India’s demagogue Narendra Modi has met Israel’s own version of right-wing communality in the shape of Benjamin Netanyahu. Not only is this the first visit to Israel by a sitting Indian Prime Minister – Bibi pulled out all the stops, going to personally receive his visitor from the airport. This is an honor reserved traditionally for the US president or else the Pope. India has truly arrived. And in Modi comes the consolidation of the US-Israel-India nexus. Although the two leaders are expected to sign groundbreaking agreements in areas such as agriculture and cyber-security, there is no doubt that this bilateral relationship predicates a strong military alliance. India is the largest buyer of Israel’s ammunitions, and leaders of both nations believe their countries face similar struggles in the shape of the violent threat from organisations such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hamas. Equating the Palestinians’ struggle for liberation with militant outfits underscores just how Modi is very deliberately turning a blind eye towards the plight of the Palestinians and the role of the State of Israel in perpetuating genocide in Palestinian territories. India has historically supported the Palestinian cause, and only last month Modi hosted Palestinian National Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and reiterated India’s support for a two-state solution. Yet at heart Modi is a hyper-nationalist who only speaks the language of neoliberal economics. In Netanyahu, he sees a ‘friend’ who also believes in silencing dissent. The significance of Modi skipping a visit to Ramallah, the traditional home of the Palestinian Authority, cannot be overstated. It is sad to see India, a nation celebrated as the world’s largest democracy, making a pivotal change in its support for the Palestinians. India could have used its economic clout to influence Israel in weakening its hold over the occupied territories. Alas, even the United States seems to have failed in pressuring Israel. We stand in solidarity with Palestinians who will silently witness two extremist leaders celebrating ‘democracy’ on stolen land and making promises of fighting terrorism. * Published in Daily Times, July 6th , 2017.