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Op-Ed video: The story behind Modi and Netanyahu's 'bromance'

Azad Essa examines the political, military, economic and ideological objectives underpinning the deepening ties between India and Israel

Ties between India and Israel have blossomed under prime ministers Narendra Modi and Benjamin Netanyahu, but the relationship between the two countries was preceded by decades of secret military deals, intelligence sharing and military training, argues Middle East Eye journalist Azad Essa.

"There have been secret military deals since the early 1960s and intelligence sharing and military training since the 1970s," he added.

Since then, successive Indian governments, especially Modi's, have gone all out to woo Israel, playing to Hindutva's natural affinity for Israel.

In recent years, India has emerged as the largest purchaser of Israeli-made arms, doing more than $1bn of business annually.

"When Modi looked at Israel he saw a strong militaristic state with an unapologetic religious identity and a country that put Muslims in their place," said Essa.

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"For many Hindu nationalists and supremacists, Israel is the model they wish to replicate, and under Modi and Netanyahu, India is inching ever closer to becoming a version of Israel," he added.

| Senior Reporter
Azad Essa is a senior reporter for Middle East Eye based in New York City. He worked for Al Jazeera English between 2010-2018 covering southern and central Africa for the network. He is the author of 'Hostile Homelands: The New Alliance Between India and Israel' (Pluto Press, Feb 2023)
Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.