Israel and India

The Roots Of The Deep Historical Ties Between India And Israel

The long historical story of Israel and India

Israel and India are both historical countries with rich ancient cultures, rituals, and, most importantly, spirituality. However, the broad heritage of India makes it different from other countries. Besides, this country is also believed to be the largest democracy in the world. While the government system of Israel stands on parliamentary democracy, both Israel and India are somewhat similar.

We agree that the two countries are not entirely alike, but many things engage these two countries at some point.  So here, we will introduce you to the relationship and distinction between Israel and India, which will surely surprise you, like what are the things that connect India with Israel and vice versa.

What is the correlation between Israel and India?

Both countries, Israel and India, share many traits; they have a strong relationship with each other. Yet, it is true that it took about four decades in the establishment of diplomatic relations between both countries. Underlined by Samuel C. Rajiv-IDSA, bilateral relations between Israel and India axis on three factors-people to people contacts, economic, and defense.

India is also known as the 10th most significant trading partner of Israel. After diplomatic relations formed between the two countries in 1992, bilateral civil trade rose to approximately $5 billion per year. But these aren’t the only things that describe these two countries as identical. Apart from this, there are other things that you will recognize from the points given below.

Some key-points describing Israel and India connection

  • Both India and Israel were divided by the British on religious grounds. In the late 1940s, after a long fight against British colonization, India and Israel became independent and self-governed countries, and this happened nearly at the same time.
  • In numerical words, both countries have a commonality: both have a dominant Muslim minority of 15-20% of the total population. But not only this, there are a lot of other things that connect both countries.
  • India is the core of Indian religion (Jainism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism) whereas Israel is the core of Abrahamic faith (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam)
  • Soon after independence, both countries faced an extraordinary migration flow. Because both countries suffered their neighbor’s attack on them. For instance, Arab states attacked Israel, and Pakistan attacked Indian state Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Both countries have also faced the wrath of Islamic terrorists very severely.
  • When it comes to war, then both countries have faced off with their dominant hostile neighbors. Pakistan and China have battle wars with India, whereas Israel’s every neighbor had attacked them in the past.
  • In the East of Israel, India is the first genuine democratic country. But between India and Israel, there is no full-functioning democracy.
  • Deepawali (also called Diwali) is conducted as an Indian light festival, whereas Hanukkah is also observed in Israel as a light festival.
  • As far as start-ups and development are concerned, both countries are leading. The world’s leading technology events are in Tel Aviv and Bangalore.

History of Jews in India

The history of the Jews or Israel in India is very long that also belongs to ancient times.

Whereas, it is recorded in history that Judaism is known as the first foreign religion to arrive in India.

In India, Indian Jews are a minority religion. Still, they existed in India as a general majority population without any anti-Semitism, which is not often seen in other parts of the world.

Besides, a lot of interconnected aspects you’ll also get to see in between Israel and India. Such as-

Indian Jews communities map
Indian Jews communities map

Cochin Jews

Cochin Jews are also known as Kerala or Cochini Jews. In contrast, Jews that speak Malayalam belong from Kochi (formerly Cochin), which is a region of Kerala, situated alongside southwestern India’s Malabar Coast. The Cochin Jews were notorious for their three groups like as caste categories — the Meshuchrarim (Brown Jews), the Paradesis (White Jews), and the Malabari (Black Jews).

However, In the past, their numbers were estimated in the thousands, but in the early 21st century, the number of Cochin Jews that remained on the Malabar Coast was merely about 50. The Cochin Jews bear a penned biography that can we get to see from about 1000 CE, and one of the earliest known Hebrew inscriptions in Kerala dates back to 1269.

Cochin Jews
Cochin Jews

In the documents of Cairo Synagogues, the storehouses (descendants) of the 8th and 9th centuries, we can see that the Cochin Jews, though, were previously inhabited on the Malabar coast, and some references to Jewish merchants from the Cochin are also seen.

