India's Israel Policy

P. R. Kumaraswamy

Columbia University Press

India's Israel Policy

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Pub Date: July 2010

ISBN: 9780231152044

376 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $65.00£54.00

Pub Date: July 2010

ISBN: 9780231525480

376 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $64.99£54.00

India's Israel Policy

P. R. Kumaraswamy

Columbia University Press

India's foreign policy toward Israel is a subject of deep dispute. Throughout the twentieth century arguments have raged over the Palestinian problem and the future of bilateral relations. Yet no text comprehensively looks at the attitudes and policies of India toward Israel, especially their development in conjunction with history.

P. R. Kumaraswamy is the first to account for India's Israel policy, revealing surprising inconsistencies in positions taken by the country's leaders, such as Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, and tracing the crackling tensions between its professed values and realpolitik. Kumaraswamy's findings debunk the belief that India possesses a homogenous policy toward the Middle East. In fact, since the early days of independence, many within India have supported and pursued relations with Israel.

Using material derived from archives in both India and Israel, Kumaraswamy investigates the factors that have hindered relations between these two countries despite their numerous commonalities. He also considers how India destabilized relations, the actions that were necessary for normalization to occur, and the directions bilateral relations may take in the future. In his most provocative argument, Kumaraswamy underscores the disproportionate affect of anticolonial sentiments and the Muslim minority on shaping Indian policy.

P. R. Kumaraswamy's India's Israel Policy is the definitive book on the subject. It comes from the heart as well as the mind. The author's scholarship is impeccable. Kumaraswamy has earned the right to a little passion, but it does not cloud his judgment-and a reader that disagrees with some of his judgments will still find facts in this volume.

Stephen P. Cohen, senior fellow, Brookings Institution

P. R. Kumaraswamy unpacks one of India's most sensitive bilateral relations since its independence. While the relationship with Israel continues to generate intense political controversy, there is little awareness of its history or complexity within the Indian political classes and the foreign policy communities of India and elsewhere. By any measure, this volume is a definitive work on India's Israel policy, and no comparable account has been published.

C. Raja Mohan, author of Crossing the Rubicon: The Shaping of India's New Foreign Policy

Kumaraswamy's book is a well researched and thorough account of Indo-Israeli relations that is highly recommended for both academics and the general public.

Michael B. Bishku, Middle East Journal

This thorough, scholarly study suggests that when the domestic polity is fractured, holding it together takes primacy in foreign policy.... Highly recommended.

Choice

The definitive account of bilateral relations between India and Israel and serves as the authoritative study on the subject.

Middle East Quarterly
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Mahatma Gandhi and the Jewish National Home
The Congress Party and the Yishuv
The Islamic Prism: The INC Versus the Muslim League
India, UNSCOP, and the Partition of Palestine
Recognition Without Relations
Domestic Politics
International Factors
Nehru and the Era of Deterioration, 1947–1964
The Years of Hardened Hostility, 1964–1984
Prelude to Normalization
Normalization and After
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Index

About the Author

P. R. Kumaraswamy is professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and a former research fellow at the Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace in Jerusalem. His many publications include The Historical Dictionary of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.