[Answered] Critically analyze the evolution of India’s foreign policy towards Palestine and Israel since independence. Discuss how India’s position has changed in the context of recent developments in West Asia and its implications for India’s diplomatic relations in the region.

Introduction: Give a brief context to the question

Body: Evolution of foreign policy and recent development and implications for India

Conclusion: Way forward

India’s foreign policy towards Palestine and Israel since independence has undergone significant evolution, influenced by various geopolitical factors, domestic considerations, and changing global dynamics.

Evolution of Foreign Policy

  • Early Years (1947-1967): Post-independence, India sided with Arab nations in supporting Palestinian self-determination, recognizing the PLO as the legitimate representative. No diplomatic ties with Israel due to sympathy for the Palestinian cause.
  • Shift in the 1990s: Pragmatic reasons drove India to establish diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992, focusing on defense and technology sectors, indicating a more balanced approach to the conflict.
  • Balancing Act (1990s-2010s): India maintained ties with both Israel and Palestine, leaning towards Palestine in international forums. Advocated for a two-state solution to ensure Israel’s security and a viable Palestinian state.
  • Growing Engagement with Israel (2010s): Bilateral relations with Israel expanded significantly, especially in defense, agriculture, technology, and counter-terrorism. Despite this, India reiterated support for the Palestinian cause and endorsed a negotiated settlement for a sovereign Palestinian state.

Recent developments and their implications

  • Strengthening Ties with Israel: India has significantly increased its economic and military cooperation with Israel. This pragmatic approach prioritizes national security and economic development.
  • Muted Criticism: Public statements on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have become more muted, reflecting a cautious approach to not alienate either side.
  • Impact on Regional Relations: This shift has caused some strain on Arab states, who see India as less supportive of the Palestinian cause. However, India maintains good relations with most Arab countries through historical ties and economic partnerships.
  • Global Standing: India’s nuanced approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict allows it to maintain relevance and influence in international forums, such as the United Nations, where it advocates for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. India’s stance also reflects its broader foreign policy principles of non-alignment and support for multilateralism.


India’s evolving foreign policy reflects its changing priorities in a complex geopolitical landscape. While strategic considerations have led to a closer relationship with Israel, India still maintains its support for a two-state solution. The success of India’s balancing act will depend on its ability to manage its relationships with both sides effectively.

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