India now party to Israel-US axis: Karat

June 16th, 2008 - 12:01 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 15 (IANS) India has been drawn into the strategic designs of the US, and the Indian government’s flourishing defence relations with Israel are a direct result of the paradigm shift pushed by Washington and Tel Aviv, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat said here Sunday. Speaking at a function here, Karat said the issue of India’s defence ties with Israel cannot be separated from the “overarching” strategic relations with the US. All “patriotic, progressive and anti-imperialistic forces” should work to disentangle the country from the US-Israel axis, he added.

“On this point, there is no compromise on foreign policy,” he said, referring to the cause of creation of a separate Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

He alleged that Israeli defence companies, most of whom are state-owned enterprises, are “known to pay heavy bribes”.

“The Barack missile scandal is but an example. If our ties continues, it will subvert our won military and security establishment,” he said, referring to the defence deal which is now being probed.

The CPI-M leader, whose party supports the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government from outside, rebuffed the Indian government’s explanation for launching an Israel spy satellite earlier this year “as a purely commercial decision”.

“Israel has said openly that it will target Iran. Probably the satellite used to guide the missile to Iran would be the one launched by India,” said Karat.

The function was also addressed by Issam Makhoul, a politburo member of the Communist Party of Israel, who ended a week-long visit to India.

Makhoul, a former secretary general of the party, was strongly critical of the military ties between Israel and India, which he pointed out had propelled Tel Aviv to be among the top five defence exporters in the world.

“As a strategic alliance (it) is contradicting the traditional policy of support for the Palestinian people,” said Makhoul, who is an Israeli citizen of Palestinian descent.

He said that Israeli researchers had in the 1990s pointed out that if the defence industry had to survive, it had to look outward and had suggested India as the best possible market.

Makhoul, also a former member of the Israeli parliament, said the military ties were “not a solely bilateral issue”.

He called for a “grand campaign” to stop this “suspicious ties” between Israel and India, which he termed as a “contradiction to India’s traditional policy”.

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