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Netanyahu offers friendship to those ignoring Palestinians

The visits this week to Israel of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame reflect Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s inclination to reinforce ties with countries that ignore Palestinian suffering.
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Upon his arrival in Israel on July 4, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was accorded an honor generally reserved for American presidents; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed him in person the moment he set foot on Israeli soil and did not leave Modi's side until he boarded his plane — and for a good reason. Unlike US President Donald Trump and most leaders visiting Jerusalem, Modi did not take the opportunity to hop over to the neighboring city of Ramallah, headquarters of the Palestinian Authority, in the West Bank. It is unusual, to say the least, for such VIPs visiting Israel to identify so fully with Netanyahu’s disregard for the Palestinian neighbors living for half a century under Israeli domination. Israel need not worry that the Indian Foreign Ministry will condemn the Netanyahu government’s harassment of human rights organizations, as the German Foreign Ministry did last month.

Standing beside his guest at Ben-Gurion Airport, Netanyahu said Modi’s visit would deepen bilateral cooperation on issues of security, agriculture, water and energy. One other area — peacemaking — did not even rate the type of lip service customary on such occasions. Why spoil a festive visit with such pesky trifles? Let's enjoy celebrating the 25th anniversary of full diplomatic relations between the world’s biggest democracy and a small state that boasts about being “the only democracy in the Middle East.”

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