The Jews of Kerala

The Cochin Jews’ existence on the rich southwestern coast of India last about 2000 years. This tropical region is now famous for its Kera or cocoa palm tree and renowned as the modern Indian State, Kerala, which is also essential for its environment and economy. 

In the early 16th century’s beginning, there was some new immigration of Jews to Kerala. Several of the novices were Sephardic Jews from the Spanish and Portuguese expulsions, which were direct and indirect refugees who moved towards India by way of Constantinople (the Land of Israel and Aleppo). Others were from Germany, Iraq, Persia, and Yemen.

Whereas, the Jewish newcomers, around 1568, were later named Paradesis (“foreigners” renowned in Malayalam) built their Synagogue on one side of the Maharaja’s palace situated in Cochin. They started to speak the Malayalam language and became familiar devotedly with Kerala traditions. Even though Cochin Jewish domestic public relationships were, without a doubt, prejudiced by the caste system and social values of Hindu religion, besides, the point also needs to be highlighted that all the Cochin Jews were not divided into separate castes by their own.
Hindi, with English subtitles

And even that all of them were communal in a standard way of life. However, there is abundant proof of social links amongst all the Jewish population of Kerala–including life cycle rituals, business relationships, together with studying Jewish texts by men, women exchanging songs and lending jewelry, and also sharing other rituals and ordinary meals.

Madras Jews

The first three aldermen Jewish that came to Madras, India were Bartolomeo Rodrigues, Alvaro da Fonseca, and Domingo do Porto, where they lived as Portuguese.

The first newcomer was named Jacques (Jaime) de Paiva (Pavia) from Amsterdam, who came to Madras with a unique introduction to residing and trading there.

Through his good relations with the leaders, he caught up with the neighboring states of Madras in the Kingdom of Golconda. Along with this, he efficiently managed to persuade the English authorities to provide permission to Jews to inhabit Madras, and he was the only one who prearranged the Jews into the veneer of a community.

After that, he established a Jewish cemetery in the suburbs on a plot of land. However, he fell ill, and we find that he died in the month of Tishri 1687, on his tombstone in Madras, and was buried in a Jewish cemetery that was owned by him during one of his trips.

Later two other Jews — Antonio do Porto and Salvador Rodrigues— began mining projects in Gloconda after being declined to trade as interlopers in Madras.

Paradesi Jews of Madras
Paradesi Jews of Madras

But their good relations with the local leaders were so advantageous to the authorities of Madras that these two men grew to be broadly valued in the city. Slowly but surely, the attitude towards Jewish traders turned out to be more positive. Thus in 1687, the community formed an official body that came to be known as a Colony of Jewish Traders.

India’s Bene Israel jews

For the past 2,000 years, the Bene Israel group has been residing in India, but the Jews of the region are hard to see, unlike the Parsis culture. This is partly because Parsi food, customs, and caring characters have made them a part of the charm of Mumbai. In contrast, by food, dress, and jewelry, alone the Bene Israelis (Hebrew for’ Israeli Children’) integrated cultural influences from India into their lifestyles.

Perhaps, Bene Israel is currently the world’s largest Jewish community that has never faced anti-Semitism. They lived two thousand years in peace with their Indian neighbors and also were free to practice and establish Judaism as a culture. The Bene Israel had been fully integrated with Indian society while still retaining a distinct sense of identity, and yet existed for decades separated from the mainstream of Judaism.

The Bene Israel Community- Bombay

The British East Asia Company moved its headquarters in 1674 to Mumbai, which was formerly called Bombay. However, by the mid-18th century, Bombay had urbanized from a bustling port city into a metropolis, from the countryside catching the attention of thousands of Indians with the counting of hundreds of Bene Israel.

Even though the majority of the community chose to live in the villages, many Israelis in Bombay were fascinated by education and employment opportunities. Whereas, to join the “Native forces” of the British East India Company, others decided to move to the city for military services.

In Bombay, Bene Israel adopted occupation chiefly in construction, as carpenters and work in the shipyards. Here, they were introduced to new kinds of tools and modern techniques. Since oil-pressing domination previously stayed alive in the city, ultimately, they never chased their customary occupation.

