Modi’s Israel visit amounts to abandoning Palestine: CPI-M

New Delhi, June 4 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed visit to Israel amounts to abandoning New Delhi’s long-standing support for an independent Palestinian state, the CPI-M said on Thursday.

An editorial in the CPI-M mouthpiece “People’s Democracy” said Modi’s visit would also give an official stamp to the existing “close strategic relationship” between the two countries.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has announced that Modi will go to Israel at a mutually agreed date. This will be the first time an Indian prime minister visits Israel.

“The significance of such a visit would be that the close strategic relationship existing between the two countries will be given an official stamp,” the editorial said.

Then deputy prime minister L.K. Advani had visited Israel in 2000. India established full diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist pointed out that the current Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu was “dominated by rightwing and Jewish extremist parties.

“Modi will be visiting Israel when the Netanyahu government is aggressively going ahead with nullifying any possibility of a political settlement with the Palestinian leadership…

“While formally maintaining India’s long-standing position of support to the cause of the Palestinian people, the Modi government is now openly working to undermine this stand…

“The initiative to put Indo-Israel ties on a new footing is in line with the overall foreign policy direction of the Modi government which is to entangle India fully in the geo-political strategy of the US…

“(The visit) will signal the abandonment of India’s steadfast commitment to an independent Palestinian state.”

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