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Protected: The making of the French-India-Israel Axis?

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US President Joe Biden has not called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since he took office at the White House (at the time of writing the story).

It is not the only issue that has upset some in Israel with the situation worsening after Bay Area Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna attacked Israeli policies towards Palestinian citizens.

Though the Rep clarified statements, he made about Israel on Feb 5, during an appearance on MSNBC, he remains adamant “Human rights are going to matter. We’re going to have a human rights foreign policy.”

In his clarification, he says Israeli settlers have burned Palestinian orchards, and the military has demolished or bulldozed villages, adding that both are wrong.

In the MSNCB show, he said, “Israel can’t be burning down Palestinian villages.” This offended many, and he had to issue the above clarification.

Jerusalem Post is now claiming there is a chill wind that has blown toward Israel from Washington.

A columnist in the paper says it is time for Israel to revamp its ties with France.

But we think it is more than upgrading ties with France. We believe it is also about creating a new axis linking Israel, India, and France.

There is a long history of cold feet between the Israelis and France which Tel Aviv say is a betraying nation because of an embargo imposed by General De Gaule before the 1967 Six-Day War.

And there is the French support for Palestinian causes and condemnation of Israeli policies against Palestinians.

But Israel is worried that Biden is trying to bring back policies on human rights and democracy that may not favour Isreal.

However, for strategists in Israel, an alliance with France is possible.

Emmanuel Macron they say is leaning France in the same direction with Israel in the Mediterranean. France condemns the Turkish plans in the region over Cyprus and Libya.

ISRAEL-INDIA RELATIONS

Let’s depart from the official stances and the published stories in the international or national media in France, Israel, and India.

If there is some truth in the rumours circulating in WhatsApp groups and on social media networks, we must believe there is a notable change in India’s position towards Israel.

India’s move over Kashmir is the subject of intense debate among Muslims in social media networks. In some WhatsApp groups, Muslims say the Israelis advised the Indians to end the special status of Kashmir.

They do not provide any evidence, but they base the accusations on the partition of Palestine and the seizure of Palestinian land by Israeli settlers and army.

India and Israel established full diplomatic relations in 1992, and the bilateral relationship between the two countries has blossomed at the economic, military, agricultural and political levels.

There is growing military cooperation between the two countries. Israel helped India through training in counter-terrorism methods and in January 2012, India and Israel stepped up their counter-terrorism coordination strategy.

More important is that the Israeli and Indian government signed an intelligence-sharing agreement in July 2014.

The aim is to fight radical Islamic extremism in the region together.

Kashmir is an Islamic revolution hotbed. For the Muslims, India has turned it into another occupied Muslim territory. This time, with the help of Israel.

Not all the comments come from novices or passive readers of the news. Intellectuals and sometimes politicians in Muslim communities spread this theory that Isreal is working with India to curb Muslims in India and Kashmir.

While it is hard to show evidence concealed in the secret diplomatic vaults, there are signs Israel is also growing its presence in places where India is virtually exporting the Bharatiya Janata Party thoughts.

THE MAURITIUS EXPERIENCE

Mauritius is one country where India has a stronghold, but some in the minority communities find India’s presence more and more unbearable.

The famous RSS, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s militia, is now present in Mauritius and is wreaking havoc against minorities.

Israel is not far away in Mauritius. It has a stronghold on the tiny Republic since the late 1980s. 

In some forums, the Israeli flag was on display, and the speakers defended Isreal’s policies towards the Palestinians. The participants were not always from the government bench in the Parliament.

Incidentally, the leader of a vast movement to topple the current pro-Modi regime in Mauritius has admitted his links with Israel.

Bruneau Laurette is the leader of the Citoyen Mauricien. The grouping has launched the Sel Solution Revolution (The Only Solution is Revolution) in Mauritius.

They gathered the largest crowds in recent Mauritian history calling on the government of Pravind Jugnauth to quit after the environmental disaster with the oil tanker Wakashio crashing on the shores of Mauritius last year.

Since then, Laurette has roped in the opposition parties in a rally that has not seen the same enthusiasm on Saturday, Feb 13.

Many say the Hindu community did not show their support for the movement.

They assembled all the opponents to the Jugnauth regime, but they missed out on the Hindu community. Without some support from the Hindus, they are not going to dislodge the government.

The Muslims also are divided because of the links between Laurette and Israel. 

Laurette says he had military training in Israel. For this, some Muslims accuse him of having Palestinian blood on his hands.