The Baghdadi Jews

Late in the 18th century, Jews arrived in India from Iran and Arab countries. Simultaneously, they were collectively called ‘Baghdadi Jews.’

Whereas most of the ‘Baghdadi’ Jews did appear from Baghdad, however, among them, there were also those Jews who arrived from Iran, Yemen, Syria, and distant places in Iraq.

Ultimately, these Jews were communally recognized as ‘Iraqi Jews.’ Also, as written in history, the ‘Baghdadi’s were called ‘Yehudi’ and the Bene Israel as the Jews ‘Israel.’ Because of the reason of religious persecutions in their countries, the ‘Baghdadi’ came to India and also for commercial grounds.

Ahead of their arrival in India, the major of the ‘Baghdadis’ were businessmen and prominent merchants. They were established in the most critical viable cities of India.

The Baghdadi Jews
David Sassoon and sons

First, in Gujarat’s city, Surat, and later on, they moved to Calcutta and Bombay. The ‘Baghdadis’ have moved to both of these major cities and Rangoon. Such Jews were wealthy businessmen and introduced the Jews from other Arab countries and their own families to India.

Several of the Jews of Baghdad seemed to have small firms such as a clothes shop. However, in the Indian economy, some Baghdadi businessmen were recognized as the chief figures. For instance, several Baghdadis owned factories in the textile industry in India.

Baghdadis immigration

The Sasson family was one of the notable wealthy families of the Baghdadis. The Sasson family gave much to India, including their business activities. In major cities in India, the Sasson family built schools, hospitals, monuments, libraries, as well as other things too. But along with their involvement in India, the Baghdadi Jews set aside themselves completely detached from Indian society, counting the Jews of veteran Indian.

The prosperous Baghdadis built rights reserved schools, departments in hospitals, synagogues, and cemeteries, which were only for the Baghdadi Jews. The Arabic mother-tongue Baghdadis gradually started accepting English as their primary language. Also, they took other English ethnicities, such as dressing.

They even started to recognize themselves with the British way of life. The remained Baghdadis in India slowly began adopting the Indian culture & society and also adopted further Indian Jews customs. To some extent, the emigrated Baghdadis from India came to be renowned more Indianized outside of India, while they were not actually from India.

Famous Jews in India

For its cause, India’s small but essential Jewish community stands out as significant. Their nature to blend with local culture and still have their mark is what makes them different. There are reportedly about 6,000 Jews engaged throughout the country for their numerous roles. Since the Jews’ existence in India belongs from 2000 years ago, so Jewish people have also become capable of bringing out their identity as the individual Jews from Israel in India.

Farhat Ezekiel Nadira

Born in a Baghdadi Jewish family, Farhat Ezekiel Nadira came to be renowned as the well-liked and accepted Bollywood actress. She is famously recognized for her great roles as a temptress or vamp next to the casting heroines. In 1952, Farhat Ezekiel Nadira, with her role as a Rajput princess, made her debut as opposed to Dilip Kumar.

She was also celebrated for her well-known roles in film Amar Akbar Anthony, Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai, Shree 420, Hanste Zakhm, and Pakeezah. As the Best Supporting Actress in Julie, she has also won a Filmfare award for her significant role. Also, she owns a Rolls Royce, which is a big thing since she became the first Indian actress who owned it. But we lost her on February 9, 2006.

Pramila – Esther Victoria Abraham

Better known by her stage name Pramila, Esther Victoria Abraham was born into a Baghdadi Jewish family in Kolkata. She has successfully performed her roles in around 30 films and also became renowned as the first female producer in Indian cinema. Yet, for being the first to win the Miss India pageant, history will remember her.

She also designed costumes and jewelry for films on her own. However, she had to be arrested since Morarjee Desai- an earlier time Bombay Cheif Minister put the blame on her that she’s spying for Pakistan, but, later it was proven that she traveled to Pakistan only for her film promotion.

