Assessing US Influence over India–Israel Relations: A Difficult Equation to Balance?

Nicolas Blarel is Assistant Professor, at the Institute of Political Science, Leiden University, The Netherlands.
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  • July 2017

    As India’s Israel policy evolved over time, the US involvement in this bilateral relationship has been constant, albeit neither consistent nor direct. Breaking with traditional state-centric approaches, this article focuses on the key role played in shaping the nature of India–Israel ties by non-state and sub-state actors such as specific political personalities, for example Congressmen Emmanuel Celler in the 1940s and Stephen Solarz in the 1980s, as well as of pro-Israel interest groups based in the US, like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC). The article shows that the US factor in India–Israel relations has evolved over time depending on the personalities, political constellations in power in India and regional developments in West Asia. Finally, while India, Israel and US interests seem to have converged at some crucial junctures, the article argues that their policies and strategies have rarely aligned over the long term.