upgrade their missile capabilities along the Pakistani border, and the Israelis have quite a bit of technological expertise in that regard. Israel’s willingness to play along with Modi’s “Made in India” initiative only sweetens the deal.

The relationship goes deeper, though: Buying from Israel helps India diversify away from traditional suppliers like Russia and the United States, aiding Modi’s delicate balancing act as he tries to avoid over-dependence on any one power. And for the Israelis, tightening ties with New Delhi has already paid off elsewhere, with India becoming more openly supportive of Israel and less inclined to censure it in international bodies.

Modi is planning to visit Israel in July; whatever comes of that summit, he has already made the Israelis quite happy.

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  • Ellen

    The collapse of the the Sunni Arab political order continues apace. This announcement and the Modi visit in July (with no visit to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah as the usual accompaniment) speaks volumes about how little influence the Sunni Arab states have today over the behavior of developing nations that used to tow their line automatically. It also shows the drastic decline in leverage of the Sunni oil states in the Gulf. 5 million Indian citizens work in these Gulf Arab states and send money back to their families in India. This used to be another compelling reason for India to side with the Arabs on the Palestine issue 100% of the time. In fact, India was so slavish in support of the Palestinian cause that the Arabs used to call India the 24th member of the Arab League.

    No longer. A government that defines itself as a Hindu nationalist government is not only pro-Israel for the very practical reasons described in this article, but for the nationalist reason that Hindus have finally reached the point where they can free themselves from slavishly obeying the dictates of Muslim rulers who try to lord it over them. They overcome the Mogul imperialists who ruled Northern India and now they are showing the supercilious Gulf oil sheikhs that the days of foreign policy dictates are totally over.

  • D4x

    Interesting opinion at Times of India by Ted Gover, Instructor of Political Science at US Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. (which is why it is so interesting) “Better late than never: Why Trump should have invited Modi to Mar-a-Lago before Xi Jinping” April 5, 2017, 2:00 am IST

    “…Fighting Terror: For decades, India has been the target of Islamic terror networks that have also directed their fire at the US. Already partners in anti-terror initiatives, Delhi and Washington should build on their existing cooperation through enhanced intelligence sharing as well as joint military and law enforcement training. Beyond this, both countries should work with moderate Muslim partners on educational reform that focuses on abandoning the vilification of non-Muslims while encouraging understanding and tolerance.

    Delhi and Washington would also be well served to continue involvement – in their respective spheres – in Afghanistan and Pakistan to
    counter the regional threats posed by the Taliban, Islamic State and, increasingly, Russia. For these reasons it is New Delhi, not Moscow as Steve Bannon has argued, that is a natural partner for Washington in the fight against Islamic terrorism. …

    Quality time together would help Trump and Modi take the next step in realising the potential of the US-India relationship. Trump should
    issue the invitation to Mar-a-Lago soon, particularly before Florida’s infamous humidity and pests descend on Palm Beach.”

    DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own. Ted Gover is Instructor of Political Science at US Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.”

    • MyWord245

      You always surprise me with your well researched comments. No exception here. Geo-politics aside, Israel seems to have found an internal political compromise that is allowing them to leap ahead in many fields. Its not just Jewish that are ‘migrating’ their tech development to Israel, but many entrepreneurs. If you got a good technical idea, seems like Israel is one of the best places to develop it and bring to market. Good for them.

      • D4x

        TY. Good at dot-connecting – saw Gover’s blog at RCWorld. About Israel? Netanyahu served as Finance Minister, 2003-2005, “… undertook an economic plan in order to restore Israel’s economy from its low point during the Second Intifada. Netanyahu claimed that a bloated public sector and excessive regulations were largely responsible for stifling economic growth. …” ( a wiki entry with citations)

        In addition, Israel’s more than 1.2million immigrants from the former Soviet Union, mostly after 1990, was quite a brain drain for Russia

        By 1997:
        “…”The new immigrants who came in the last years doubled the number of engineers and scientists and doctors in Israel,” Sharansky said. “As a result, Israel has the most scientists and engineers as a proportion of the number of its workers–almost two times more than America and three times more than Germany.” …”

        Google’s Sergei Brin’s family emigrated to the USA in 1979, when Sergei was six. His father’s decision, at a very tough time for emigration, because Jews were then barred from graduate work in physics in the USSR.

  • ——————————

    A huge deal from a tiny country…go Israel!

  • Isaiah601
    • ——————————

      A long but good read.

      If the Jews can control the world, no problem, they are at the top of the food chain anyway…and better them than the Musliods controlling it….

    • D4x

      Not the entire world. But, what a read! Enough to spawn endless punditry, investigations, and endless more conspiracies. Putin’s original plan in 1999 was more likely to stop Russia’s brain drain to the USA and Israel.

      At least we now know where Chabad gets funding.

    • Jacksonian_Libertarian

      Putin’s screams of anguish at Trump’s Syrian missile strike, make any Trump-Russia connections coincidental and unworthy of note. Trump’s toy box is much stronger than Putin’s, and Putin’s threats of escalation foolish. Trump could easily offer a couple of thousand Javelin missiles to Ukraine, with a guarantee of when they use them up, he will replace them.

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