David Abraham Cheulkar

David Abraham Cheulkar, another actor from the Bollywood industry, belongs to Bene Israel community speaking Mumbai’s Marathi. In his 40 years of career-spanning, he performed well in more than 110 films most popularly included, like Mere Huzoor, Gol Maal, and Baton Baton Mein.

Also, he was recognized as a member of the IPTA theatre group. Besides, he also has performed in KA Abbas’s films, some of the most famous of them include the Shehar Aur Sapna that also came to be known as the National Award-winning film.

Moreover, he was also a celebrated anchor who hosted outstanding award shows. David also got honored with compliments “any event was incomplete with no David’s speech,” said Jawahar Lal Nehru. Besides, by the Government of India in 1969, he was awarded Padma Shri.

Nissim Ezekiel

One of the most well-known Ezekiel, whether you say postcolonial India’s social commentator, an English writer, critic, dramatist, or a broadcaster, is also a famous person of Israel in India. On December 16, 1924, Nissim Ezekiel was born in Mumbai, and in 1947, Ezekiel completed his bachelor’s in English Literature from Wilson College.

After that, he began publishing and teaching literary articles. In 1948, to study philosophy at Birkbeck College, he cruised to London and revisited back after three and a half years. ‘The Bad Day’ was his first book featuring collections of poems published in 1952. From 1961 to 1972, he also worked at Mithibai College, Bombay as head professor of English.

Ezekiel also explored loneliness, love, lust, political arrogance, and creativity through his famous poetries. In 1988, Ezekiel was also honored with Padma Shree, and in 1983, he was awarded Sahitya Academy cultural award.

David Sassoon

In the list of famous Jews in India, businessman Shaikh David Sassoon was recognized for his dominating the import-export trade.

However, David Sasson previously worked with the Pashas as a treasurer in Baghdad, and in late 1828, he arrived in India.

Shortly after his advent, he began trading with opium, and after that, he became interested in textiles and real estate. Soon, he became a patron of one of the world’s most thriving Jewish empires. His business grew. His company expanded from Calcutta to Bombay to Shanghai, as well as New York, Amsterdam, and London.

Sasson did not just build the status and became renowned as a great businessman, but he also became well-known for his bighearted work and built many hostels, synagogues, hospitals, and schools. The renowned Sassoon Hospital in Pune was founded in 1867 by the Jewish humanitarian David Sassoon.

David Sassoon
David Sassoon

Jacob-Farj-Rafael or Jacob

Jewish Indian Army officer, Jacob-Farj-Rafael was the Bangladesh Liberation War architect in 1971. He played an essential role in mounting the Army’s stratagem throughout the action during the war. Because he was serving in the Indian Army’s Eastern Command as the Chief of Staff, he fought the Indo-Pak War of 1965 and World War II at some stage in his thirty-six years of his service.

Jacob born in Kolkata, and this is also the place where he grew up as he feels and says in his own words that he is Bengali from the heart. He showed great sympathy for the Bengalese suffering that the Pakistani Army gave to them.

He was engaged in business activities for almost two decades after his retirement in 1979. At the end of the 1990s, he decided to join the Bharatiya Janata Party but also represented as Governor of Goa and Punjab. On January 13, 2016, he took his last breath.

JFR Jacob
JFR Jacob

Ruby Myers

Myers, best known as her character name, Sulochana, was another film star with Jewish ancestry. She joined the film industry at that time when it was difficult for women to become an actress.

Myers worked in Bombay before as a telephone operator. Mohan Bhavnani, the Producer, found and introduced Myers in 1925 in Veer Bala. 

She later gave many successful hits in the Bollywood industry, such as Bombay Ki Billi (1936),   Indira M A (1934), Indira BA (1929), Wildcat of Mumbai (1927), Typist Girl (1926), and Cinema ki Rani (1925).

Subsequently, she continued in the film industry and gained more fame. Besides, she was privileged in 1973 with cinema’s topmost honors, the Dada Saheb Phalke award.

