Modi and Netanyahu: Two Sides of The Same Coin

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently tweeted that he is "shocked by the news of terrorist attacks in Israel", adding that "We stand in solidarity with Israel at this difficult hour".  This tweet was posted immediately after the Hamas militants' unprecedented attack on Israel by air, land and sea. Modi's critics have noted that he has yet to tweet any condemnation of months-long killings of his fellow countrymen in Manipur which are continuing unabated. Nor has he issued any similar condemnation of the long and brutal Israeli military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. To those who know Modi, his reaction makes sense given the similarities between Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Both leaders are extreme right-wing divisive politicians. Modi is a Hindu Supremacist and Netanyahu is a Jewish Supremacist. Both have a long history of murdering large numbers of Muslims living under their rule. Both are pursuing settler colonial policies; Modi in Kashmir and Netanyahu in Palestine

India's Narendra Modi and Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu in New Delhi. Source: BBC 

Indians, particularly Hindu Nationalists, have suffered from what Shashi Tharoor calls "India's Israel Envy". Here's an excerpt of Tharoor's piece published in "Project Syndicate" in January 2009:  

"Yet, when Indians watch Israel take the fight to the enemy, killing those who launched rockets against it and dismantling many of the sites from which the rockets flew, some cannot resist wishing that they could do something similar in Pakistan. India understands, though, that the collateral damage would be too high, the price in civilian lives unacceptable, and the risks of the conflict spiraling out of control too acute to contemplate such an option. So Indians place their trust in international diplomacy and watch, with ill-disguised wistfulness, as Israel does what they could never permit themselves to do". 

In a piece titled "The Settler Colonial Alliance of India and Israel" published in The Nation, Indian journalist Deeksha Udupa interviewed Azad Essa,  author of “Hostile Homelands” – The new alliance between India and Israel". Here's what Essa told Udupa:  

"Kashmir is a perfect example of another region being turned into a sort of testing ground (for Israeli weapons and methods). Both India and Israel already share many tactics. They both attack journalists and criminalize civil society. They both exercise collective punishment on Palestinians and Kashmiris. They both maim protesters. In Palestine, protesters are shot in the limbs. In Kashmir, protesters are blinded by lead pellets. Israeli drones, sensors, surveillance, and machine guns are all there, and Israeli methods of controlling the population have long existed in Kashmir—so much so that India is now producing some of these Israeli weapons in factories across India.". 

Azad Essa argues that the Israeli occupation of Palestine has served as a model that Indians are replicating in Kashmir.  He says that Israeli weapons, developed and field tested on Palestinians, have been used in Kashmir.  Here are a couple of excerpts from his book "Hostile Homelands: The New Alliance Between India and Israel":   :

"So how did India, which once considered Zionism a form of racism, become Israel’s number one weapons trade buyer, accounting for 42% of Israel’s arms exports since Modi came to power in 2014?* How did India, the first non-Arab state to recognize the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and one of the leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement that opposed colonialism and apartheid, simultaneously maintain its colonial occupation of Kashmir since 1947 and metamorphose into extolling Israel’s settlements as a model to colonize Kashmir with its own Indian settlers?"

"In the days leading to August 5, 2019 and in the weeks and months to come, Kashmir became a site of unfathomable cruelty. Thousands of Kashmiris were detained; pro-India politicians were placed under house arrest, pro-freedom leaders as well as minors were rounded up and thrown in jail. Young boys were shipped off to Indian prisons 1,500km away in Agra and Varanasi. Foreign journalists and international human rights groups were banned from access to Kashmir. The region was placed under a complete communication blackout. Cellular phones, Internet, landline services, and even the postal services were dismantled. News traveled by word of mouth. Journalists compressed photos and video onto memory cards and smuggled them out with passengers en route to Delhi. Schools, offices, banks, and businesses were closed for months. Life came to a standstill". 

