Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit has triggered hopes of a solution to the Palestine issue. Ever since he became the Prime Minister, there has been a qualitative change in the way foreign policy is being practised in India. PM Modi has been able to inspire confidence among world leaders that there is a talk that he could find a solution to the vexed Israel-Palestine problem.
As Prime Minister Modi has been able to build formidable relations with the countries in the Gulf, where the core of Indian interest lies, he extensively toured other parts of the world. India has de-hyphenated India’s relations with Israel and Palestine. Modi hosted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas before his visit to Israel and is now visiting Palestine soon after the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This is quite a diplomatic feat, as India’s relation with Israel won’t have any impact on its ties with Palestine.
Over the years successive Indian governments have shied away from engaging with Israel fearing that it would annoy Palestine. Another reason is that they feared it would have an adverse impact on their electoral prospects back home. Modi has disrupted the chess board and started afresh. All Indian decisions have been guided by her interests and not by any hypocritical ‘morality’ claims. He is likely to sign five agreements aimed at infrastructure building and employment generation. India is also funding several social development projects schools and other educational institutions. India has helped build institutions such as a Techno Park in Ramallah, a Centre of Excellence in ICT in the Gaza Strip, a Digital Learning and Innovation Centre at Al Quds University.
Abbas is reported to have said that PM Modi could broker peace between Israel and Palestine. Palestine has accorded the highest civilian award to Modi. Given the clout he has, Abbas faith in Modi’s ability to find a solution to the problem is not misplaced.