Ruby Myers Sulochana
Ruby Myers – Sulochana

Abraham Solomon Erulkar

Bene-Israel doctor Erulkar was the Medical Council of India (MCI) President in 1940. Whereas, we could often see him alongside Mahatma Gandhi because Erulkar was looking after Mahatma Gandhi’s medical needs for the duration of his protest in opposition to the British activity. He also played an essential role in giving visas to European Jews who, over the Second World War, tried to flee to the Nazi regime. Besides, he provided a license to German-Jewish doctors so that they could survive and earn in India.

So overall, this also signifies that not like other countries, Jews have never got to face any sort of harassment during the hundreds of years of their presence in India. Indeed people well accepted all these Israel people in India, and we can guess this from their popularity in India.

Synagogues in India

A synagogue is a great place where Jewish do prayers and may also include some rooms for studying Torah, called the Beth Midrash, lit house of study, while sometimes they bring into use as offices or as a social hall. But mainly, Synagogues are renowned as a house of worship for Jewish people.

You can get to see a vast number of synagogues in India, although many are no longer in use. Overall, if we talk about the Jews of Israel in India, then we must say that they had a very peaceful existence compared to Europe East Middle, where they were mistreated again and again.

This is the reason how they remained proficient in building many synagogues throughout India, and almost all of them you can get to see in India. After the creation of Israel, many Jews in India voluntarily made Aliyah, but some of the great Jewish community remained and used these synagogues actively. The rest of them are transformed into museums today, which were no more in use. Here are some of the most famous synagogues that you can see in India:

Gate of Mercy Synagogue, Mumbai

Built-in 1796, this Synagogue is also known as the oldest Synagogue in India located in Mumbai. Additionally, people call it Juni Masjid and Shaar Harahamim. It was initially constructed in 1796, although in 1860, it again was rebuilt and renovated as well as moved to a new site in Mandvi. The structure can provide comfortable accommodation for up to 300 members.

Gate of Mercy Synagogue, India
Gate of Mercy Synagogue

Ohel David Synagogue, Pune

Since this Synagogue in Pune was built by David Sassoon, therefore it is named as Ohel David synagogue. It’s a spectacular architectural piece of work that includes a unique prayer hall for ladies. Many foreigners take a trip to this place for its architectural & religious wonder.

Magen Abraham Synagogue, Ahmedabad

Magen Abraham is the only synagogue in the entire Gujarat state and is also one of the few synagogues in India which remained. The Synagogue is designed in the Art deco way all in whole marble and also consecrated in 1934.

Magen David Synagogue, Mumbai

The Synagogue of Megan David is located in Byculla, in the south of Mumbai. The building has indeed been built in the Victorian style. Except for Israel, it’s one of the most significant synagogues in Asia.

Magen David Synagogue, Kolkata

This Synagogue, named Megan David, was constructed in 1884 and, at present, is situated at Kolkata’s famous China Bazaar.  Along with the Renaissance Italian style, the entire building is built with red brick. It is amongst the most remarkable buildings of Calcutta owing to its outstanding design and architecture.

Shaar Rason Synagogue, Mumbai

Shaar Rason Synagogue is a quite small synagogue placed in Pydhonie, Mandvi in Mumbai, and was consecrated in 1843. The exteriors of Synagogue are pleasing to the eye, whereas the interiors are decorated with a variety of lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, and glass lanterns.

Paradesi Synagogue, Kochi – One of the most important synagogues in India

The essential Jewish synagogue is located in Kochi. It was built in 1568 and also renowned as the Cochin Jewish Synagogue. However, it is the only Jewish Synagogue that is brought into use in today’s time, and you can call it Mattancherry Synagogue too.

Beth El Synagogue, Panvel

Amid a mix of village economies and rapid urbanization, a small part of Israel is located in Tapanalanka on Mahatma Gandhi Road. Beth El Synagogue in Navi Mumbai is a home of about 20 families of Bene Israelis, and it is part of the surrounding district of Raigad.

It dates from around 1849 and is the only Jewish temple as well. The first Arbith, known as Evening Prayer, is held after sunset and is held three times each day.