A pro-India grouping linked to the RSS has promised it will end Laurette’s charge to overthrow the government.

If Mauritius is the ground where the Indians and the Israelis are experimenting, it is failing.

Too many things separate Laurette from the pro-RSS groupings in Mauritius, and now the Israeli link is causing a waning of support from Muslims.

Will such differences between the Israelis and the Indians on the global scene play against an Israeli-Indian union against their single opponent, the Muslims?

THE FRENCH CONNECTION

Coincidentally, the French also have a significant influence on Mauritius. They are playing several cards disrupting the social fabric of the tiny nation.

La France is a big economic actor in Mauritius, and so is India.

The French are pushing for the pro-LGBT group in the background. Like the Israelis are doing in Port Louis according to reports, they are advising the Mauritius government on ‘Islamic’ radicalism.

India sent a pro-LGBT ‘prince’ to celebrate Pride in Mauritius. 

The French embassy lambasted the Muslims for demonstrating against the Pride march in Port Louis, making it a diplomatic incident that forced the local authorities to target some Muslims for their chaotic rally.

Paris has also warned itself, and the Mauritian government over a band of Muslims said to be allied to the ISIS ideology in Port Louis.

The radicals rallied in the outskirts of Port Louis carrying what looked like ISIS flags on their vehicles. It gave credence to the French alarm to the Mauritian regime.

Do we have an amalgam of countries with different ideologies with India’s RSS attempting to contain the rise of Islamic radicalism in Mauritius?

What if this could become the norm between the French, the Indians and the Israelis in international forums?

France and Israel are selling weapons to the Greeks to bolster their military to confront Turkish challenges in its neighbourhood, Cyprus.

Greece and France signed a $3 billion arms deal. Israel and Greece had agreed on a $1.68b deal to establish and operate a flight training centre for the Greek Air Force.

The role of France in Libya got the Israelis saying, Macron is the only leader actively confronting Turkish policy in the eastern Mediterranean.

He has made France an ally of Egypt, the UAE, and Israel, Israeli analysts say.

Israel is cool with Macron taking the lead in Lebanon in pressing the government to trim the wings of the pro-Iran Hezbollah.

To protect moderate Muslim nations against the rise of Islamic radicalism in of interest to Macron.

He is also fighting hard to force the Muslims to bow to the French constitution. He believes they are influenced by ‘Political Islam’ and the cancel culture from the US.

France is also an emerging force against Iran, with Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warnings that Iran is building up its nuclear weapons capacity.

The minister also says there is the need for thorough discussions over ballistic proliferation and Iran’s destabilization of its neighbours in the region.

INDIA AND FRANCE

Analysts say the India–France dynamic has found common goals on global issues — including the Indo-Pacific. China is the opponent in this strategy.

France and India could work closer in the Indo-Pacific region and the Indian Ocean to safeguard their interest against the rising Chinese challenge.

The first batch of the Indian Air Force’s Dassault Rafale fighter jets arrived in expedited delivery from France was a show of force against Chinese aggression in Ladakh.

It helped cement growing Indian confidence in the French to the point their relationship have now at such a pace, that analysts have even questioned whether India’s partnership with France could eclipse its ties with the US.

Should the Indians and French move beyond bilateral goodwill, they will have to align on several global issues.

It also means India may have to join the broader anti-Turkey, anti-Iran lobby and build an unquestioned friendship or ideological convergence with France.

The Indian Ocean could be the place where India and France find the need to unite.

The region around the Indian Ocean connects Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. China is challenging the historical role played by India and France in the Indian Ocean with its Belt and Road Initiative.

China has built a network of bases in South Asia; anti-ship ballistic missiles allowing the People’s Liberation Army to defend the bases against the Indian, US, or other navies in the region. 

It appears that China is the reason for stronger ties between France and India.

The engagement of France and India to dampen the perceived rise of Islamic radicalism is a talking point.

Both countries are converging on these issues, and they find Israel is also on this path.

PITFALLS OF A FRENCH-INDIAN-ISRAELI AXIS

With these events in the play, could these be signs the Israelis are pushing for a broader axis linking France, Israel, and India in the international arena?

One stumbling block remains the Palestinian issue. For the Israelis, France should re-look at its persistent position in favour of Palestine.

Last year, India renewed its resolve to support the Palestinians against Isreal. 

Will India shift its position on Palestine and will the Israelis drag the French to do the same?

It looks likely that an Israel-India-France axis is on the way if they can push aside the few remaining stumbling blocks.

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