India’s Strategic Purchases from Israel: Yossi Melman Explains in Indian Newspaper

The Times of India has a highly influential economic section, taking a look now at India’s strategic relationship with Israel.

When India was a seriously focused leader of the Non-Aligned Movement, determined to be independent of Washington and (to some extent) Moscow, India was publicly cold toward Israel.

Nobody can beat Israelis in peddling weaponry. They are very, very good at it.

from the Times of India

Now the relationship, especially in defense, is warm.  India is a very important customer for Israel’s military industries, which depend on exports to achieve “economies of scale” — because Israel is small and does not require large quantities of various weapons systems.

Consider one of the sections of the article that quotes Yossi Melman:

Israelis never tire of telling the story of David Ben-Gurion’s great respect for Mahatma Gandhi. The founder of Israel, Ben-Gurion’s few possessions when he quit active politics and retreated into a shack in a kibbutz in his late years included a portrait of India’s father of the nation which enjoyed pride of place in his small study. So deep is the connection between India and Israel, they assure you.

It’s an irony then that India and Israel established diplomatic ties only as late as 1992 though the Jewish nation was founded in 1948, a year after India became independent. “But the two countries were always natural allies,” says Yossi Melman, award-winning Israeli journalist. And nowhere is this “natural alliance” more evident than in defence where Israel has become India’s second-largest supplier; in 2009, the West Asian nation briefly overtook Russia, India’s largest and the oldest defence supplier. For all to see, the business relationship is thriving: in the past decade alone, Israeli defence sales to India surpassed $10 billion and the exports are expected to grow faster in the coming years. 

Here is the entire article:


September 22, 2012

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