Beth El Synagogue, Kolkata

Beth El Synagogue is located near the Maghen David Synagogue on the Barabazar Road in Kolkata. The building was built in 1856 and has marble steps leading to the hallway—the walls are decorated with glass pieces. The lobby also has women balconies.

Shaar Harahamim Synagogue, Mumbai

The synagogue-Shaar Harahamim in Mumbai, located at Masjid Bandar, is another existing synagogue. In India, this Synagogue was baptized in 1796 and demolished and rebuilt in 1860. The new structure consists of two floors with chunam or polished plaster of sand and lime.

Magen Hassidim Synagogue, Mumbai

Magen Hassidim Synagogue is located in Agnipada, Mumbai, on Morland Road. The Synagogue was established in India in 1931 and is one of Mumbai’s largest synagogues. The traditional two-story stone columns and windows for cellular casement are particular highlights of this synagogue.

Neveh Shalome Synagogue, Kolkata

Synagogue-Neveh Shalome was established in 1831 at Kolkata’s China Bazar. The government and the Indian Jewish community destroyed and rebuilt the Synagogue on many occasions. Finally, in 2014, it was renovated. It now has beautiful and elegant interiors, and daily prayers are being conducted here.

Tiphereth Israel Synagogue, Mumbai

Synagogue-Tiphereth Israel is situated in Mumbai at Jacob Circle, Kasturba Quarters. It was initially set up in 1886 as a place of worship. The Jewish population in the surrounding region, however, demanded a more prominent building. In 1923, the Synagogue was therefore consecrated. It is one of the most popular and active Mumbai synagogues.

Shaar Hashamaim, Mumbai

Shaar Hashamaim is also known as the Heaven Synagogue Gate in Thane West, Mumbai. In 1879, it was consecrated and restored, and refurbished in 1999. This two-story Synagogue in India has been beautifully doctored after its embellishment.

Succath Shelomo Synagogue, Pune

This Synagogue is also located near the David Synagogue. However, Synagogue- Succath Shelomo is placed in Pune at Rasta Peth, whereas it is still functional with a short active community. It was sanctified in 1921 and had a bitty coach carrying red-painted brick and stone arched pavilions that highlight the appearance of the entrance.

Judah Hyam Synagogue, Delhi

Judah Hyam is one of the few surviving Jewish synagogues in Delhi. It is situated on Humayun Road. It was consecrated in 1956 and retains a few yet active members. This Synagogue is one of those synagogues in India that have an in-house library too.

India and Israel relationships since 1948

At the time of the establishment of the State of Israel, India’s position was affected by many factors, which also includes India’s division on religious lines, and the relationship of India with other nations was also affected as well. In 1948 Israel instantly sought international recognition when it announced itself as an independent nation.

But, Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru was a little cautious of a newly-carved out country. Both nations India and Israel, have shared the same history, where the British company ruled both. Israel and India became an independent country. However, even though numerous commonalities are shared between these countries, but still, in 1948, India has observed Israel with some theoretical insights. Moreover, this happened due to several reasons:

  • Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi were more concerned about the Arabs. 
  • India did not want to separate from its significantly sizeable Muslim minority when the Cold War alignments greatly influenced India’s foreign policy,
  • Nehru realized that it has become essential to have a secular and unified nation that would be settled harmoniously by the Jewish and Palestinian Arabs.
  • Also, Nehru wanted to support the emotion of his Muslim citizens, who were intuitively pro-Palestinian.

Therefore, a voting system was organized in which India voted against the plan of the United Nations Partition. The results came in India’s favor in which two-third- 33% votes were in favor, and 13% were against.  As the consequence of this, Palestinian and Israel were established as two independent countries. Thus, Israel was introduced as a nation on May 14, 1948.

How is Israel helping India?

Beyond other such things shared between Israel and India, Israel’s diverse and proven technological capabilities, coupled with military experience, the War on Islamic Terrorism, and border guard, make Israel the ultimate strategic partner for India in technological, military, and agricultural fields. In the past, when India needed some weapons, Israel aided India with ammunition and mortar and came into the list of the few countries that supported India directly.

