India-Israel Relations refers to the bilateral ties between the Republic of India and the State of Israel.
Nature of Relations
The two countries enjoy an extensive economic, military and strategic relationship. India is the largest buyer of Israeli Military equipment and Israel; is the second largest defense supplier to India after Russia.
Israel’s friendship with India embarked from iconic war between Israel and ottoman kingdom, similarly Israel stood with India in tough situations and sent aid to India in historic Indo-Pak war, 1971.
Just after Independence – In 1948 Israel was declared and India’s Congress government maintained a distance from Israel and supported Palestine. India voted against Israel admission in the UN in 1949 and did not recognize Israel as a nation in 1950.
India Pakistan war 1971 – India needed arms and ammunition for a war, Pakistan received huge military assistance from Middle East and the western power. With no diplomatic ties with Israel, India got a support from Israel in the form of arms and mortars in exchange of establishing diplomatic ties with India.
The diplomatic ties, however, could only be established in 1992 after Soviet Union collapsed and India’s new ‘Look West Policy’ was implemented.
Kargil War – Kargil war was an eye opener for India’s deficiencies in intelligence and military forces and was not prepared for the high altitude combat. Israel helped India to build strategy against intruders. The agreement over the speed up of shipment of arms order was undertaken.
There was a strong oppose from US to Israel supporting India. But Israel not only delivered UAV but also provided photographs from its military satellites. Kargil helped to sow seeds of trust between India and Israel which later has transformed into long lasting bond.