Here's India's JNU Professor speaking about illegal Indian occupation of Kashmir, Manipur and Nagaland:"; title="YouTube video player" width="560"></iframe>" height="112" src="" width="200" style="cursor: move; background-color: #b2b2b2;" /> 

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Pakistan's Bilawal Bhutto Lashes Out at India's Jaishankar

India: A Paper Elephant?

India-Pakistan Nuclear Arms Race

Kashmir: 700,000 Indian Soldiers vs 7 Million Kashmiris

Israeli Settler Colonialism

India Promotes Half Truths About UNSC Kashmir Resolutions

Pakistan-China-Russia Vs India-Japan-US

Total, Extended Lockdown in Indian Occupied Kashmir

What is India Hiding From UN Human Rights Team?

Indian JNU Professor on Illegal Indian Occupation of Kashmir, Manipur, Nagaland

Riaz Haq Youtube Channel

VPOS Youtube Channel

Load Previous Comments
  • Riaz Haq

    Israeli intellectual Professor Avi Shlaim:‘Israel Does Not Want Palestine as Partner in Peace, Wants To Maintain Control Over It'

    ‘Land grabbing and peacemaking don’t go together, it’s one or the other, and by constantly expanding settlements, Israel showed that it prefers land to peace.’

    ‘Israel by its actions has shown that it is not interested in having a Palestinian partner for peace because it wants to maintain its control over the territory.’

    ‘Israel refuses to accept Hamas as a negotiating partner. Israel’s position is that Hamas is a terrorist organisation – pure and simple. It will never negotiate with it.’

    ‘Benjamin Netanyahu’s policy has been to let Hamas rule the Gaza Strip, but to contain the Gaza Strip, and this policy collapsed, because Gaza could not be contained.’

    Shlaim's interview with Karan Thapar:


    On October 25, Karan Thapar spoke to Avi Shlaim, emeritus professor of international relations, St. Antony’s College, Oxford. Shlaim, the acclaimed author of Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions Refutations and The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World, spoke about the history of the conflict and the aftermath of the October 7 attack by Hamas.

    ‘What Israel refuses to do is to accept that Hamas represents a serious body of Palestinians, and that you cannot reach any peace agreement with the Palestinians that excludes Hamas. So, the sensible thing for Israel to do and the other European powers to do is to recognise Hamas and to negotiate with Hamas for a political settlement of the conflict.’

    ‘My duty as a public intellectual, and as a student of this conflict, is to give the public… an account of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which is as truthful as possible, as honest as possible, and as fair-minded as possible.’

  • Riaz Haq

    Ishaan Tharoor
    "We're rolling out Nakba 2023" — Israeli minister just flatly says it, while many in the West tie themselves up in knots to avoid seeing things as they are


    'We're Rolling Out Nakba 2023,' Israeli Minister Says on Northern Gaza Strip Evacuation
    Likud Minister Avi Dichter says that 'war is impossible to wage when there are masses between the tanks and the soldiers.' While Netanyahu does not support resettling the Gaza Strip, he says will not give up security control over it 'under any circumstances'

    Israeli security cabinet member and Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter (Likud) was asked in a news interview on Saturday whether the images of northern Gaza Strip residents evacuating south on the IDF’s orders are comparable to images of the Nakba. He replied: “We are now rolling out the Gaza Nakba. From an operational point of view, there is no way to wage a war – as the IDF seeks to do in Gaza – with masses between the tanks and the soldiers.”

    When asked again whether this was the “Gaza Nakba”, Dichter – a member of the security cabinet and former Shin Bet director – said “Gaza Nakba 2023. That’s how it’ll end.”

    When later asked if this means Gaza City residents won’t be allowed to return, he replied: “I don’t know how it’ll end up happening since Gaza City is one-third of the Strip – half the land’s population but a third of the territory.”

    The Gaza Strip’s settlements were evacuated by Israel in 2005 during a unilateral disengagement helmed by then-prime minister Ariel Sharon. Following coalition members’ declarations regarding reversing this move,

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked on Friday if he supports Israeli resettlement in the Gaza Strip after the war. “No, I don’t think so,” he answered, “I said I want full security control. Gaza must be demilitarized. I don’t think (resettlement) is a realistic goal, I’m saying it plainly.”