Israel’s areas of assistance to India


India is the largest importer of Israel’s defense equipment. Because we can see between 2012 and 2016 that India has bought 41% of Israel’s arms export, for its surveillance drones and fighter jets, Israel offered India with laser-guided missiles. During providing air support to ground troops, the Indian Air Force has faced numerous problems, including “the limited prospect of the Pakistani bunkers and erroneous unguided missiles.” But thanks to Israel, which also provided laser-guided missiles for Indian Air Force Mirage 2000H fighters jet, India had no need to cross the LOC (Line of Control). The specific material for bombing then reduced the Pakistani troops’ lead. Thus in this way, Israel helped India to defend itself without disobeying orders not to cross the LoC.

With the rise of terrorism in India and Israel, relations between India and Israel also strengthened. So far, India has launched about seven military satellites of Israel through the Indian Space Research Organization. In the 1962 Sino-Indian War, when India received military aid, the first signs of cooperation were presented between Israel and India.

Although Israel also assisted India during two wars with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971. Israel’s artillery shell supply in the Kargil War in 1999, highlighted the partnership when India faced a shortage. A crucial defense deal was made between Israel and India in the late 1990s when Indian purchased Barak 1, which is an air-defense missile, individually bought by India for its capability to seize US-made Harpoon missiles set out by Pakistan.

Israel and India signed a $2 billion (Rs 12,878 crore) deal In April 2017. The agreement was made to advance the air missile system. This deal will provide some specialized capabilities to the Indian army to shoot down drones aircraft and missiles that come under 70 km of ranges.

In September 2016, tests were conducted of the jointly developed Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile with a range of 70 km, intended to equip three guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy. India and Israel also actively cooperate on some significant issues like counter-terrorism.


In order to showcase an innovative technology to Indian farmers, An Indo-Israel agriculture action plan for 2015-18 was made, and 15 of the planned 26 centers of quality in agriculture with the help of Israel are being developed in India.

India has also got numerous things as a benefit from Israel that mainly includes technologies in horticulture mechanization, orchard and canopy management, protected cultivation, micro-irrigation, post-harvest management, and nursery management. The results are primarily seen in Maharashtra and Haryana.

More than 20,000 farmers every year visit Gharaunda, Karnal in Haryana at the Agricultural Center of Excellence. Where a nursery creates hybrid seedlings which include cherry-tomato, tomatoes, individual cells, cucumbers, colored capsicum, eggplant, and chili pepper–grown in small, that are ready to transplant into the field or in a container.

Water management

According to the December 2014 report on the India-Israel agricultural project, crop yields were increased five to 10 times, with a 65% reduction in water use and a significant reduction in pesticide and fertilizer use. For water conservation in India, the union cabinet, On June 28, 2017, approved (MoU) a memorandum of understanding with Israel on the National Campaign.

Technically, Advanced Israel has developed technologies that lead to water-management, as it is located in a semi-arid region where fresh drinking water sources are limited. Israel and India, in November 2016, on water resources management, had previously signed an MoU and development cooperation.


In 2016-17, with the trade of $5.02 billion (Rs 33,634 crore), Israel became India’s 38th largest trading partner, which was previously down around 18% in the year 2012-13. In 2016-17, the trade balance stood in favor of India at $1.10 billion, which is approximately 7,370 crores, according to Indian rupees. Oils and Mineral fuels are India’s most famous export to Israel that was worth around $1.01 billion in 2016-17. Whereas in 2016-17, India’s major imports from Israel integrated authentic or precious stones and cultured pearls, worth $1.11 billion.

The bilateral trade made between both countries was of diamonds that accounts for almost 54%. At the Israeli diamond exchange in Ramat-Gan, India’s nearly 40 diamond dealers have opened offices. Some of these significant diamond dealers have been active in Israel for almost 30-40 years. The Israeli government has anticipated actions such as “offering insurance on export, liberalizing the sector of aviation and granting visas for longer-term.”

