In the midst of the Israel-Hamas conflict, the world has turned its eyes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s unequivocal condemnation of the recent Hamas attacks on Israel. While social media channels have been buzzing with uproar and viral retweets across the Arab world, there remains a noticeable absence of an official affirmation from India regarding the Israel-Palestine two-state solution at the highest levels of leadership.
Hasan Alhasan, an expert on the Middle East at IISS, highlighted the fact that within hours of the Hamas attack, Prime Minister Modi took a clear, partisan stance on social media by expressing solidarity with Israel. This stance, he noted, has now associated India’s reputation with the Israeli response, potentially carrying diplomatic consequences.
For example, a post on social media pointed out a shift in India’s position, raising concerns within the Arab world. The post read, “The Indian position was in solidarity with the Palestinian cause for a long time, and then there was a gradual shift towards recognizing Israel and deepening strategic relations with it. Today, it has become completely identified with Israel, and has even begun to align itself with it to the point of declaring support for its aggression against Gaza.”
Furthermore, the position India takes on this matter could have implications for the substantial Indian diaspora residing in the Middle East or West Asia. Communal tensions, as witnessed in 2020 when anti-Muslim sentiments spilled into the Gulf region, are a cause for concern.
The Prime Minister’s social media statement on October 7 expressed deep shock over the terrorist attacks in Israel and conveyed solidarity with the country. It was only five days later that India officially issued its first detailed comment on its longstanding position on Palestine, emphasizing support for a two-state solution.
However, it is clear that the Arab world’s focus remains on the Prime Minister’s comments regarding the Hamas attack. The Arab world has closely observed these statements, potentially reshaping India’s diplomatic relationships and global image.
In this ever-evolving geopolitical landscape, India’s stance is one of delicate balance. While leaning towards Israel has garnered attention, India’s historical and economic ties to the Middle East demand a nuanced diplomatic approach. Every statement and silence are closely scrutinized in the digital age, highlighting the importance of India’s position on the global stage.