On 29 March 2013, VIF welcomed Ambassador Alon Ushpiz, Israeli Ambassador to India, and the delegation from Galilee International Management Institute (GIMI), Israel for an interaction on Indo-Israeli cooperation. The session was chaired by Ambassador P. P. Shukla, Joint Director VIF, who introduced Amb Ushpiz, welcomed Lt. Gen (retd) JFR Jacob, one of the Indian War Heroes, and pitched the agenda for discussion.
Amb Ushpiz addressed the distinguished participants by giving a holistic overview of the Indo-Israeli bilateral relations and at the same time candidly assessed the realities and practicalities. Amb Ushpiz mentioned that the Indo-Israeli relations are based on common democratic values; and that we have a vast set of common interests. India and Israel also have similar challenges, that of energy security, water security, and a “cocktail” of failed states in the neighbourhood. However, Amb Ushpiz also highlighted that there are basic differences between India and Israel, some of them being size and population, different political alliances after Independence, etc.
Amb Ushpiz affirmed that Israel attaches very high value to its bilateral relations with India. Highlighting the sectors of Defence, Agriculture, Civilian Trade, etc., Amb Ushpiz asserted that the scope of strengthening of the bilateral relations in the mentioned sectors is huge and is likely to expand exponentially in the coming decades. He underlined that Israel wishes to provide India with technology and invest highly in R&D programmes in affiliation with the Indian Government, private sector firms, and universities.
Addressing the security concerns of India, Amb Ushpiz also reassured that Israel has never and will never sell any military technology to any of India’s adversaries. Amb Ushpiz also focussed on Palestinian issue, militarily-nuclear Iran, and Afghanistan post-2014.
The talk was followed by a series of comments made and questions raised by members of VIF and GIMI. They broadly covered the Indo-Israeli relations and its positions on the broader geo-politics of West Asia, Israeli security concerns, Indian security concerns, and the marginalized visibility of the strong Indo-Israeli bilateral relations.