The intent is to boost up Israeli 80,000 tourists visit India annually over the next four years and exports to India by 25%. Relations with Israel are momentous for India because of cooperation in defense and science/technology as well as in agriculture. So overall, we can say that it is just only because of the extreme corporation of Israel to India that today we see India as the most active country because of its strong relationship with Israel.

The reasons for the deep connection between Hindu and Jews

The history provides an example of the relationships between Israel and India. Jewish and Hindu relations have stayed strong for centuries; this is also the reason why both countries continue to have authentically friendly ties. At the same time, it is clear that the Jews and the Hindus are not unfamiliar persons to one another.

Though their social contact was mysterious in anticipation of the modern age, in actuality, it was quite different, in fact. There is also the only one-of-its-kind things that Jews have experienced in India, which almost belongs two millennia ago and that at present also helped these two nations in easing the way to engage in friendly relations.

Since the Jews in India for a long time have lived like their own family and also in spite of being the minority religion in India, they stayed peacefully in India as a standard majority population, and this was happening without any anti-Semitism.  Moreover, it is unusual on its own since this sort of engagement is not often seen in other parts of the world by the Jews. Besides, some other interconnected aspects make both of these countries that highlight the friendly relationship between both countries.

The change in relationships

With the passing of times, Indian and Israeli relationships are smoothly getting friendlier. Similarly, we can get to see the visiting of India prime minister, Narendra Modi, to Israel in July 2017 and the Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj in January 2018, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Israeli and President Reuven Rivlin have both met them. The personal chemistry and extraordinary interaction between Netanyahu and Modi are reflected in the documentation that flowed from the visit.

It was well beyond a formal meeting between two leaders. The strong personal connection between Netanyahu and Modi and the demonstration of this connection strengthen significantly the legitimacy in India to express the love for the Jewish people and the State of Israel openly

Initially, the relationship between both countries Israel and India was based on some popular consent, and the actual official relations between both countries have revealed much later. Israelis, especially the youth of Israel, were much attracted to India’s history and culture, encouraged other Israelis to contact with India.

Consequently, this helped the people to get engaged and more and more involved with each other’s countries. Moreover, this provided a vital communication for a subtle official relationship between both of these countries, which was consequently established in 1992.

Particular highlights on Israel and India relations:

Relations between Israel and India have reached a new phase. For the first time, India voted in the UN in support of Israel. However, in the past also, Israel helped India through all difficult times, for instance, whether the 1971 war and the 1999 war with Pakistan at the time of Kargil War or providing special weapons to the Indian Air Force. Israel helped India at each step.

  • Israel became independent in 1948 and did not have first-class ties with India in the early stages.
  • Bilateral relations began to expand between Israel and India in the 90s.
  • After initial mistrust, Israel helped India with arms during the China war.
  • Since 2015, Israel and India have openly called each other allied nations.

So, overall we can say that this is due to the long-standing relationship with Israel and India, resulting in, even today both countries are friendly and are working with strong motives.

10 thoughts on “The Roots Of The Deep Historical Ties Between India And Israel”

  1. Anish Sreenivasan

    Excellent Article, Indians have always been secular from time immemorial. The Indians love Isreal with the exception of the Muslims which is only understandable. Love live happy Indo-Isreali relationship.

    1. thanks,. I’m glad you liked it. Still, we have a lot to do in order to strengthen develop these relations. and this is the purpose of this website, the YouTube channel, the Facebook page and the what will follow in the next year.

  2. Vikram Singh Batra

    We in India are great full to people of Israel land of Jews their values culture and strength and beautiful Freindship we shai. We stand with you more than ever forever every day.

    1. thanks, appreciated. we stand with you as well, and I’m personally intend to do whatever I can can in order to strengthen theses relations

  3. I am a native of Chendamangalam, North Paravoor, Ernakulam, Kerala. If any Jew of Chendamangalam origin happen to see this post, please contact me.

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