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December 16, 2010 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2010-12-16

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Editor's Letter



Israel-India Connection


taggered as we may be in the multi-front war against
Islamist terror, nuclear arms misuse and anti-West
hatred, America is still the world's only superpower.
But with the global power balance moving eastward, emerging
economic forces such as India and China are gaining power
and respect.
So it behooves Israel to seek fresh
political alliances and vibrant economic
partnerships with countries that hold
political and economic clout, especially
those displaying shared interests with
India fits this mold.
That's the gist of a cogent essay that
Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, founder and
president of the Israel Project, wrote fol-
lowing President Obama's November trip
to India. India's stature as a friend of Israel
and as a key to strengthening democracy's
foothold in the East is understated, but indeed resonant.
Obama's trip underscored India's growing importance to the
U.S. "Similarly:' wrote Mizrahi, "cooperation between India and
Israel is expanding as the importance of each country to the
other increases:'
It matters not that India is one of the largest countries in
land mass and population and Israel is one of the smallest.
Israel is India's largest arms provider and India is
Israel's principal arms market, according to ynet.
corn. And India has launched Israeli satellites.
The Israel Project is an 8-year-old nonprofit with
offices in Washington and Jerusalem. It provides
a factual take on the Middle East. I have grown to
rely on it for a reality check.

Aligned Against Terror

Turning to how India and Israel have nurtured cooperation
in areas of mutual concern, Mizrahi cited their status "as
democracies surrounded by authoritarian and antagonistic
neighbors." Of course, one such neighbor is Pakistan, which
harbors terrorist breeding grounds.
After the Mumbai massacre, India and Israel invigorated
their relationship in battling terror — stepping up security
and military coordination. For example, Israel trains Indian
"But even before, starting in 1999:' Mizrahi wrote, "India's
Ministry of External Affairs and Israel's Foreign Ministry
held annual bilateral consultations in Jerusalem and New
Delhi, plus periodic discussions on counterterrorism."
I was struck by Mizrahi's finding that terror is responsible
for more deaths in India than any other country besides Iraq.
Mizrahi wrote persuasively about Israel-India trade,
including the high tech industry, chemical and agricultural
products, and medical equipment. She recounted how trade
has dramatically grown — from $80 million in 1991 to $4
billion in 2008. The countries signed five trade and economic
agreements from 1993 to 1996, catapulting the process. India
established diplomatic ties with Israel in 1992. Negotiations
toward a free-trade treaty continue. "Such a treaty:' wrote
Mizrahi, "could have a huge influence on Israel's economy and

Expanding Baseline
Mizrahi also hit on two other key areas:
•Alternative energy. Israel has a bur-
geoning relationship with India on water
management and other green endeavors. Tel
Aviv-based Netafim put nearly 15,000 acres
in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, "the
Building A Case
Rice Bowl of India," under sprinkler drip
Mizrahi, once a foreign affairs legislative assistant
to the U.S. Congress, laid a compelling blueprint for
• Information Technology. Over the past
her argument that India, Israel and the U.S. have
two decades, companies in Israel and
much in common. She wrote: "They are three major
America's Silicon Valley joined efforts. The
democracies on three continents and are allies to
impetus: Israel providing engineering labor
The Israel Project's
one another. They share the same values of free-
and R&D centers for major U.S. technology
Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi
dom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to
companies. As Israel's high tech sector grew
vote, strong judicial oversight, women's rights and
and associated costs rose, many firms out-
more. All three are waging battles against extremist fundamen-
sourced part or all of their development to India, much like
talists who have launched terrorist attacks against them."
U.S. companies.
Led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, India boasts 1.2
For it to survive the threat of terrorism, spawned by vio-
billion people, including 5,000 Jews, a tiny percentage of the
lent Muslims who have perverted Islam, and the danger of
populace. The Jewish population centers are Manipur, Mizoram
anti-Semitism, spurred by Jew-haters who typically embrace
and Mumbai, India's financial hub. Jews have lived in this largely
anti-Zionism, Israel must find new friends beyond the U.S.
Hindu land for more than 2,000 years and, according to Mizrahi,
and Canada in North America; Great Britain and Germany in
have never been discriminated against (How rare is that?!). Israel, Europe; Australia down under; and the Arab League's Jordan
meanwhile, is home to 60,000 Indian Jews.
and Egypt, with which it at least possesses legitimate peace
Politically, India and Israel have united behind fighting terror treaties.
while also boosting trade.
Clearly, India is a strategically located Israeli ally to be
It wasn't on the magnitude of 9-11, where 19 Al Qaida-
reckoned with. It is well positioned to be Israel's most impor-
trained terrorists killed nearly 2,800 people on American soil.
tant footprint in South Asia. ❑
But the 2008 attack by Pakistani terrorists on Mumbai still
shook India's psyche. Ten terrorists murdered more than 170
Does it make sense for Israel to forge a bond
people — Hindus, Jews, Christians and Muslims. The gunmen
the Republic of India?
targeted Indians and Westerners in attacking two hotels, a train
I— 0
station, a cafe and the Chabad center, where six Jews, including
E ,,
z Is Israel lax in highlighting its ability to attract
four Israelis, were murdered. The slain included a young rabbi
allies beyond the U.S.?
and his pregnant wife, Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg.

• t *






Gerry Tischler (1.1 who resides
at JARC's Berlin Home pictured with
The King" impersonator

Gerry Tischler has always

been a big Elvis Presley

fan, the man he lovingly

calls "The King". When the

JARC staff heard that a local

restaurant was hosting a

dinner show featuring an Elvis

impersonator, they knew how

much it would mean for Gerry

to be there. Gerry attended

the performance wearing his

favorite Elvis tribute shirt and

proudly had his photo taken

with the star of the show.

Whether as a volunteer

or donor, your generous

support will benefit the
men, women and children
JARC serves by...

1.41Vialin 1-41/C4.





December 16 • 2010


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