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Israel eying Pakistan as ally in Muslim world

26 August, 2010

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TEL AVIV: A group of Indian journalists visiting Israel encountered a ‘surprising situation’ in Israel, when a top Israeli foreign office official compared human suffering in Darfour with the plight of people in the Indian-held Kashmir.

Support for Kashmir and Pakistan’s efforts to contain terrorism from unexpected quarters in Tel Aviv, indicated a sublime possibility of Israel and Pakistan slowly warming up to each other.

Facing the heat from Turkey and Iran, coupled with the death of Arab nationalism and rising extremism in the region, Israeli strategists seem looking for an alternate ally in the Muslim world.

At the Israeli Foreign Office building in the outskirts of west Jerusalem, a senior official was in a rage against the UN and the Muslim world.

“The UN is biased against Israel because two-thirds of the member countries are Arab and/or Muslim countries. Too much attention is given to Israel and too little time spent on debating and bringing out investigative reports on the real sufferings in Darfour and Kashmir,” he said. He was even more enraged at the Muslim world for ignoring the daily deaths in Kashmir and only on focusing at the “few incidents” in Palestine.

Earlier, Col Miri Eisin, the former spokesman of Israeli prime minister, told the Indian journalists that Pakistan was not an enemy state (for Israel). “We are distant from it. It is not a threat for us,” she said.

One of Israel’s top strategists, Prof Eyal Zisser, the director of the Moshe Dayan Centre, reminded the Indian delegation that unlike IHK, his country had accepted Palestine as an international problem. He also “lamented” that more people were getting killed in IHK and the world did not notice the killings.

Supporting Pakistan’s efforts to contain terrorism, he called for providing the full support to the Pakistan government. “In Pakistan, it is better to have a government in control of affairs. If the Pakistani government collapses, what is the alternative? Better have a government, than the Taliban taking over as your neighbour,” he told the Indian delegation.

Far from Tel Aviv near the northern most tip of Israel, bordering Lebanon around Zarit village, spokesman of Israeli’s northern command Captain Mitch Pilcer also refused to draw parallels between Israel and India. He praised Islamabad for having an established military unlike the neighbours of Israel. “Pakistan is a different case. It has an established military. There is a government whom you can talk to. There is a circle of people,” he said.

International director of American Jewish Council, Rabbi David Rosen, argued that an early resolution of Palestinian problem would help Pakistan and stabilise it to fight terrorists.

Chaim Choshen, the director of South and South East Asia Division in the Israeli Foreign Ministry, however, said that official relations with Pakistan had not moved beyond the handshake between former president Pervez Musharraf and former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon in September 2005 in New York. “He is no longer in power. We don’t have further communication,” said the foreign ministry official.

Israeli officials believe since they have no real direct conflict with Pakistan, there is no reason not to have diplomatic relations. They believe that Islamabad could be amongst countries who are “on the fringe” awaiting to establish relations with Tel Aviv.


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