    Netanyahu, who spoke at a press conference alongside Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and minister Benny Gantz, added that he won’t give up control over security in Gaza “under any circumstances.”

    In response to a question about the war’s aftermath and the possibility of the Palestinian Authority controlling the Strip, he said: "I repeat, we will have total security control, with the ability to enter whenever we want to eliminate any terrorists who re-emerge. I can say what won’t happen – there will be no Hamas."

    "I can say what else will not happen – there will not be a civil authority there that educates its children to hate the State of Israel, to kill Israelis, to eliminate the State of Israel. There cannot be an authority there that pays the families of murderers. There cannot be an authority there whose leader has not yet condemned the terrible massacre more than 30 days after it occurred," added Netanyahu.

  • Riaz Haq

    John Oliver on Netanyahu and Hamas:

    the truth is, Netanyahu has been struggling to hold office in the last half-decade. Voters there actually endured five elections in just four years, because neither Netanyahu nor anyone else could form a stable majority. He only made it back into power last year, by forming a coalition with those on the furthest right wing of Israeli politics — leading to the most right-wing government in the country’s history. His cabinet is stocked with extremists. Take Itamar Ben-Gvir. He’s been convicted on at least eight charges, including supporting a terrorist organization and incitement to racism. He was once considered so fringe, the Israeli army rejected him from mandatory service. But he’s now Netanyahu’s minister of national security. Meanwhile, his current finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, has said, “Is there a Palestinian history or culture? There is none. There is no such thing as a Palestinian people.” He’s also advocated for “victory through settlement,” very basically seizing land in the West Bank, and driving Palestinians from their homes to the point where, quote, “I abort their hopes of establishing a state.” Settlements are widely understood to be against international law, yet Smotrich wants a massive expansion of them, and Netanyahu gave him a special role in charge of settlement affairs. But perhaps the most surprising way Netanyahu has jeopardized Israel’s safety is that, for years, he deliberately used Hamas as a way to undermine the Palestinian Authority, a rival to Hamas, which administers parts of the West Bank and has much more legitimacy on the world stage. Experts say the idea was basically divide and conquer — if Palestinian leadership remains split, and one of the main parties at the table has a terrorism label on it, it’s going to be much easier for Netanyahu to refuse to engage with them, and say he has “no partner for peace.” Here’s Smotrich explaining that strategy out loud in 2015.

    The Palestinian Authority is a burden and Hamas is a terrorist organization that no one will recognize, and no one will give it status in the ICC. No one will let them lead a decision in the security council. The main pitch we are playing now is international delegitimization. Hamas at this point, in my opinion, will be an asset.

    John: “Hamas is an asset.” If you’re calling the group that has repeatedly killed your people an asset, it shows pretty clearly that what you care about isn’t safety, but total control. And for years, Netanyahu’s government was actually allowing suitcases of cash to be delivered to Hamas, something by the way that earned suitcases of cash the title “most morally disreputable way to transfer money” for the nine hundredth year in a row. When the scandal broke, Netanyahu insisted that that money was for humanitarian aid. Which still doesn’t explain why it had to be delivered in luggage in the back of a fucking car. The point is, Netanyahu took the risk of betting that he could control Hamas, and use them to his own ends. And he was horribly wrong about that, to the point that his ministers are now getting screamed out of hospitals. So, to recap so far: Palestinians and Israelis have both been relentlessly let down by their leaders, and the result has been a decades-long cycle of extremism, violence, retaliation, and more extremism. And Palestinians have been on the receiving end of that extremism twice over — subject to the inadequacies and cruelties of a Hamas government and the punishing isolation and daily misery of an Israeli one. Because Israel’s approach to Gaza has been truly punishing — fencing people in, limiting exits, and trapping them inside of what has been called an open-air prison by many human rights organizations. Life under a blockade there has been hard for a long time, even when there aren’t bombs flying.