In a historic move, India has voted in favor of Israel at the United Nations.

Syed Akbaruddin, the Indian representative at the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), supported an Israeli motion against granting observer status to a Palestinian non-governmental organization linked to jihadi terrorist groups Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Shahed, as the Lebanon-based NGO is called, is designated as a “terrorist organization” and “operates as an arm of the Hamas terror organization in Lebanon,” Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

The vote took place on June 6, just weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his allies won a two-thirds majority in the Indian general elections. Since Modi took office in May 2014, India has mostly abstained from voting on UN resolutions targeting the Jewish state but has shied away from siding with Israel at the international body.

The newsweekly India Today reported the details of the UN vote:

In a rare move, India voted in favour of a decision introduced by Israel in the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) that objected to granting consultative status to a Palestinian non-governmental organisation, after the Jewish state said the organisation did not disclose its ties with Hamas.

Israel introduced at a meeting of the ECOSOC the draft decision “L.15” on June 6 titled “Application of the non-governmental organisation Palestinian Association for Human Rights – Witness for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council” that sought to return to the NGO Committee Witness’ application for consultative status, a very rare occurrence.

The decision was adopted by a recorded vote of 28 in favour to 15 against, with five abstentions. Countries voting in favour of the decision were Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States.

The Council decided to return the NGO’s application as the organisation failed to present important information when its credentials were being considered during the Committee on Non-Governmental Organisations earlier this year, according to a record of the meeting on the UN website.

By backing Israel at the UN, Prime Minister Modi has finally broken away from the country’s historical voting pattern of siding with the Arab and Muslim countries.

Soon after recognizing Israel in 1950, India’s ruling Congress Party hitched its wagon to the Soviet bloc and began championing the cause of the so-called Third World countries. To this end, India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru forged an alliance with Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser and Yugoslavia’s Josef Broz Tito, thereby surrendering Indian foreign policy to the dictates of the Arab counties and eastern Communist bloc.

It took New Delhi nearly three-decade following the fall of the Soviet Union to correct the course of its foreign policy. Modi has finally broken a voting pattern reminiscent of New Delhi’s Cold War past with this vote.

“A significant day. India has gone from Third World Nemesis of Israel to a pivotal ally of Jewish state,” Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center noted on Twitter.

Maya Kadosh, the deputy chief of mission at the Israel embassy in New Delhi, was the first to broke the news on Twitter early Monday.

Prominent Indian journalist, Shekhar Gupta, welcomed New Delhi’s decision, describing the move as the “shedding of hypocrisies.”

When Modi began cementing ties with Israel, many political pundits in India and the West warned of serious consequences. They painted a doomsday scenario of Muslim unrest and threat to the country’s oil supplies from the Arab Gulf states. None of this has materialized.

As I noted in a recent article: Modi has “doubled his share of Muslim votes, increasing it from 4 percent in 2014 to 9 percent this election cycle.” And despite aggressive posturing by a few foreign envoys in New Delhi, the Arab countries themselves “haven’t have shown any inclination of punishing India for building stronger ties with the Jewish state.”

After winning with an even greater mandate, Modi now has a free hand to pursue the policy of strengthening ties with the Jewish State.

U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, on anti-Israel bias at the UN (March 2019)

[Cover image via YouTube]


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