Dialogue on India-Israel ties amid Diwali & Hanukkah

WhatsApp Image 2018 11 28 at 10.00.54 PM 9India Post News Service

MILPITAS, CA: On the occasion of Diwali and Hanukkah, Foundation of India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS) along with Israeli and Indo American organizations hosted a dialogue on India-Israel Relations and a reception on the commemoration of Haifa battle. Along with the dignitaries from India and Israel consulates, the event was attended by representatives from over 35 Bay area organizations. The context of the gathering was celebration of twin holidays of Diwali and Hanukkah, as well as the Centennial Commemoration of the Haifa War.

The event started with the host Rakhi Israni requesting Ravit Baer, Deputy Consul General of Israel, to light the Hannukah candles as a Rabbi beautifully rendered a Hannukah prayer. Deputy Consul of Indian Consulate in San Francisco Rohit Rathish, was then requested to light the Diwali lamp as an Acharya (Hindu priest) sang a Vedic hymn symbolizing the importance of the festival of Lights.

Mr. Khanderao Kand briefly spoke about the hosting organization. FIIDS (Foundation For India And Indian Diaspora Studies), which has provided an important platform to champion advocacy and awareness related research related to India and Indian Diaspora.

One of the primary contexts for the evening’s gathering was the 100-year commemoration of the Battle of Haifa. On 23rd September 1918, Indian soldiers from the Mysore, Hyderabad and Jodhpur Lancers liberated the strategically important city of Haifa, Israel. Approximately 400 Indian soldiers pushed back and ended a 400 years rule of Ottoman Turks with much inferior weaponry, in one of the most bravely contested battles of World War I.

DCG Baer then spoke about the importance of the strategic ties between India and Israel. With the formal establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, there has been a tremendous change in the relationship of the two countries, strategically partnering in a number of areas across economic, political, and social spheres. DCG Baer notably highlighted that “the visit of PM Modi has elevated the partnership to a strategic level…It is linked to our own national development in a win-win partnership.”

DCG Rathish spoke about the “three-fold vision for the India-Israel relationship as articulated by PM Modi”. The first tier is building upon a platform of collaboration on science and technology, water, and defense. The second layer is to diversify the relationship across other areas. Finally, to broad-base this relationship beyond Governments, involving civil society of both nations.

The third panelist to speak on this relationship was someone who has tremendous experience working with Israeli and Indian communities as an entrepreneur and community champion. Raju Reddy said that “in some way, the road from Bangalore to Tel Aviv goes through Silicon Valley”, highlighting the importance of the tech community in forging a stronger relationship between the two countries. Israel has one of the highest per capita IPOs in the United States while Indian companies are emerging as world leaders in a number of disruptive areas.

After brief statements by the dignitaries, the event moved to a panel discussion format, led by Yogi Chugh, discussing multiple dimensions of current relations between India, Israel, and the USA. Notably, when asked to speak about the historic first visit by an Indian PM to Israel, DCG Baer noted that when PM Modi visited, he got unprecedented media coverage for three days.

As the conversation moved to security and areas of technology partnerships, all three panelists spoke about ways in which this relationship has transformed rapidly in recent years. Increasingly, however, it is also evidenced that the Silicon Valley has a critical role to play in forging a tripartite relationship among the US, Israel, and Indian nations

0 - 0

Thank You For Your Vote!

Sorry You have Already Voted!