Updated: Nov 25, 2021
EVENT DATE : 23 MAY
At the UNSC meeting on 16th May organised to address the escalating violence between Israel and Gaza, India refused to pick a side and called for immediate de-escalation and dialogue. India reiterated its strong support for the “just Palestinian cause” and its “unwavering commitment” to the two-state solution, but at the same time India condemned the “indiscriminate” rocket firings into Israel and described the Israeli actions as “retaliatory”. While some Indian experts view India’s carefully crafted statement as an evidence of a mature foreign policy tactfully balancing India’s independent relationship with Israel and Palestine, others criticised it for being deliberately vague and unhelpful for restoring peace and security. India’s statement came as a disappointment to those who had hoped India would use its non-permanent UNSC membership to reiterate its long held principled position for a sovereign independent state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital. They saw the absence of any reference to the status of Jerusalem and condemnation of disproportionate use of force by Israel as not neutral, but a major policy shift towards Israel. However Israeli PM’s subsequent tweet thanking 25 countries for their support excluded India. This made it amply clear that Israel was not impressed by India’s weak show of support. This begs the question if India’s neutral stance is indeed a balancing act, is it working?