Vol. 7 No. 2 (2019): A Journal of Strategic Studies, Winter 2019

Understanding the Strategic and Military Rationale of Evolving India-Israel Relations

Mr. Sajid Aziz
Research Assistant at the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS)
CISS Insight - A Journal of Strategic Studies - Winter 2019
Published January 10, 2020
  • India,
  • Israel,
  • Foreign Policy,
  • Defense Cooperation,
  • Military Ties
How to Cite
Mr. Sajid Aziz. (2020). Understanding the Strategic and Military Rationale of Evolving India-Israel Relations . CISS Insight Journal, 7(2), 17 - 35. Retrieved from http://journal.ciss.org.pk/index.php/ciss-insight/article/view/11


This paper attempts to understand the evolving defense ties between India and Israel and the key turning points in their bilateral relations. From having ‘non-relations’ for over four decades after the emergence of both states, India and Israel have developed strong diplomatic and military ties, encompassing cooperation in outer-space, missile technology, intelligence and communications. Each major trend in the India-Israel relations was an outcome of interplay of domestic, regional and international variables. The anticolonial politics of the Congress party, its leadership considering Zionism as an imperial tool to perpetuate colonialism in the Middle East, the Nehruvian politics of socialism and non-alignment movement and the Muslim constituency of Congress party combined to dissuade India from establishing diplomatic relations with Israel. The subsequent regional and global political developments in 1980s and after the Cold War in the shape of peace negotiations between the Palestinian leadership and Israel and the disintegration of the Soviet Union paved the way for New Delhi and Tel Aviv to establish full diplomatic relations in 1992, which have, since then, translated into greater security cooperation, especially after the Kargil war.